Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Restoring A Tired Old Shove Ha'penny
Even though the game of Shove Ha'penny is not nearly as popular as it once was, boards can still be bought new from various sources. At best these will be made from solid hardwood, usually Oak or Mahogany, possibly even hand made and very attractive. The cheapest available are usually made from particle board, laminated with hardwood. Perfectly serviceable for play, but often uninspiring to look at and more prone to irreversible damage, particularly if accidentally exposed to moisture which will often raise the veneer.
Alternatively, there are numerous older boards to be found if you're prepared to hunt around antique and collectors shops, and so long as you're careful to avoid obvious damage and unacceptable warping, you'll end up with a much more attractive board, and often a far superior playing surface. Inevitably, an old neglected Shove Ha'penny Board may need some TLC before it's ready for play, so here are a few tips for restoring a solid wood board to playable condition.
The principal faults with this old Mahogany Board are one or two splits in the wood, tarnished Brass Lifters which are stiff to use, a surface which is dry and marked, and the Brass end rail is tarnished and loose. In it's favour, the splits are minor and not in the playing zone, the board is still totally flat and un-warped, and all lifters are in situ and not significantly bent or damaged.