Picture of Magnetic Wall Chess, with custom board
The idea behind this instructable was based entirely around my lack of space.
I wanted to be able to play chess, both in person, and over long distance. the latter requiring a set to be set up most the time.

As i don't have the room to store a set up chess set, i decided to make a magnetic version, to be hung on the wall.

So, here we go, and bare with me, theres alot to this one.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Getting Equipment, Materials

Picture of Getting Equipment, Materials
ok, list of equipment goes like this
  • Decent Cutting board - the larger the better
  • A sharp exacto / scapel knife
  • A sharp Stanley knife
  • plenty of spare blades
  • A A4 inkjet printer
  • A4 Laminator (optional but recommended)
  • PVA/Wood Glue

List of materials
  • Two sheets of Dense card (as in pictures below)
  • Plenty of Mountboard style card (same thickness etc)
  • 64 Small magnets, these must be the same depth as your dense cardboard! (many great sellers on ebay for these)
  • Paper (obviously)
  • 32 Magnetic washers/coins (most 1pence and 2 pence pieces are magnetic CHECK THEM FIRST THOUGH!)

Think thats it!

Step 2: Cutting the main board!

Picture of Cutting the main board!
Firstly, you need to print off some template goodness
Templates(all the pdfs you need are found in this directory!)

Picture 1- So, using your favorite program print off the four corners, so you get something like this

Pictures 2&3- Stick these corners together, and then spray mount them to the dense board (make sure you use a temporary adhesive.

Picture 4- I started by cutting along the long curved edges leaving the corners as shown

I then took off these corners leaving me with the board cut out as in picture 5!

Now is a good time to use the first board to draw around onto your second piece of the dense board.

Cut this second piece out the same as the first.

ps. as with all the cutting in this -ible many stroke with a sharp blade works best!
1-40 of 66Next »
flamingo.mall5 months ago

Amaizing, thanks a lot¡¡ I wait for the next suggestion.

BoeroBoy5 years ago
Fanstastic! I'll add that to my list of winter projects.
gmjhowe (author)  BoeroBoy5 years ago
I am actually working out a crazy new chess set atm.
BigNateMI6 years ago
Wondering if a few layers of that magnetic paint would be adequate to use on the board instead of planting individual magnets on each square? Then you could put the decal over the top. I picked up a quart at a garage sale for $2.00, and I may have to try just painting the chessboard onto my kids' wall.
gmjhowe (author)  BigNateMI6 years ago
It might work if you used penny sized magnets on the pieces, but at that point, you're better off using sheet metal on the board. The neodymium magnets are just strong enough to hold the pieces, so i can't see the magnetic paint working.
dimeH6 years ago
Howdy! You know what I noticed with my magnetic chessboard? The pieces migrate on their own! This is not an unexpected result as you establish complex field gradients within the board itself. Gradients which change as the game progresses and/or as the pieces migrate (of their own accord). Trick is to place the pieces squarely in the center of their respective square which allows you to keep a sharp eye out for a sneaky illegal side-slip. In castling - always move the king first (2 squares) and no two-handed chess (even with the clock). Thanks for sharing.
gmjhowe (author)  dimeH6 years ago
Hi thanks for the comment! Ive found that its very hard for the pieces to jump on my set. If you place a piece half way across the line, it just sits there. I didn't plan it that way. I just go lucky! Is your set one that you made yourself?
dimeH gmjhowe6 years ago
No I didn't build it .. store bought set perhaps a ten by ten inches .. pretty shiny metal with moderate weight plastic pieces - magnets are similarily moderately powerful ... it's not a mini - micro board ... but it's certainly not particularly large either .. nice knapsack size. Mine definitely tend to slowly creep on their own. Kinda cute actually : ) I like your non rectangular board layout ... quite clever as there is little room to move in as far as distorting board geometry without significantly affecting the 'lay of the game'. Belongs in Spocks game room aboard the Enterprise. Kirk out!
gmjhowe (author)  dimeH6 years ago
Nice, i would have liked to have used better materials for this one. But, i felt card was best suited for wall mounting. The board i made is actually bigger than most, i wanted a full size feel to it. The pieces are also much bigger. The reason why i made the board that shape, is that i wanted it to be different, but i also knew my fiance would never learn 3d chess. So, this set was born. Im actually looking to reproduce the board for some better pictures to go in scroll saw magazine. Got any pointers for emprovement?
scoobert6 years ago
Where are the chess piece templates? thats the part I wanted most. Thanks.
gmjhowe (author)  scoobert6 years ago

I am planning an updated version of this ible, so keep an eye out.
Berkin6 years ago
This is...

TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ItsTheHobbs6 years ago
neat! wow, you're sooo cool!
gmjhowe (author)  ItsTheHobbs6 years ago
haha, thanks!
Hi! First .. a BIG thank you for the inspiration! That is one great idea!! Nice work... I'm wondering where I could find the grid template? ... i can't find the link... could you help me please? and again ... thank you !
gmjhowe (author)  chopstick0006 years ago
here is the link to the files.

Thanks for the comment, be sure to reply with a picture if/when you finish it!
Haha... love the "if/when" ... no doubt! i will!! Thank you for the link and the quick answer!
gmjhowe (author)  chopstick0006 years ago
Your welcome, i look forward to seeing it!
JDPMD6 years ago
Why not make the pieces shorter with flat top on each, and on tops put the flat standard symbol for each piece, for wall chess use as well as instant conversion to table top.
gmjhowe (author)  JDPMD6 years ago
Good idea, thanks!
edge3506 years ago
Nice job, got a custom set there. Great idea too--I don't have the room to leave out my set either so it lays forgotten in the closet. On the wall it would scream out "lets play" when friends stop by. Just an idea. If your pieces don't happen to hold up too well with use. (Say they start wearing out, or you play someone who gets sweaty hands when they hear "check" too often.) You can make a set with some balsa wood. Use your same method as you did on with cardboard pieces. Then finish it with some durable furniture stain-sealant or wood sealant of your choice. They would be plenty lightweight.
gmjhowe (author)  edge3506 years ago
Indeed, that is a good suggestions if and when the set need redoing. I did coat the peices in PVA glue, which essentially gave it a good hard wearing plastic coating.
catso236 years ago
Wouldn't it be easier to buy a chess set and add the magnets?
gmjhowe (author)  catso236 years ago
I did buy one, however the pieces were smaller than i wanted. A set of pieces the size i wanted would have struggled to stay on the board. Hence i made light weight pieces.
Cool looking chess board! Wouldn't a 2D style be better for on-the-wall playing, though?
gmjhowe (author)  morgenlandfahrer6 years ago
well i also wanted to be able to dual use, as in wall storage, and also playing like a normal set.
rachel6 years ago
This is really pretty, I love the shape of the board.
gmjhowe (author)  rachel6 years ago
Thanks, i love the shape also, different, but still the same board.
lumpy27836 years ago
I like the Instructable! And the format of the board and the picture u used in the template with the clouds is sweet. Does the board really serve its purpose though? You hinted the magnets were not too strong and the pieces move a bit. When you turn the board on its side, do the pieces move much?
gmjhowe (author)  lumpy27836 years ago
The pieces only fall off if i hold it upside down and shake it up and down! i basically made the laminate layer thick enough that it weakened the magnets to the right point.
gmm4life6 years ago
Could you post the templates for the chess pieces? I just got into chess again and I love the design of them!!
gmjhowe (author)  gmm4life6 years ago
the link to the templates can be found at the beginning of step 2! enjoy
Whoops! guess I missed that... Thanks a lot! Love the Instructable.
Blitzy6 years ago
Your idea is neat I just copied piece symbols onto paper and used a large posterboard for the background. I dropped these into plastic photo pockets i glued onto the board so they slip in and out, on one board i used velcro but that was too costly and messy. I've also made some beautiful chess boards out of 18 inch tiles that were plastic I got at lumber centers in the floor section. I made the squares the typical even 2 inch or other just so they are 8 evenly spaced squares then drew the lines with a magic marker and make the dark squares with the marker filling them in. Follow up with a clear sealant spray and presto a neat looking board to make it look better use tile and round off the edge with some quarterround wood. One can even sell these.
gmjhowe (author)  Blitzy6 years ago
nice, it all sounds great! any chance of some pictures/instructables?
Dr.Paj6 years ago
Wall chess? Now why would you put that on a wall when you have a perfectly good table in the picture? Would you play it like darts? (Dart chess would be more fun.)
gmjhowe (author)  Dr.Paj6 years ago
Well, if you had read the intro, i do explain why it has to go on the wall. The table pictured is my hobby table, and blocks my door when set up. so, the chess set goes on the wall! I agree with ur idea of dart chess, you get extra points for knocking other pieces off!
Dr.Paj gmjhowe6 years ago
I got your king!
Kiteman6 years ago
That whole set looks really good, even without the magnets. Are the pieces your own design?
gmjhowe (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
Yes, the pieces are my own design, i had designed them alot more ornimental but that proved to take too long to cut out so i simplyfied the design. If i get into chess again i intend to send the set off to and get them made in acrylic! thanks for the comment.
1-40 of 66Next »