As I’m wrapping up my Christmas shopping for this year, I wanted to share a photo of a gift I made last year: an Othello game board for my Dad. Isn’t this a pretty piece of African mahogany? (It cost $8!)
Dad taught me to play Othello when I was a little girl and I have finally got to where I can beat him occasionally. You’re constantly turning over the little pieces in this game, so I knew I wanted to make them out of some really nice woods that would be a pleasure to look at and hold; I chose cocobolo and quilted maple. Then I started trying to cut the discs… with a hand drill. That lasted about 45 seconds. I began to utter unprintable words — I needed to cut out 128 of these little goobers. And the only person I know with a drill press is my dad!
So I asked at the exotic-wood lumberyard, and they sent me to a nice guy named Bob who’s a cabinet-maker and craftsman. He took on the job of cutting all those little discs. I baked him oatmeal cookies. Then I sanded all 128 of the blasted things and joined them up (each gamepiece is light on one side, dark on the other). I sewed a little bag to hold them, also. The gameboard was mostly a job of careful grid layout, then cutting the dowels to length and notching them so they fit together. My first real work with chisels and files. Good learning project.
Dad and I have already enjoyed numerous games. He says I did a good job on it. I know I certainly put a lot of love into it. And of course, I didn’t have an opportunity to mess up because my work was closely supervised as usual by Bradley.