I’m sure many have made / considered making a DIY Goban. Seems like a relatively straight-forward project - cut some wood, sand & varnish, draw a grid, job done. Indeed, I have some nice pieces of wood (my old solid-wood kitchen worktop) cut and ready, power sander available. Now I just need to find some time to finish the job…
But what about DIY stones? Of course, yes, it might just be easier to buy some stones but what if there are reasons against that such as cost, availability, or simply an interest in making them yourself (all of which apply in my case). I have given this some thought and there is no obvious or easy way as far as I can see so I thought I’d post here to see if anyone else has any experience in this area. Have you thought about it? Have you tried it? How did it go?
Some of my thoughts on the topic:
- Would be relatively easy to make plastic stones, e.g. 3D printing, but that sort of defeats the point as plastic stones are cheap to buy. Would by nice to make stones out of stone.
- How to make Go stone shape out of rock? Go stones should be hard. Easily sculpted stone (e.g. soapstone) is soft. So either sculpted stones are too soft or the rock is too hard to sculpt. Either way, would be very time-consuming to sculpt 361 stones individually by hand.
- A rock-tumbler might get stones to roughly the right size but they would be very irregular. How to then get them to a regular size, smooth shape, etc?
- Could the rock be ground down into powder and re-formed into Go stone shape? Would be easier to get uniform shape and size and do it quickly but seems like it would need special (expensive) equipment (if it even works).
- How do they make stone Go stones in China / Japan? Could those methods be used in a domestic / hobbyist setting?
- What about making them out of clay? The clay could be mold-able when wet and then baked in the oven to go hard. Would the finished product’s properties be suitable (hardness, brittleness, etc.)? How would one add color beyond just painting when dry (which seems undesirable as it would chip off)? Would this idea of molding clay and drying it in the oven even work?
- What about other cheap alternative Go stones such as aquarium pebbles? Has anyone ever had any success with makeshift Go stones such as these?