Building a Go Board

I thank everyone for their kind help. @Skurj, I am extremely grateful for all of your help, and I appreciate your detailed responses. My instructor confirmed the idea today, I will start the construction tomorrow. He says the plan seems to be very solid. However, I will actually be using the laser for the lines instead of the sharpie despite what I had planned. Using the laser is going to be a lot easier than I anticipated, and my instructor said that it will be safer. In addition, he said that we can simply etch the lines to appear very dark on the board instead of using some filler. Here is a brief summary of the planned procedure:

  • Rough-cut oak stock to 19 1/2 inches

  • Square one side of board

  • Rip-cut these planks into 2 1/4 inches (this will eventually be the thickness of the board)

  • Square all sides of all stock, then face to face glue-up of stock

  • Plane to final thickness, sand, laser lines, and use polyurethane for finish

Again, I thank everyone for their help and if anyone sees a problem with this procedure or has any suggestions I will be glad to hear them. :smile:


A long time ago, I read a reddit or forum post about someone using a laser to make lines on a self-made go board. They had used the website (linked below) to generate a template for programming the laser.

Fully customizable:
Preset Templates:


Update 5/9/2019:

The project is moving along significantly quicker than I originally thought. I already have all of my strips cut and am almost ready for the glue-up. I just need to square all of the sides. I expected serious difficulty a couple of days ago because the board I selected was extremely warped. However, I will not have to work it down as much as I previously thought. Thank you very much for the templates @yebellz! I will see if it is possible to input the 19 x 19 file into the software. If so, it will make the process much easier. :smile:


A few years ago I created a print file for a Goban, beginning with a file from the mentioned gungfu Web site.

IIRC I had to clean up the file, so here’s a clean SVG file that should work with your Laser thing.

If you need other sizes for lines or Star Points, let me know and I can change the file quickly.


(NOTE: If you use “Dark Mode” for the forum, the image is hardly visible :wink: )

Could be that you need those lines and Hoshi changed to outlines like for cutting … let me know in that case also.


I really appreciate all of this help! The printer probably supports .svg, but I know for sure that it supports .jpeg, so I converted a customized one over to that format. Hopefully that will work. My instructor will be thrilled if it does!


12 posts were split to a new topic: Off-Topic xkcd etc. fun split from “building a Go Board”

A post was merged into an existing topic: Off-Topic xkcd etc. fun split from “building a Go Board”

Update 5/23/2019:

My original intention was to update very frequently, but the last couple of weeks have been extremely busy as I am working on final school projects and have been somewhat behind with a couple of things. Sorry about not keeping up with the updates. The game board has been progressing very well overall. The project is glued-up, planed, and cut to the final dimensions. All that is left is some sanding, the laser, and the finish. Now for my mistakes:

The project has had to be worked down a lot more than I had hoped for due to the somewhat crude oak I had selected. The final project dimensions are 17-7/16 x 18 inches. This is okay thankfully, because the standard grid will still fit comfortably on the wood. The board also turned out to be 1-1/8 inches thick as it was worked down in the planer quite a bit. I would honestly make it even thinner due to the fact that there are still a few imperfections in the wood, but there are some knots that I don’t want to break open. However, my biggest mistake occurred after the glue-up. Due to the length of the glue-up table, I had to perform three separate glue-ups and then glue them all together into one. This created a big problem because before the glue-up, many of the boards were warped and had to be squeezed together tightly. As a result, the end planks of those three separate glue-ups were really warped and could not be fixed when I went to glue all of them together. In the end, there were two spots with cracks, splitting the whole board into thirds. One of them was fairly small and not a big deal after everything was cut to size, but something had to be done about the other one. I cut through that crack, squared up the exposure, and glued them back together, thus solving the problem with the one. However, I cannot cut the other one because the board will likely not be wide enough if I do. Like I have said, the crack is small and not too noticeable, but I do have a possible solution that might work all together. Research has told me that one can stick glue and very fine saw dust into those cracks and make them look almost unnoticeable. Does anyone have anything to say about this? Any thoughts, suggestions, or concerns? Again I thank everyone for their time.


Finally! The project is now finished and I brought it home today! Sorry about the horribly low picture quality (the pictures are also much more of an orange color than they should be). This is the best camera I have. Overall, I am very happy with the end result, although the lines that I lasered into the wood could have been a bit darker. My teacher even gave me little rubber feet for the bottom to keep the board from scratching tables and I used a scratch-resistant satin polyurethane for the finish. The laser template that @yebellz provided for me worked perfectly. This was truly a great learning experience, and I have benefited from the course as a whole. Thank you all for helping me make this happen. I have loved OGS for the great game I have learned to play, but even more than that, the community that has been extremely friendly to me and willing to help with anything. I give particular thanks to @Skurj, as he sacrificed a great deal of his time by providing me with detailed and descriptive information. Without his help, this would not have been possible and I hope to grow up to be half as good of a woodworker as he is someday. Seriously, thank you all for you time! :grinning:


Good job! Hint: If you take a photo of it outside (not at night obviously :woozy_face:), the image will have more of a natural color to it.


That’s a real nice looking board you got there!

Sorry I missed that last post about the cracks, there is plenty that can be done to fix those problems. But it looks like you got it under control.

Excellent work. Hopefully this is not the last thing you build =)


Thank you @smurph! I will be sure to remember that in the future.

Thank you @Skurj! I did indeed make several mistakes along the way, but corrected most of them. There is still a small crack in part of the end-grain that I probably should have corrected but it isn’t too noticeable. Seriously though, thank you for your abundance of information!

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this looks like an interesting project and i might try one myself though perhaps a 9*9 before i try and build a full size. i will take a slightly different approach (once i have finished my hbm bounty model). i have a very accurate table saw so will cut lots of cubes for the squares of identical size. then use tinted glue between them for the lines and drill tiny holes for tiny dowels/Filler for the points. then surround by a frame…


That sounds really awesome @matrimsaric! That type of a procedure would be too complicated for my skill level, but I wish you the best of luck. It is truly fasinating to work on these kinds of projects.


That will be interesting to see when it’s done!

Another idea I had for the table saw is to fashion the board from a slab, where the grid lines are cut with a series of dadoes and the border is built with mitered strips like a picture frame around the edges. Then I’d fill in the cut grid channels with turquoise or metal inlay.


That could be quite stylish… Though one huge weakness to the project is that I would have to buy some expensive stones to match the board…


I’ve seen something similar but the lines were done with veneer glued between the cubes.


Oh yes. Out of sheer necessity.

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I like this idea. It looks like you can get narrow blades as well, 1/16" (1.6 mm) or so, which should make for a nice linewidth.