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How to Build an Aggravation Game Board

You can build a wooden Aggravation game board at home.
measuring tape on wood image by Willee Cole from Fotolia.com

Aggravation is a classic board game that can be crafted at home with a sheet of wood and some simple woodworking tools. A homemade Aggravation board is a beautiful display piece that is also functional as a game board. The key to building an Aggravation game board at home is to make careful measurements so the board has a balanced look and keeps the marbles in their spots as they move around the board.

Prepare the Board

Purchase an 18-inch square piece of wood 1 inch thick to use as the game board. Oak, walnut and maple are all attractive and sturdy choices.

Mark eight spots along the edges of the board 5.25 inches from each corner. Using a ruler, draw lines to connect each spot to the next one, making an octagon shape on the board.

Saw off the corners off the board on the marked lines using a circular saw.

Sand the edges of the board so they are all smooth. If desired, round the corners slightly to give the Aggravation board a softer feel.

Make Wells in the Aggravation Board

Mark the spot in the exact center of the Aggravation board with a pencil. The center indentation or well that you will make here will be the reference point for the rest of the wells in the board.

Measure and mark the locations of the home zones for the marbles. For a four-player Aggravation board, the first home zone wells will be 2.25 inches up, down, left and right from the center marking. Mark three additional wells in a line continuing away from the center, each another 1.125 inches away.

Mark the locations of the wells that will make up the game board track. The center of each of these wells should be 2.25 inches to either side of each home zone well. In addition, mark a straight row of five wells 1.125 inches apart that link each of these two new rows into a "U" shape.

Mark the locations of the wells for the marbles to start in. These four wells are outside the game track, spaced 1.125 inches apart in a straight line between the center dot and the centers of the diagonal edges of the board.

Drill wells in each of the marked locations on the board with a plunge router. For marbles 1 inch in diameter, the wells should be about 3/4 inch in diameter and 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Drill a test well in a piece of wood you cut from the board's corner to ensure that the marbles fit nicely before completing the Aggravation board.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sheet of hardwood
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Plunge router


Aggravation can be played with six or even eight players on a larger board. Each player needs his own home wing for his pieces, so boards for more players will need to have more wings extending from the center. Aggravation boards can also be made with longer tracks consisting of six holes in each wing and five marbles per player. To make this type of Aggravation board, start with a board 20 inches square and add one hole to each row extending out from the center.

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