hist-games: Tafl Boards -- How to Make

Hall, Hayward HALLH at evangel.edu
Sun Feb 24 21:15:20 PST 2002

You can make an exact grid layout with nothing more than a compass and a few arc tricks -  no modern square needed.  This is how most things medieval were laid out, from carvings to cathedrals. 

Ditto what Dafydd said with the hand tools.  If you choose to incise the grid, do it freehand with the chip carving knife.  This will give it a warm, natural look instead of the harsh machined feel common today.

Boxwood is nice to carve.  Poplar is ok.  Pine splits out easily but is still ok and cheap as a bonus. If you use oak, use white oak not red oak.  American oak is a pain to carve, however, unlike English oak which, I have been told, is much more suitable for delicate knife work.  If any of you Brits out there that want to send me some good English oak to try out in the name of medieval research I will be happy to furnish an address :)

I like the pegged, turned playing pieces as opposed to the marbles I have on mine.  The marble holes on the board take forever to carve and the modern marbles dont really accentuate the rest of the board.

You can see mine if you like at


Guillaume de la Sudeterre

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jane & Mark Waks [mailto:waks at attbi.com]
> answers to, relating to the construction details. Most
> importantly: does anyone know how the board would most likely 
> have been
> *drawn*? 

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