Sunday 22 September 2013


The other day I decided that it was time to take the air conditioner out of the window. We are still having some warm days, but the temperature at night is cool enough for a comfortable sleep. I have done it often enough that it isn’t a big job, but the conditioner itself is pretty awkward to carry. This spring I enlisted my son Brendan to carry it up the stairs for me, but that kind of made me feel like I was getting old. I am getting old of course, but I’d like to think I have a few more air conditioner lifting years in me.

I started out thinking I would just take it out of the window and then Brendan could carry it down the stairs for me. I felt good and managed to get a good solid grip on it and carried it down to its winter home in the storage room. I wouldn’t want to do it on a daily basis, but now I can use Brendan’s strong back for something else.

While I was down in the storage room, I noticed an old crokinole board that had seen better days. It was a modern board made of pressed cardboard, stapled and glued together, with a painted on surface. It worked, and when we got it, that was the best you could find on the market. My parents passed away in the meantime and I inherited the crokinole board that had been passed down from my grandmother. It was made of real wood with proper joinery and polished to perfection. I hang it on the wall in a spare bedroom more as an art piece than a game board. It is beautiful and of course whenever we play, that is the board we use.
The poor press board one in the basement has been pushed and kicked around for years. Very probably it has had an air conditioner balanced on it once or twice. There were a couple of gouges in it, some scratches and the playing surface has come unglued from the backing board. It was in sad shape! I decided that I should either through it out or try to repair it. We don’t really need another board, but you should always try to fix something rather than just tossing it out. Maybe that’s just me getting older and having a few gouges, scratches and coming a little unglued myself.

I took it out to the workshop, made some measurements and decided what would be the best way to fix this old board. I took the pegs out and gave it a good sanding so that the contact cement would adhere better. I found some laminate and glued it to the old top and then trimmed the excess laminate away. Holes were drilled for the pegs to go through and I drew new lines on the surface with a felt marker taped to a large compass. I drilled out the centre hole and that is where I have stopped for the day. Tomorrow I will repair the backer board and glue the two together. I will give it a good wax and it should be ready for playing.

I doubt if we will use it, because we have another board that is far superior, but I have a friend that used to play when she was little and I will ask if she wants to give it a good home. Otherwise, I will probably put it down in the storage room or donate it to the thrift store. No one plays crokinole anymore, well there aren’t many and unless you can use an iPad it will never regain its popularity.

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