Chess Board (Glass Tile)




Introduction: Chess Board (Glass Tile)

About: I enjoy simple DIY projects and enjoy sharing them with others. I'm 33 and I am a sheet metal worker by trade. I really enjoy remodeling and making things. I'm married and have two wonderful children.

I previously made an instructable on a chess board. And even though I was satisfied with the results, I wanted something slightly smaller and more unique. This chess board is made from aspen and mahogany for the border. The backer is made from oak. And the board itself is made from some mosaic tiles I found at the hardware store.

***The video shows the process and results of the chess board and might give a better explanation***

The materials I used were:

  • 3/4" Aspen
  • 3/4" Mahogany
  • 1/2" Oak
  • 12" X 12" Mosaic Tile
  • Wood Glue
  • Brad Nails
  • Hot Glue
  • Butcher Block Oil

The tools I used were:

  • Table Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Orbital Sander
  • Router
  • Thickness Planer
  • Brad Nailer
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors / Utility Knife

Step 1: Step 1: Prepare the Frame

I started out by cutting a piece of aspen and a piece of mahogany to 23 inches on the miter saw. Following that I set the fence on the table saw to 1 inch and ripped 3 pieces of mahogany. Once those pieces were ripped I set the fence to 3/8 of an inch and ripped three pieces of aspen. I had to pay extra attention to this part mostly due to safety reasons. The fence and the blade were so close that it was very difficult for me to use a push stick.

After the aspen is ripped we will take the mahogany we ripped to one inch and rip it again with this same fence setting.

Now you should have 3 different sets of strips.

  • 3 Aspen at 3/8"
  • 3 Mahogany at 3/8"
  • 3 Mahogany at 1/2"

Next I used a thickness planer, take as little off of each piece as possible just to get rid of the saw blade marks. Planing both sides of each piece.

Step 2: Step 2: Glue the Frame

I ended up glueing the frame in such a way that I could get 3 individual strips from clamping everything together. I only glued the 1/2 inch mahogany and the 1/4 inch aspen and then stacked them altogether in this pattern:

  • 1/2" Mahogany with glue
  • 1/4" Aspen with glue
  • 1/4" Mahogany without glue

Now because I did not add glue to the 1/4" strip of mahogany, and there was no glue to the front of the 1/2" mahogany, these pieces will not stick together and they can all be glued up together. This just saves time and clamps!

Step 3: Step 3: Prepare the Tile

I did a little searching and I finally came across a mosaic tile that would work for this chess board. Originally I wanted to use marble tile and then cut it on my wet saw but I was unsuccessful in finding anything that matched the other tile. So here's what I came up with.

I cut out each strip individually using scissors and then I switched to a utility knife only to go back to the scissor method because this would cut the wire mesh as close to the tile as possible.

After that I set up a little 90 degree jig on my work table that would allow me to align the tiles into the "black / gray" pattern.

***I had to go through this because each piece of tile is not the same. They vary in size around a 1/32 of an inch and when you have 8 rows each way this makes for a big variation***

After the pattern was done I took 2 other pieces of wood and butted them up to the opposing ends of the pattern using a square. By doing this it would give me the largest measurements from the tile and I would cut my border to these measurements.

So by doing this we have to keep our pattern in the EXACT order. So I flipped each piece of tile over doing one row at a time all-the-while keeping each column the same as the pattern. This will ensure that the pattern does not get mixed up. I even went a step further and labeled the rows and columns.

Step 4: Step 4: Backer and Border Prep

I wanted a strong backer so I went with 1/2 inch oak plywood. I ripped this to 11 x 11 inches. I started out ripping 11 inches on the table saw and then finished squaring it up on the miter saw.

By this time the border should be dry so I ran each piece through the planer getting rid of any high spots ensuring that each piece would be identical. Then I switched out my normal table saw blade to a dado blade. I just went with 1/4 inch. I dadoed the borders 3/8 inch wide by 1/2 inch high.

Step 5: Step 5: Assemble the Base

So when I measured the largest part of the tiles, it was 10 1/4 x 10 1/4. this is what you want your inside of your miter to measure plus a 1/16 for play. I cut 4 pieces 10 5/16 x 10 5/16 inside with a 45 degree angle. Each end was then glued and hit with a brad nail.

***If I were to do this again, I would have used a thinner brad but this requires a different gun***

Then for the backer I glued the edges and placed it face down on the border on which we dadoed out for earlier. Being that we dadoed out 1/2 of an inch the backer should sit nice and flat!

I routered the top using a round over bit and then sanded with 220 grit.

For the finish I simply used butcher block oil just to bring out the look of the two woods. I really liked the contrast between the two.

Step 6: Step 6: Glue Tiles

Now it's time to glue the tiles. I pondered the idea of using a caulking adhesive or hot glue and I'm glad I went with the hot glue. This stuff really sticks. I actually made a mistake and had to chisel of a few pieces to fix it. I didn't have to use a lot of hot glue either and everything dries very quickly.

With the tiles being labeled and flipped over already this made this process a breeze. Just glue and flip. I added slight pressure to the top of the tile for about 5 seconds just to make sure that the tile had bonded to the backer.

I ended up getting some glue on a couple pieces of tile but this came off with a sharp razor blade. Also to get the finger prints off, I simply used a household glass cleaner.

That's it for this instructable! I hope everyone enjoyed it and if there are any questions please feel free to message me! Thanks for looking.



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I like it. Nice alternate use for those little mosaic tiles.


    2 years ago

    Yes! some who caires about chess! you know I tried this idea with sea glass but yours looks way better