Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dartboard Cabinet

I have always been a fan of Darts, especially the game Cricket.
For my next project I plan on making myself a dartboard cabinet, complete with closing doors, and chalkboards. 

Finding the plans on line for a dartboard are really simple.  There are so many to choose from.  I decided to make mine based on the plans from http://www.3dwoodplans.com/dartcabinet.html

Despite the thorough list of supplies and instructions, I made the dartboard cabinet using a 3D program called Sketchup.

And to make it easier for myself when I pick up the materials at the hardware store, I made an illustration of each piece of wood I needed to buy, marking where all the cuts will be made.

I am hoping that I can have these cuts made at the hardware store.  I love the jigsaw I bought for my DIY Sawhorses, but on such large pieces of wood, I am not confident I can make perfectly straight lines.

Once I bought all the materials, and had them cut, I took everything home and began construction.

The first part I will make will be the doors.  Since the good people at Lowes were not able to cut the curved parts of the door, that I will have to do using my jigsaw.  To that extent, I created a template of the shaped to be cut in Adobe Illustrator.

I then printed the shape on to card  stock, and marked the template.

I then taped the template to my doors and using a pencil marked where the cuts will be.

Then I took out my saw and began cutting.  Once the cuts were made, I clamped the 2 pieces together and sanded all the edges to make everything nice, smooth and even.

Then I took out the plunge router add-on to my dremel tool, and began to add a bevel to the edges.

The edges came out pretty well, but I still need practice with the router.

Once both doors were routed, I drilled holes where the door knobs will be.

I screwed them both in and they look nice.  The screws were too long for the doors, so I'll just have to trim the screws a bit.

With the doors done for now, I focused on making the rest of the cabinet.  I took my sides and marked the positions for the screw holes.

I then drilled the holes.

This is where I ran into problems.  Either the wood was labeled incorrectly at the store, or I just picked the wrong wood, because this wood is very tough to drill through.  I actually bent and broke some screws too!  I apologize for not having pictures of this - at the time I was getting quite frustrated and the last thing from my mind was documenting it.  After walking away from the project for a little while, I came back with a new idea.  Not wanting to ruin the wood, or any more screws, I decided first to glue the 4 pieces together.

Then I lined up the doors to the frame to make sure everything fit correctly.

Once the glued dried overnight I put the frame on top of the hard wood backer and drew a line to mark where to cut.  This will be the backer of the cabinet.

Then I cut the hard wood....

Once everything was in place I bought some 90 degree braces, and I strengthened the frame with those.

It's not the prettiest thing to look at, but it's quite small.  Plus when the dartboard is in place no one will notice them.  Next I grabbed my hammer and some nails and nailed the backer to the frame.

Then my landlord helped smooth out the sides with his block plane and some sand paper.

Finally I went back to my poorly drilled holes and filled them with wood filler.

Once the filler dried, I sanded everything smooth.

Now I have the doors complete, and the frame complete.  It's time to put this thing together!  I marked off the spots where the door hinges will go, and drilled holes for them.

Then I screwed the hinges to the doors.

And then the doors to the frame.

Then I added a magnetic clasp on the inside of the frame and the doors to make everything stay shut magnetically.

And then I added 2 mounting hooks to the back edges.

Looks great so far!

Then I ran to Walmart and bought myself a dartboard.

I put my new dartboard inside the cabinet to make sure it fits.

To mount the board into the cabinet, I was going to use a hook - but the hardwood is thin and I was afraid it would not handle the weight of the dartboard after a while.  So I simply screwed the board to the cabinet using screws.

For the next steps, I plan on working on the insides of the doors.  I plan on painting black board paint to the insides, so I can keep scores in chalk.  But this will be done after I stain the wood.  But I will start work on making wood chalk holders - which will also hold 2 sets of darts.  So I bought some wood which was close in size to the wood described in the instructions.  I marked the measurements in pencil.

And then I cut the wood using my jigsaw.  Next I marked the areas where the darts will be placed.

And then I clamped the 2 pieces together and drilled holes for the darts.

Then I routed the sides and sanded.

Next I glued them in place on the inside of the doors.

I cleaned up excess glue and clamped the pieces in place until they were dry.

Once everything dried, I tried out the darts in their new holders.

The darts are a little too close to the doors for my taste, but they do fit.  But these are cheap and somewhat wide darts.  Once I get some good darts (which might be thinner) they may fit better.  If not, I'll just have to drill new holes a little farther from the door.  Next I took it outside and gave the whole thing a good sanding.

After cleaning up all the dust it's time to stain everything.  To do this well, I disassembled the whole thing.

And I took it outside to stain.

Once it dried I added some coats of polyurethane.

Once everything dried I put it all back together.

I gave the whole thing a slight sanding with very fine sandpaper to remove a few particles that had dried on while outside.

Then I put on the handles and attached the dartboard.

Then I made markings on the insides of the doors for the chalkboard areas and masked it off with tape.

And then I painted on some chalkboard.

After the first coat had dried a few hours, the wood texture still showed through, so I will give it a second coat, but I have to wait 24 hours before applying a second coat.  Everything looks great, but I feel the front doors needed a little something else, so I created a graphic for the front using Adobe Illustrator.

I printed it out on some card stock.

Then I added some strong transfer tape (double sided) to the back.

And finally cut it out.

I then applied these stickers to the front doors.

Then I decided to give the wood a more worn, distressed look, so I used various grit sandpaper to rough out the edges and other parts of the doors.

After applying the second coat I decided to re-drill the dart holders.  I also drilled them at an angle.

I also found a spot on a wall to hang the whole unit from.  It may look slightly crooked, but it's intentional (our floors/ceiling are not perfectly level).

When the second coat of chalkboard paint dried, I painted a silver border around the chalk board with a paint marker.  Since the wood stain and chalkboard are dark in color, the border will make it stand out a little more.

And I'm done!

This has been another fun project to work on.  But it will be even more fun to play with!

Thanks for reading!!

Thanks for reading!!!


  1. Brilliant! It's been years since I played a game of darts, but I'd love to have a go on this beautiful set up. Great work as usual, Timbo!

  2. Thanks Phil! I'm not quite the skilled wood worker yet - but I'm learning! Any time you're in the states you'll have to drop by for a game!

  3. Great job. Love it!! I'll play you a game of darts anytime as long as there is a wager! LOL. I'm tired of whippin all the guys butts around here. (Sanger, Ca)

  4. Thanks Kristina! I wager that if you can whip the butts of every guy around you, you can probably whip mine as well. But I'm up for a challenge!!

  5. looks good man! what program did you use to design your logo?

  6. what were the measurements for the rounded door cut?

  7. What were the measurements for the rounded cut on the door?

    1. each door panel should be 11 3/4" wide, 29" on the highest point of the top slope, and 23 1/2" at the lowest point of the top slope. If you need further explanation you can give me your email and I can send you the original PDF that I worked off of.

    2. Hi Timbo- Do you have a PDF of the full plans and curve template? If so are you willing to share them, I would love to try my hand at making one.

    3. I have a sketchup file I can share. Would that work for you?

    4. yes! That would be amazing. I have used that application before. You can send it to craigslistbuys2012@gmail.com if that works for you?

  8. Tristanmombourquette99@outlook.com
    I would like the full explanation please, i am trying to make this case for fathers day