Konane boards- aka Hawaiian Checkers
As mentioned in a previous post, in a week the Girl Scouts will be spending the day teaching other girls about Hawaii, including food, history, culture, language, and natural resources.
One of the activities they will be participating in is playing Konane, sometimes called Hawaiian Checkers. The game board, or Papamu, is based on the stone playing surfaces used centuries ago. I needed to make a bunch of them, as there will be around 70 girls. I originally planned on 4, I will probably end up with 6.
Even though I am making a smaller board, only 6 x 6, that still is a lot of holes to lay out. I made a template in Autocad, and took it to the copy center to enlarge. Each paper template is made from 4 pieces taped together. I originally thought I would be using 1/2" MDF for the template, but my piece wasn't wide enough, so I used 3/8 ply. I glued the template to the board and drilled all the holes.
I had to cut away the sides of the template to reach the holes all the way in the middle, so it looks a little strange. I ran a center line down the template to allow me to quickly line it up with the drilling blank.
The depressions were cut with a router. I had originally planned on using my bowl bottom bit, but there wasn't enough clearance in the template guide for me to use it and have it eject the chips. I didn't have time to get a 3/4" one sent to the house, so I used a bottom cleaning bit. I regret that the holes aren't curved, but that is life I guess.
The planing bit did a nice job in the pine, but the tight clearance around the bit meant that the shavings didn't eject fast enough. This caused the holes to fill with chips preventing the template guide from properly following the template. In one of the pictures below you can see the bottom of the hole is stepped, since the template guide couldn't reach the edge on the deeper pass. I had to clean the holes with a vacuum regularly. I left the hose from the vacuum over the handle of one of the clamps, and used my foot pedal to cycle the vac on and off so I didn't have to keep bending down to start and stop it. About 4-5 passes left me with clean holes.
I did have a little catastrophe on board #3, as the rotating arm on the bottom of my pole stop was bumped and I milled a few holes too deep. I ended up taking them all to the same depth, but they were now too deep for the pieces. I thought about planing the board down, but didn't want to risk the planer blowing out the holes in the pine. The solution?- larger playing pieces!
After the boards were cut, I rounded the corners by eye on the sander and gave the edges a little routed detail. This week the girls will finish them with a wax and oil blend.