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Bug checkers...you make them from dowels, just for the fun of it.

Bug checkers . . . you make them from dowels, just for the fun of it

It's bees versus ladybugs in the game of bug checkers. Round wooden insects do colorful battle on any standard checker-board, to the delight of players accustomed to ordinary red and black markers.

Bug checkers start out as 12 to 13 inches of 1 1/4-inch-diameter hardwood dowel (sold in 3-foot lengths at lumberyards). To give the wood fly-away forms, you'll need a small bottle of gesso or wood sealer, two 1/4- or 1/3-ounce bottles each yellow and red enamel (used for model making), one 1/4- or 1/3-ounce bottle of black enamel, fine sandpaper, and a fine-tipped (number 2 or 3) paintbrush. Also have paint thinner at hand to clean the brush. Total cost to make the checkers will be about $12 if you have to buy all the materials.

Using a radial-arm saw, table saw, or handsaw in a miter box, cut 24 rounds, each 3/8 inch thick. Sand the cut faces smooth and seal the wood with gesso or sealer. When dry, paint 12 of the rounds red and 12 yellow with two or more coats of enamel paint.

You'll need a steady hand and a fine-tipped paintbrush to add features to the rounds. Before setting brush to bug, trace a few rounds and practice the patterns on cardboard. The picture at left shows two simple designs, or you can make up your own uncomplicated insect image.

Photo: Young player's swarming killer bees have the ladybugs on the defensive. Colorfully painted homemade checkers fit on standard board

Photo: Cut length of dowel into 3/8-inch-thick pieces. A strip of tape on bed of radial-arm or table saw marks thickness

Photo: Pain simple patterns on rounds. Ladybug is umbrella with six dots; bee has solid wedge-shaped head, striped wedge rear
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1986
Words:308
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