"Are you saying routered lines are not as good as painted lines to play on?"
No I wouldn't say that routered lines are inferior to those that are drawn on the board. I only mentioned it because it caught my eye.
I don't think I've seen this discussed very often but it's probably worth polling opinion on it. If anyone has any theories or observations please chime in. I've also seen pictures of boards that have brass wire or a fancy wood inlay to mark out the lines.
My first question would be - which is the easiest method of demarcating the circles and quadrants?
My guess is a line drawn whether with a Sharpie or whatever. Next would be the routered lines and lastly the the routered and then filled in with wire or something else that contrasts enough to clearly mark the limit of the circles etc.
Now, why would anyone do something more difficult if it made for a worse playing board?
For aesthetic reasons maybe - sometimes the ink or whatever bleeds into the wood or simply doesn't make a very sharp distinct line apparently. A routered line makes a nice distinct mark, but does it affect the travel of a disc passing over it? That's the real question here.
The Hilinski brothers in the States make a lot of boards with routered lines. Beautiful boards, they have high standards but they like to experiment and make every board different. I have two of these routered boards and another with a fancy veneer and inlay lines, and though I find the routered boards a little what I would call 'skippy', that is, that the discs seem to bounce around a bit- get airborne more easily than on say one of Willard's boards, I'm not willing to attribute this characteristic solely to routered lines. Could it be because the Hilinski boards come with either bare wood or stainless steel pegs (they supply cut rubber tubing to put on the pegs if you want that but these wrap pretty tightly on the pegs so I think they give more rebound than the rubber clad screws)? Or is it something in the wood material or the finish that make the discs travel over the board differently? Is the rail a different height so that I shoot differently?
A final consideration - is it just my imagination maybe, since we tend to use Willard's boards because that's what is used at Tavistock and is the standard we like to aim for at the NCA tournaments, so that's what I play on 80% of the time. That said, I think Jake Ruggi of Hamilton makes routered boards and I don't find them as skippy but a bit more than Willard's maybe. He uses rubber clad screws.
Well I think I've probably talked off the top of my head long enough. I'll pay more attention in the future and try to get some more play in on a routered board see if I can come up with something more intelligible next time. I'd love to hear what all the rest of you think.
One last word, I've found this skippy quality in boards with ink drawn lines too, usually homemade with a very glossy finish but perhaps not perfectly consistently flat, or again when I'm using those smaller fatter discs (29 or 30mm).
You should take some shots with that super slow motion camera zoomed in and compare them. I'll help you if you like. I think the routered boards are more difficult to play on.