Pitchnut Board #100 finished on January 13th

The first pitchnut board I built was back in 1988. I fished some old cabinets out of a dumpster and fashioned together a board with masonite and pine baseboards. Bad idea. The board was virtually unplayable, masonite is not smooth, the pine dented and the cabinets had been painted. Ten years later, I built 4 new boards. They were much better, but the sides were a bit too high. I still have one of them, board #1 resides in my classroom for the ARHS pitchnut club to play on. Thanks to my nephew, Trevor, who taught his friends to play when he was in high school, I launched the ARHS club and started building this rare French-Canadian game.

Pitchnut has evolved since 2006 through trial and error. Wood glue is a must, as my first few fell apart. The socks need to be thick and durable. Brass screws don't rust like the steel ones. And little bits of brass tubing provide a nice bounce on the screws. I've recently started marking the lines with pretty colors. The second week of January, I built 8 new boards, just in time for the Addison County Croki-Nut Day. As a reward for organizing the tournament, I presented Ben Meader board #100 (and I confiscated his much-abused and not completely finished) #78, which badly needed some sanding and some carpet.

I hope to keep building for years. Mass-producing them would be tempting, but there's something honorable about a hand-made game that can be passed from generation to generation. Each has its own character and life. Here's to the next 100...