I have fond memories of playing the Aggravation board game with my grandma when I was a kid. It’s very similar to Parcheesi, a much older game, and it’s a little like Sorry. If you aren’t familiar with the rules, here is a short video with a concise explanation.
Wood versions of Aggravation typically have shallow dimples or divots that the marbles sit in. To make this kind of a board, you will need a plunge router or a drill press to get consistent depths. I decided to make my version just using a hand held drill, which worked out okay, but had some issues. Mostly, drilling a lot of holes in the thin plywood is tricky because the outer plies tend to chip and split as the drill bit bores through. My solution isn’t perfect, but it’s doable.
Makers Care 2017
This is my Makers Care project for 2017! The theme this year is Make Time 4 Play. I hope you get involved by making any project you like that expresses the theme! We have prizes this year from Microjig, Kreg Tools, Ryobi, and WWMM. This year we are raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Making the Aggravation Board Game
I taped together my drilling template and mounted it to a 3/4″ thick scrap board.
I sandwiched an 1/8″ thick sheet of plywood between the board with the template and another scrap 3/4″ plywood board. Putting the game board between these two pieces will help prevent the thin plywood from blowing out and splintering.
Once I had these three boards firmly clamped together, I drilled small pilot holes in each of the circles, then drilled out the final, large holes.
For the most part, this method works, but there were still some minor chipped areas around some of the holes, but not enough to worry about. If you want to try this, a better choice of material would be MDF, which would leave really nice, clean holes. I think solid wood would also produce better results.
I printed out another template to cut out the hexagon shape for the top layer, the 1/4″ plywood. In retrospect, I should have done this first so I could have used the same template for the holes layer.
Next, I marked the holes on the thick 3/4″ base piece that needed painting to match the marble colors.
When the paint was dry, I could glue the layers of the sandwich together.
Once these were all adhered together, I squared up the edges.
To make the frame, I cut wide grooves in some solid lumber and mitered the ends.
I slid the game board into the grooves, glued the mitered corners together, and finally sanded everything smooth.
- WWMM Aggravation Board Game (pdf)
- Sketchup file
- WWMM Aggravation Board Game – METRIC (pdf)
- Sketchup file METRIC