Chess/Checkers Board From Tree Stump





Introduction: Chess/Checkers Board From Tree Stump

This is a Chess/Checkers board that I made was cut with a chainsaw from a yellow poplar tree stump we have on the property. I used a belt sander with 60 and 80 grit sandpaper to smooth down the rough edges from the chainsaw cuts, and worked up to 300 grit on a vibrator sander.

After both sides were smooth I used paint masking tape in a square of 11 x 11 inches (Happened to be the biggest board I could fit on the slab I cut) and then put masking tape in rows of 1 3/8 inches horizontally and vertically. With 3/4 of the board masked off I used a dark stain from Menards, and you can see the result of that in the 1st picture. I had to take care with the stain, because unlike paint, the stain will tend to bleed into the wood, so I had to be extremely touchy with how much stain I used at the edges.

After that I masked the other portion of the board so I could finish staining the remaining black squares, as well as painting a 1/8 inch black   edge around the border of the squares.

Once the painting was complete I finished the board with 6 coats of a semigloss polyurethane, sanding with 300 grit sandpaper between each layer to ensure a smooth finish. Additionally to finish the bottom, I used some felt furniture sliders to keep the wood from scratching the table.

I'm hoping to fit in a project to make some scrollsaw cut Chess pieces for the set, but for now It is making use of some checkers pieces we made from a 1 inch diameter dowel rod



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    the best board game ever

    i play it always online here but it's nice to play it on the board with family and friends.. really it makes the brain work...

    hi . just noticed you had a heart shake in you piece of wood. so that is what cause your piece of wood to split in the middle.

    Not only creative, but unique. Awesome work.

    How did you cut this piece from a log without having it split after? Mine split right down the middle.

    1 reply

    Over the last year a 2-3 inch crack has propagated in the middle. I'm not sure why some seem to crack worse than others, but I have some theories. I coated both sides with polyurethane, which I believe slowed the drying process from the inside. This seemed to at least slow the cracking on the one I sealed vs. the second one I didn't. I think it also depends on the type of wood you use. From what I've read oak is one of the worst, and is very difficult to keep from cracking.

    I attribute my success mostly to luck.. I have very little experience in this type of thing, but in the next few days I'll post what the piece looks like after one year.

    Hope this helps!

    I like seeing things done with engrain slabs like this -- it's proof that there's a way to do it. I've been playing with oak stumps for a long time now, but they split. How do you cure/season these?

    great job, very neat idea!

    Looks amazing! I want to make one with wood burning now.

    This is gorgeous! I gotta make this sometime.