3D Chess Board





Introduction: 3D Chess Board

A multiple level 3D chess board. Made of walnut, each block is at a different height to add a fun and artistic factor to the classic game of chess. With a proper workshop and a few pieces of walnut lumber, you can build your own 3D chess board in less than a week. This craft is both appealing to the eye and also a great way to test your skills of chess in a whole different way.

Step 1: Finding a Design

The process of actually deciding which style of chess board was hard. I wanted to make it very appealing to the eye, something that someone would be interested in with the first look at the board. But at the same time, not make it too confusing to play the classic game of chess on. So I went with the multiple level block design to give the board a 3D look that would give it immediate attraction. The only inspiration I had was from looking through different designs of cool chess boards online and finding a design that fitted my expectations of the project.

Step 2: Drawing Out the Plans and Materials Needed

The plans are in the figure above. Nick Fairishon, Liam Gorman, and myself all contributed in making the plans and the beginning stages of the project. We had to make the plans simple enough to be able to make the chess board in a short amount of time. The numbers in each block show the height (in inches) that each block of walnut will be. In between each level, there is a 1 inch difference. These plans helped a lot for organization and assembling all the blocks after each was cut down to size.

Materials Needed:

  • Proper workshop w/ all the necessary tools and machines
  • Walnut lumber
  • Wood Glue
  • Bar clamps
  • C clamps
  • Blowtorch
  • Protective fire proof gloves

Step 3: Preparing and Cutting Each Block


  • Obtain walnut lumber
  • plain and cut each piece down to 3/4"
  • Cut 3/4" strips
  • Glue two pieces together, making it 1-1/2" in diameter
  • After it drys (typically after 24 hours), cut each strip down to the size according to the plans

Step 4: Assembling and Gluing

After all the cutting, I was able to place each piece in there correct places according to the design and the figure above.

Step 5: Burning and Final Gluing

Taking every other block, I used a blowtorch to burn the top. This would be the pattern for a typical chess board. After that I glued everything together to create the final product in the process.

8 People Made This Project!


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60 Discussions

Loved this so much, I made it. Maple wood and maple stain. Great instructions and just wanted to say "Thank you ever so much for sharing!".


I was not clear on what "light to right" means. The near right corner for each player needs to be the lighter color used. In other words the corner to your right is always the lighter color.

1 reply

What size of walnut boards did you buy?

HI SamanthaKecko: I may be able to assist. I am going to be making one for myself and if all goes as planned, making a second would not be an issue. I am going to be on vacation in a few days and will begin at that time. Will keep you posted and in touch.


I am so happy and thankful to see this board! I have been trying to purchase this type of board through a seller. He had completely lied to me and told me it was lost in Texas. When, in reality, he never sent it or planned on sending it. I spent $200.00 and had to create a case with the gentlemen to get my money back. I am not a craft person, I cant even cut a straight line! But I am desperately looking to purchase this type of board for my friend who is an amazing chess player and would absolutely love this. Is there anyone that knows where I can purchase one? Or would someone be interested in making the board and selling it to me? If anyone could please respond with any help I would truly appreciate it.

Worderful! Thanks!!!!!

Actually it isn't that hard. at first i thought it would be too, but once i made it, i thought it looked cool with a little amount of work

Hello.May I know, how did you get the 3d chess board or did you make it?

what size chess pieces work best . height ?


1 year ago

Made mine from basswood. Decided to paint it and used 2x2 black and white tiles. Not done yet..



H' like to know the height of chess board,the highest bar?



2 years ago


I'm yet to sand and glue it up, but here's my version! Made from walnut and elm!

2016, 14:57.jpg2016, 14:57.jpg

I am sending this to my Brother---- He is recovering from amputation of his right leg and has turned to his wood lathe for mental therapy and getting around in his electrical wheel-chair. He also plays and collects interesting/unusual chess boards and has made a couple of them. This will be good to set his teeth into.

Since I like to play with fire, maybe you can blow torch the ones that are to be black, and then glue. Though the idea of staining is just as good, or better yet, but two different kinds of woods that have contrast.

I fixed your picture so White is Right.

3D Chess Board2.jpg

White queen belongs on a white field!!! Kasparov would not be able to play this (not because of that white queen)...