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".

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).
<p>Hello, great project thanks for sharing! I've just completed the second glue-up and sanded it all down again but I've noticed a kink in one of the corners meaning the board does not lay completely flat. Is there anything I can do about this, such as clamp it flat and leave for days hoping it will stretch, or is it something I'm going to have to put up with? (This is my first woodwork project)</p><p>Cheers</p>
<p>My thoughts, assuming I understand your dilemma, would be to plane down the trouble side to get everything flat. </p>
<p>Great Instructible, I'm thinking of making one for my teacher and burning a map into it.</p>
<p>Hi - thanks for the instructions. I'm more or less following them as I give this a shot. </p><p>I have a question. Between steps 7 and 8, did you run the endges through a jointer or otherwise true them up? Despite my best efforts, the edges after the second glue up are not perfect and I don't think a border will glue on right. I'm wondering how running the checkerboard wood through the jointer would work, since the grains alternate. </p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>hello, no, mine luckily turned out well enough. But in your case, if you have a hand plane, try that. If no hand plane, I would maybe try and run in over the table saw to clean up the edge.</p><p>If you have to cut a lot of the edge off to make it all even, it will look odd. So in that case, I would do the opposing side of the board the same size. You could then designate the start areas on the board saving the work you have put into it already. </p><p>If the cut is minimal and hardly noticeable, you are good to go. </p>
<p>thanks. it was only a tiny bit - 1/16&quot; or less, but I just cleaned it up with a table saw. You can't tell those squares are a tiny bit smaller. I figured a jointer would not be a good idea here.</p>
<p>awesome! You should post a pic. </p>
<p>also, no, do not run it through your joiner. That would be asking for trouble... Never a good idea to run end grain over a joiner...</p>
<p>hi nice job but what do you need to make it like the tools, materials.</p>
<p>I used a table saw with a crosscut sled, lots of clamps, yellow wood glue, and a hand plane.</p>
<p>Hi! Are the instructions coming back? would really like to build your chess-board.</p>
<p>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 &quot;correct&quot; way to have installed the edging would have been to let the board &quot;float&quot; in a frame and panel type of construction to allow the chess board &quot;panel&quot; to expand and contract within the frame &quot;edging&quot; (like raised panel cabinet doors, for instance). </p><p>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. </p>
<p>Hello,</p><p>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.</p>
lol. Which ones? I have hear them called f-clamps before, but those say (right on them), &quot;bar clamps&quot;. <br>
Thank you. They are easier than ya think. :) <br>
Congratulations!! You won :[).
:) 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.
&quot;Upcoming woodworking contest&quot;??? When? <br>And, thanks!
See this. <br>https://www.instructables.com/community/List-of-Upcoming-Contests/
Oh, that is so cool. I will have to come up with a big idea for it. I wonder what the prizes will be. <br>
Not a Lathe please , you already have one ;) LOL
great board...i think my next project...love that chess...
Thank you. I would love to see it when you finish it. <br>
Beautiful board.
Thanks Rimar <br>
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.
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. <br>You mention &quot;big machines&quot;, 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... <br>If I had bought pre-milled lumber, I would not have used the &quot;joiner&quot; then the only other power tool I used was a table saw. and sander. I hand planed those boards flat... not a machine.... <br>
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!
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.
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. <br>This is something I would definitely keep in my living room.
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.
Thanks very much. I do plan on turning out a chess set instructable soon. as well as checkers...

About This Instructable




Bio: I've built houses, decks, custom cabinets, furniture of all types. Ive done furniture repair and restoration, residential and commercial remodels, restaurant seating and tables ... More »
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