Monthly Archives: November 2016

Woodworking Update: Walnut Marble Game Board

Many years ago, I used to play a marble solitaire game when I would visit my grandparents (my dad’s parents). You jump marbles over each other, removing the ones you jump over. The goal is to get down to one marble.  My dad and I were the only ones who ever got down to one marble, so the game had a special place in my heart.  Year later (~2002) I discovered that it’s impossible to get down to just one marble in our version of the game (apparently it’s called French Solitaire).  I even found a mathematical proof online.  Another version of the game, without four corner holes (English Solitaire) is solvable–you can get down to one marble.  Still, the version I used to play is the one I like, even if I discovered my dad and I must have accidentally dislodged a marble along the way.

I made this particular board for my uncle Scott (my dad’s brother), though he supplied his own marbles.  It is made from a piece of claro walnut burl that I got in Mendocino.  The original board is on the right; the board I made is on the left.  There are more pics here.

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