Fire Station Marble Boards – DIY

Fire Station Marble Boards – DIY

Marble boards are a fire station tradition. As a rookie, I played a lot of marbles. Somehow at my new station, the marble board must have disappeared over the years. Fire Station marbles utilize a Wahoo style marble board. I’ll show you how I made my template and how you can re-create this project. This can be a great Christmas gift to your firefighter or a great addition to the fire station.

I made my template by utilizing a scrap piece of chalkboard. However, thin plywood would also work. You don’t necessarily need to make a template if you are only making one marble board. However, I plan to recreate this project numerous times. The template is worth the effort, even if you plan to make only two boards. Also, I found that other people will want to borrow your template, if you have made one. So that makes it even more worth the effort to make a template.

I actually have made three templates. Two that were for larger boards (one for me and one for a friend) and one for smaller boards.

I just marked my boards where I needed my holes drilled and utilized a spade bit to make the template holes. I found that a 5/8″ spade bit allows a big enough hole for the marble drill bit to seat completely for a clean divot. When I utilized a 1/2″ spade bit, the marble drill bit sat on top of the template and allowed some movement where some of the holes looked misshaped.

Place your template on top of your board and clamp it securely in place.
You can either use a router if you have one or just purchase a marble game drill bit.

I purchased my marble game drill bit from Rockler. Here is the link:

You can see here where I had some movement. I was able to wood fill the holes. Then I just re-drilled after the filler was completely dry.
The trim I attached.

Not every marble board needs to be trimmed out. They look just fine without the trim. However, the trim can add a very useful lip to the board to keep the marbles from sliding around if disturbed. Getting a run in the middle of a game and everyone scurrying to the fire apparatus can cause a disruption. Sometimes even an intended disruption by someone losing the game. Ha! In my case, I created the smaller size boards with a specific goal of how I would gift them. I wanted them to be utilized as gifts for members in the hospital or with family in the hospital. I was stuck in a rut of giving either a cross or a plant. To be honest, sometimes it felt that neither was a perfect gift. Instead I wanted a gift that would pass the time or create some good memories of a hospital stay, if there is such a thing. The trim lip on this piece needed to be just big enough to keep marbles from hitting the hospital floor and small enough to not be cumbersome in a carrying bag.

I bought the canvas bags and the crayon holders online.

I found the perfect size bag on Amazon for easy containment of the gift to and from the hospital. Here is the link: Axe Sickle 4PCS Canvas Tote Bag Bottom Gusset 16 X 16 X 4.6 inch Heavy 12oz Tote Shopping Bag and the super stacker crayon container was the perfect size for the marbles and some dice. Here is the link:

You can personalize your board in so many ways. I plan to create an upcoming post that will show you how I customized mine so that you can also re-create these customized boards as well. Here are the three boards I have created to date.

Fire Station Marble Board I created for our Station.
A perfectly contained gift. Now to customize the bag for the member.

and in the middle of the night… I decided on how I wanted to customize the bag!