Introduction: Chess Piece Display Frame

Had these beautiful chess pieces made of silver alloy with glass enamel that were hidden in their case. Time I built a nice frame to display them. I took an existing frame with a glass front and added a box to the back of it. The box was divided into compartments with wooden strips forming small compartments for the chess pieces.

I have posted a short video on how I made it and to give you a sense of how it looks.

Step 1: Selecting a Frame and Building the Wooden Dividers

I went through some of the frames that we had and selected a couple which seemed the right size. I placed the chess pieces on the frame and picked one which seemed about the right size to display all 32 chess pieces.

I still had a bunch of oak flooring strips that I had picked up from a freecycler so decided to make a divided box out of that. I slit a set of strips to create less wide strips (about 1.5 inches wide) which would form the vertical dividers. The narrower vertical strips would expose more of the chess pieces. I measured the locations for the slots on one strip for the vertical dividers and then bundled the other vertical strips to the marked strip. Cut the slots out on a bandsaw and then chiselled the slot out.

I did the same for the horizontal dividers. These horizontal dividers were 2.5 inches wide so that they would be able to support the chess pieces.

Step 2: Assembling the Dividers Strips

The 7 vertical strips would slot into the mating slot of the 3 horizontal strips creating a strong grid. The grid would be framed by four strips which would not have any slots creating the box walls of a box.

For some strange reason, I had somehow cut 5 vertical strips rather than the 7. So went back and cut two more vertical strips. I then slotted the horizontal and vertical strips to each other after applying glue to the slots. Let the glue cure overnight.

Step 3: Attaching the Dividers to a Thin Plywood Base.

I cut two strips for the top and bottom of the box. I also cut a piece of scrap 1/4th inch plywood to the dimensions I wanted with a circular saw. I glued the bottom strip to the plywood as shown the 2nd figure. Once this was cured, I glued the grid onto the plywood and to the bottom strip. Finally I glued the top strip to the top of the plywood and to the grid. The sides of the box are still exposed which I would finish in the next step.

Step 4: Attaching the Two Sides and Staining the Wood

I then attached two strips to the left and right side of the box with glue as shown. While the glue was curing I started staining the wood with a Mocha wood stain left over from my nesting tables project. I now had a completed box with dividers which would hold the individual chess pieces. I toyed with the idea of lining the divided compartments with felt but it would be too much work.

Step 5: Attaching the Divided Box to the Picture Frame

I cut down a piece of a piano hinge with a hacksaw. I placed the divided box into the frame and then screwed this hinge into the frame and into the divided box. I also attached a wire to hang the frame and then placed the whole frame plus box onto a wall hanger.

Step 6: Displaying the Chess Pieces

Finally placed the chess pieces inside and swung the frame door shut over the box.

Wife is incredibly impressed at how the whole thing came together! She now wants me to make one more for another set of hand carved wooden chess pieces we have.