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I was hoping for some help. I play a board game with my friends that requires a lot of tiny pieces to be collected, organized and then spent to accomplish tasks. I would like to make a lap-sized piece of wood to help organize the game pieces.

It would need eight curcular indentions, like craters only about two inches across and one playing card shaped slot. I was hoping for some tips with the kind of wood that would be best and any ideas on the tools necessary.

I am a novice when it comes to woodworking and I don't have a ton of tools but I do have:
A Power drill
A Jigsaw
A Router with basic heads

Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm envisioning something like a Mancala board, with a space for cards to be put in flat somewhere on it. Is that about right?

While I hate routers (personal preference; I'm mostly a hand-tool user, and I hate the noise and mess from an electric router) they're basically the perfect tool for this.

Step 1) Lay out the board. Make a pattern in a piece of hardboard, with the openings a little bit bigger than the finished openings on the board. This may involve making the pattern in sections, and moving it around as you rout openings. See the next step to figure out how MUCH bigger the pattern openings should be.

Step 2) Use a router with a bushing to cut the indentations. For the card well, this should be easy: Use a spiral cutting bit and rout it out shallow, then lower the cutter and do another round. For the small wells... that could be harder. If straight sides are ok, follow the same procedure. If they need to have sloped sides, I'd consider using a spiral bit for the main well, and then a chamfer bit or something like it (maybe a bowl carving bit or something?) to angle the sides.

Step 3) Sand and finish, if necessary.


Good luck, and hopefully someone with more router experience than me will chime in with better advice!
 
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