For my youngest son's birthday I build him a chess board with storage box for the pieces.
Step 1: I BOUGHT a CHESS SET
When this set arrived I was very impressed. They are beautiful. The pieces are a nice size (KING is 3 3/4"), and even though they are plastic, they have nice weight to them. They call for squares 1 3/4" to 2 1/2". It was time to make a plan.
Step 2: BASIC IDEA
You might already know I have a small shop, limited tools and a bunch of home made jigs. Was I intimidated with the scope of what I was about to tackle? No way. You don't need planers, laser cutters, huge work areas, jointers, massive table saws with equally massive out feed tables, band saws, scroll saws...but they would surely be nice to have. I just took my time, thought it through and plugged away toward my goal.
Step 3: MATERIALS FOR THE BOARD
A chess board is 8 squares x 8 squares. Each square will be 2" square. Taking away 1/8" for each saw kerf, I could make the board out of two different color pieces of wood, each 3' long. I selected red oak and poplar, 1/2" thick.
Step 4: THE BOARD
I ripped each board in 2" wide strips. I alternated the boards: oak, poplar, oak; glued them together, cut the dried glue-up in half (18") and glued that to make one board.
Step 5: THE ALTERNATING SQUARES
I ripped the board into 2" wide strips to make each square 2" x 2". Then I flipped over every other strip to get the alternating squares and glued it all together.
Step 6: DECORATIVE BORDER
My original idea was to do inlay which I've never done before so I improvised. I glued the board onto 1/4" MDF. I made a decorative border. Glued it all in place and when it dried, I applied Tung Oil.
That "pen" in the next to last picture is the marking knife I made in my MARKING KNIFE INSTRUCTABLE. Take a look if you want.
Step 7: I CHANGED THE PLAN
It was at this point I decided to make the board itself pull out and not have a separate drawer for the pieces. Since I glued the board onto 1/4" MDG, I now I needed a way to trim all but a tab around the board. I hot glued a piece of old curtain rod and put a flush trim bit in my router and trimmed the excess MDF away, repositioning the curtain rod for each side.
Step 8: THE STORAGE BOX
Four 2' long pieces of 1 x 4 red oak (3/4" x 3 1/2") with a groove cut in each piece for the MDF to slide into. I cut one side down so the board would be able to slide out, saving the cut off for the pull.
Step 9: I FOUND a REALLY NICE PIECE FOR THE BOTTOM
I routed a rabbet for the bottom and cut a piece of 1/4" to fit.
Step 10: I ADDED DECORATIVE SPLINES
I cut spline slots, then glued and trimmed splines. All these decorative pieces of wood for the splines and the border around the board were a father's day gift from the son for whom this chess board is being made. He got me a box of assorted hardwood cut offs, shown in the last two pictures. (If you are interested, take a look at my Spline Jig Instructable)
Step 13: TUNG OIL
I finished it off with several coats of Tung oil. It really brought out the grain. I attached the bottom.
I avoided mentioning sanding since I did so much of it. I sanded at every stage, going from 60 to 320 grit.
Step 14: FINISHING TOUCHES
I made dividers and put in the pieces. I cut halfway through slots in 1/4" x 1 1/2" lath which I could flip and slip together. See my CROSS CUT JIG INSTRUCTABLE. Take a look if you'd like.
Step 15: THE FINISHED BOARD AND STORAGE BOX
And all of this was done in my little shop with basic tools. I think my son will like this gift. What do you think?
I added a picture of the set sent to me by my son.
Step 16: PROLOGUE
I hope you enjoyed this Little Shop of Jarfold Instructable. Comments and questions are always welcome.