How to Make a Go Game Board

Go, also known as Weichi or Weiqi, is a two-player board game about abstract strategy. Today, you are going to learn how you can make a Go game board at home.

Go is an ancient board game and has been played for the last 2,500 years. The game is all about two players using abstract strategy to occupy as much territory on the board game as they can. The person with the most territory in the end wins. The game is fun and challenging, and you can either lock your horns with the opponent or just play the game for a casual time pass. You can also make your personal go game board at home.

According to International Go Foundation, there are currently more than 46 million Go players in the world in 75 nations. Despite its simplistic rules, Go can get really challenging and complicated at times. The board game is larger than most board games found on the market. While the legacy board used to contain 17 x 17 grids, the current standard board comes with 19x19 grids. However, you can make a Go board game at home.

I recently got into playing Go and am looking to eventually play competitively. Since I’ll be practicing so much, I decided to make my own Go board game to give it a personal touch, something that only I owned. So, I gradually started making a list of things and figure out steps involved in creating one, and voila! I nailed it. I would like to share how I made a Go board game at home. It is simple, and you can make one for yourself too.


Table of contents

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The Basics

First thing first, you will have to remember the schematics of the board game, and they are as follows.

·         Your Go board game is going to be 17 inches x 17 inches

·         The line spacing will be 7/8 inch

·         Line thickness must be 1/32 inch

·         Star points must be 5/32 inch, or you can do 3/16 inch (both work fine)

·         Purchase stones - you can search online and look on Amazon or eBay.

Steps to Make a Go Board Game

Here are the steps to make your own Go board game at home.

Step# 1 The Panels and the Grids

You will glue up two panels to make the top and bottom of your Go board. There should be 19 lines on your board. Give these a 7/8-inch width. The best is to use a ruler to mark the dots in all directions.

Now you must bring all those marks up on your board while using a square on both sides of the board to create small square boxes. You can either paint the lines with a permanent marker or use a v-groove (if you have one) to make them distinctive.

Step #2: The Blocks

Time to turn your attention to the board’s blocks to add support and hold your drawer sliders. You can use 2x2s to make these blocks. You can either use the full length of the board or save material or create smaller blocks. After cutting the boxes, I glued each one and clamped them together to create support blocks.

If you wish the drawer front to match the grain of your support blocks, you can glue up some extra material. The next step is to cut a 1/4-inch thick piece at the end for an end-grain drawer’s front.

In case your support blocks do not run the entire length of the board, you can add a backing so you do not lose anything in the middle void. You can do this by cutting a dado in the back of your block via kerfmaker. This will help you get the perfect thickness for the plywood of your board. 1/8 inch plywood will be adequate enough to make a Go board game at home.

You can rip the 1/8 inch plywood to support blocks’ height and cut them to miter saw’s length.

Step #3 The Grooves

At step three, you will add grooves into your support blocks so you can glue them in your drawer runners. If you do not want the grooves to show through the board’s front, you can do a plunge cut at your router table.

For this, you can mark a start as well as stop lien on the router table’s fence and plunge your support block in at your marked start line. The next step is to move this piece along the entire bit until you get to the stop line. You can now stop the router and remove the block.

Step #4 The Drawers

You can rip some 1/3 plywood and cut them to equal lengths via milter saw and use finger joints to join them with glue. You can also make grooves on the sides so the drawers can run along their sides. The bottom of the drawer will sit inside the rabbet, and to make the rabbet; you can set its height to 1/8 inch plywood and rotating the drawer around it.

You can now use a top to cover the drawer, glue up the plywood together and secure it with nails. Once you have the entire middle section piece ready, you can glue them up and let them set. The best way is to glue two blocks together is to put your plywood backer piece at the back into the dados. However, make sure you can easily slide the drawers.

Step #5 Glue to Outer Support Pieces

It is time to glue your outer support pieces to the inner supporting blocks. Cut some spaces that are slightly bigger than your drawers and keep them in between your support blocks and glue them up to the bottom. Now your inner section is one solid wood piece.

Step #6 Gluing Top and Bottom Board

Now you can glue the middle section to the bottom and top boards. Glue up the surface and place the top board, and use clamps on all four sides to hold the board in place. While the glue is drying, you can use this time to drill holes into your drawers and place drawer pulls in them. You can either make your own or buy them from a DIY store.

If you wish to create a lifted base, place four equally sizes block on all four corners on the bottom panel and its will give your board a risen base. 

Step #7 Coloring the Grids

Your board is almost ready; all you need to do is color in the grids you created with v-groove. You can actually use tabletop epoxy to seal the entire board game. This will also fill your grooves, giving them a little dimension on the top.

The Takeaway

If you are a DIY enthusiast, this is one of the best ways to make a Go board game at home. However, if you are looking for a simpler way to just play Go at home, you can get a plank of wood with 17x 17-inch measurement and mark the grids with a pen and get on with playing Go. The choice is completely yours.


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