Instructables
Picture of solid wood Chess-board
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I love playing Chess. Especially in the summer, sitting outside in the shade with a good friend and a cool beverage.
I have gone thru several boards thru-out the years and I have always wanted a good solid wood board. When the Toy contest opened and I saw the Maker-bot as a prize, I knew exactly what I wanted to enter.

In this instructable I am taking you through the steps of making a Chess-board.
The wood used for the squares are Cherry and Norway Maple, the border is made from Norway maple. All of the wood used was harvested from local tress fallen during storms. After a really bad storm I ALWAYS drive around with a chainsaw offering to help and haul away some of their larger pieces (so glad I have a trailer).

The actual squares are 1-1/2" X 1-1/2". The whole board with the border is about 12-1/2" X12-1/2".
 
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Step 1: Plan and gather your lumber

I'm really not one to draw up and go by plans. I really don't even like following plans. That being said, I do sketch ideas and make notes to figure out my rough needs for a project. This does have draw-backs at times, but I'm still able to "wing-it" with most projects.

A Chess/Checker-board consists of 64 squares total (8 columns and 8 rows).

After a quick sketch and some math, I found a couple of boards. The boards I have are rough sawn 5/4 boards (VERY ROUGH).

hi nice job but what do you need to make it like the tools, materials.

SlickSqueegie (author)  Thatrandomguyy4 months ago

I used a table saw with a crosscut sled, lots of clamps, yellow wood glue, and a hand plane.

dpfoerster5 months ago

Hi! Are the instructions coming back? would really like to build your chess-board.

SlickSqueegie (author)  dpfoerster5 months ago
http://www.mdwoodart.com/chessboard.html
http://www.mdwoodart.com/intarsiachess.html
SlickSqueegie (author) 7 months ago

thanks!

campgrover7 months ago

I am curious as to how your chess board is holding up as the seasons change. I notice that you glued the framing pieces right to the solid wood board edges, both with the grain parallel to the board (which is OK) and across the ends of the the board with the edging grain running perpendicular to the board grain (which is bad). This looks like a recipe for disaster, as the board will expand and contract with humidity, most likely opening up gaps at the corners of the edging, when it swells, possibly ending with some complete joint failures. The "correct" way to have installed the edging would have been to let the board "float" in a frame and panel type of construction to allow the chess board "panel" to expand and contract within the frame "edging" (like raised panel cabinet doors, for instance).

Thank you for sharing your project, because it looks stunning. But please update the community if you do see any failures as the seasons change. We are all here to learn. If no joint or glue failures, I am happy it worked out for you.

SlickSqueegie (author)  campgrover7 months ago

Hello,

Thanks for your comment, I understand your concerns, but the board is just fine. no issues (as of yet anyway). This is the way wooden chessboards are made.

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SlickSqueegie (author) 12 months ago
lol. Which ones? I have hear them called f-clamps before, but those say (right on them), "bar clamps".
SlickSqueegie (author) 1 year ago
Thank you. They are easier than ya think. :)
Congratulations!! You won :[).
SlickSqueegie (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya1 year ago
:) Thanks! I see you won as well. Congrats, back at ya!
Awesome... I am just wondering what would be your great project for the upcoming woodworking contest :) and btw congrats for being a finalist in the Father;s Day contest.
SlickSqueegie (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya1 year ago
"Upcoming woodworking contest"??? When?
And, thanks!
See this.
http://www.instructables.com/community/List-of-Upcoming-Contests/
SlickSqueegie (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya1 year ago
Oh, that is so cool. I will have to come up with a big idea for it. I wonder what the prizes will be.
Not a Lathe please , you already have one ;) LOL
great board...i think my next project...love that chess...
SlickSqueegie (author)  jimmitchell19431 year ago
Thank you. I would love to see it when you finish it.
rimar20001 year ago
Beautiful board.
SlickSqueegie (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Thanks Rimar
framistan1 year ago
I made one once but I didn't have the big machines you have. All I had was a sabre-saw and a hand sander. It was more work and more difficult to keep the squares in line but it IS possible to build one without the big machines. I regret making the squares less than 2 inches though. The larger chess sets need a minimum 2 inch squares.
Here is the board I made. The dark squares are made out of an old scrap piece of oak barn wood. The white squares are made out of new oak wood. The picture shows the edge of the board so you can see I had to do wood filler to all the edges between squares. The chess pieces are all made out of CONCRETE except the white knight... it is real wood. The blue thing in the back is a concrete queen coming out of the silicone mold. I have not made very many things out of wood. Mostly I build electronic things.
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SlickSqueegie (author)  framistan1 year ago
You made a Checker board with rough milled lumber, using only a sabre saw and hand sander? You have some serious skills, I really would love to see it... and many more woodworking projects.
You mention "big machines", I guess this is how I feel when I see people using laser cutters and CNC machines to cut their parts out... As far as the size of my board, I am making custom pieces, so I can make it any size I want. I just have to make the chess pieces to fit the squares...
If I had bought pre-milled lumber, I would not have used the "joiner" then the only other power tool I used was a table saw. and sander. I hand planed those boards flat... not a machine....
Great looking board. I'd be confused by the dark and light squares on this particular board. Fantastic instructions though. You make it look easy!
SlickSqueegie (author)  bananaghost1 year ago
Thank you. When you sit in front of it, it isn't confusing at all. Some spots blend a little more than others, but that's the nature of the wood.
ffcabral1 year ago
The concept is so great. I love how the contrast between the black and white squares is so subtle, and even so, there are no two squares the same shade, yet it is still recognizable as a Chess board.
This is something I would definitely keep in my living room.
SlickSqueegie (author)  ffcabral1 year ago
Thank you so much. The subtle difference is what i was going for, The cherry used was kind of wild grained and different in color though out that board that it does kind of blend a little too much in some spots, but I have no problem seeing the difference. and ended up really liking the color contrast on it. Thanks again.
Very nice and great job.:) Looks like the one my dad made a number of years ago only that one is mostly honey coloured. He also carved a number of pieces for it too.
SlickSqueegie (author)  Treasure Tabby1 year ago
Thanks very much. I do plan on turning out a chess set instructable soon. as well as checkers...