Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Laser Engraver on the Way!

The A3 Laser Engraver
The A3 Laser Engraver

Monday, 31st July 2017

In the coming weeks there could be laser-etched hnefatafl boards finding their way to the shop. Over the weekend, I ordered an A3 laser engraver. This should hopefully allow me to make more boards for custom hnefatafl games.

I had intended to try out a small laser engraver, suitable for doing 150x150mm (6") boards like the Brandub games I have so much trouble finding the time to make. But the larger engraver was less than 20% more expensive, so I can now engrave up to 300x380mm (12x15"). The largest boards I have made until now have been 250x250mm (10").

Having the larger engraver means that as well as engraving a replacement product for the brandub game, I can think about engraving 9x9 and 11x11 boards too. I'd particularly like to make boards with the letters and numbers for the ranks and files, suitable for tournament use; I've found my hand isn't steady enough to do these with the soldering iron!

The machine is posted from China, so it will take a while to get here to Hull. But in the mean time I'll be trying to find more information on it so that I can have some printable patterns prepared.


The laser sounds like a great way to make the game boards. I woodburn by hand, and I don't think most people realize how time consuming it really is, especially on hardwood. I spent 4 hours a day for three weeks stipple burning The world tree on a piece of red oak, and the design was only 9"×12".

VALDR - 21:54, 03/11/2018

Hi, can you tell us anything about your experiences with the laser engraver? Do you get acceptable results? I'm curious. And is reliable software available?

Sincerely, Klaas.

Nickodaddy - 13:16, 12/02/2021

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