DIY Custom Michigan Rummy Board

Our family always had fun playing our own version of Michigan Rummy (there is also a version called Tripoly) as kids. Then last year we played it almost every night on our family vacation, using a modified board. It gave me an idea to build a custom board for my Mom.


As soon as I saw this case with two decks of cards at an estate sale several months ago I knew it would be neat for the board. I think I paid $1. The copyright date is 1947!


I’ve been wanting to build something with pallet wood and thought it would give the board a neat look. You can get free pallets all over by looking on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.


With the help of my pallet buster and some brute force, I broke down the pallets.


These containers with covers are from Menard’s, free after rebate. Another perfect piece for the project. I laid everything out to get a feel for the size.


After taking measurements, I mocked up a 3D model of the board’s top layer in SketchUp. It would be about 24×16 inches.


I also printed out the text using Arial Black for the letters/numbers and Futura for the suit symbols.

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I trimmed, planed, and jointed a bunch of boards.


Then glued up panels that would make the top and bottom of the board.


I measured and marked a bunch of lines and then placed everything where it would end up to get a better feel for the size and layout. I liked it.


I finished drawing in more details and did a rough cut of the outer shape with my band saw.


The scroll saw got heavy use cutting everything out. I also cleaned up the holes and edges with various sandering. You can see a couple of places where I started to carve in the text. It didn’t take long to scrap that plan though; it was going to take forever and some of the wood was really soft so I wasn’t happy with how it would turn out.


I decided to use raised letters that I’d glue on. After doing a bunch of work, I realized this would be much better because the containers would be up above the board, so it would have been hard to see the recessed lettering.

I used the band saw to cut all of the letters. More sanding to clean them up and then some spray paint.


I didn’t get any pictures of the next steps, which probably took the longest. I used a bunch of the cutoffs to build up an outer support ring as well as eight stacks in the middle to prevent something heavy from breaking the top or bottom panel. There was a lot of gluing, clamping, and band saw trimming. Finally I had enough layers and I was able to glue on the bottom panel.


After the glue dried I did a lot of sanding on every surface. I had tied in a piece of bungie cord earlier that would hold the card case in place. Then I drilled shallow holes so I could glue in (with epoxy) rare Earth magnets to hold the containers in place. I used CA glue to attach all of the lettering.


It was finally time for some finish. I used three coats of shellac (with light sanding after each coat) and a coat of wax polish. I spray painted the Michigan map on half of the containers and gave them two clear coats. The last thing was to stick some of those felt pad circles to the bottom and it was done. I really like how this turned out.


The layering you can see from the sides is a neat look.

Almost One Year of the Overlap Golf Grip

In about a month it’ll have been a full year since I switched how I grip a golf club. It was a rough go when I first switched and then I started this summer forgetting that I had switched. I’m completely accustomed to it now though and loving it. I haven’t had any finger issues and don’t get blisters on really humid days like I’d occasionally get with the previous grip.

Seems to be paying off in my scoring and consistency as well. Though there are some other factors in play there. Last year everyone in our group who had been playing from the blue tees moved up to white and while it’s not a huge difference, it is still a difference. Over the last month or so I’m really getting comfortable with a shorter, slower, and more controlled swing. It’s giving me consistency I’ve been lacking for years, so I haven’t been spraying the ball all over the course.

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Sawmill scoring (by 9s) since becoming a member

Now I need to figure out how to get the ball to the hole when I putt!

Running Down Memory Lane

When I visit Rogers City I usually don’t venture too far from my parents’ house. On Saturday morning I went out for a run around town, which brought back a lot of memories. I snapped a few pictures.


I was surprised to see the Bike Shop is still open. I remember being in there to get bikes tuned up, buy grip tape and stickers for my skateboard, and watch electric slot cars races. I never did learn how to do a proper ollie on my board.


I practically lived at “The Courts” all summer during high school. I’d practice my game during the day and one or both courts were running several nights a week. We had a lot of fun on those short side rims. I wonder when the main court got the glass backboards, because we sure never had those. I can still remember the smell of fish being cleaned (that building is the fish cleaning station in the marina).


The RC Car Wash was a turnaround spot when we cruised main. I don’t know who came up with the activity, but thinking back now, it seems silly to drive up and down the street all night, waving to the same people over and over.

I ran by empty lots where buildings burned down, like the barbershop where Jack used to cut my hair. I ran by the now empty and closed A-P Super Service (Dodge dealership). I ran by our old neighborhood on 3rd street, but the houses have changed so much I wasn’t sure I remembered which house we had lived in.

This year makes it 20 since I graduated. I’d never want to move back, but I’m glad I grew up there. A lot of things change in a small town, but many of the same people can be seen in the bars and at the grocery store.

Bridgeport Sure Grip 56 Nail Puller

On the ride home from Rogers City yesterday I stopped at the Mio Flea Market for the first time. I needed a break because I knew traffic would be picking up soon and the truck’s bench seat isn’t made for long trips.

I couldn’t believe it when I spotted this nail puller for $15. Several months ago Isaac told me to keep my eyes open for one. Now that I’m tearing apart pallets I needed one, so I guess I’m still on the hunt to find him one.

The patent (708841) was registered in 1902, so I’m curious when this one was manufactured. It was made in the U.S.A.