I’ve been making sets of pentominoes for many years.  The twelve pieces, each made up of five connected squares, fit into 6×10, and all other rectangles of 60 squares.  I added the square tetromino for an 8×8 board, which is also square.  Originally, I made the pieces out of baltic birch plywood, and beveled the edges.  For more elegance and playability the pieces are made from individual woods.  This contrasts the pieces so they are easier to find.  The wood is quartersawn, so the pattern doesn’t detract from the color of the wood.  Quartersawn wood finishes brighter, because the sliced open rays on the face are cut along their length, sending the light right back to you.


Extreme closeup of a bag of pieces cut, waiting to be finished.  The thickness is 5.5 mm, or just under 1/4 inch.  The unit squares are 3/4 inch, or 19.05mm.  Tolerances have been kept to about one-tenth millimeter, or one-two hundredth of an inch (All cuts are within .005 inches).  Digital calipers are a blessing and a curse!  I need an inch and a half:  the test cut is 1.498 inches(after 1.451, 1.504, 1.520).  OK, I’ll live with it.  The very white wood is holly.


Here the pieces have been coated with a wash coat of shellac.

20081222-016.jpg A box of boards.  All the boards are about ten years old, waiting to be finished.  The cherry piece on top is done.  Masking tape covers the incised boards, which are finished prior to the frames being glued around them.20081223-001.jpg

Two sets of pentominoes.   The woods:  V:  Basswood, Z:  Cherry, Red Cedar, F:  Koa, I:  Yellow Pine, Ebony, L:Maple, P:  Holly, N:  White Oak, T: Mulberry, U:  Padouk, W:  Poplar, X:  Bolivian Rosewood, Y:  Red Oak, D:  Yew, Plum.  The Frames are Mahogany and Plum.  The boards are 9mm Baltic Birch, with 1/16 inch width grooves.


More to come.

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