Chess/Checkers Board From Tree Stump




This is a Chess/Checkers board that I made was cut with a chainsaw from a yellow poplar tree stump we have on the property. I used a belt sander with 60 and 80 grit sandpaper to smooth down the rough edges from the chainsaw cuts, and worked up to 300 grit on a vibrator sander.

After both sides were smooth I used paint masking tape in a square of 11 x 11 inches (Happened to be the biggest board I could fit on the slab I cut) and then put masking tape in rows of 1 3/8 inches horizontally and vertically. With 3/4 of the board masked off I used a dark stain from Menards, and you can see the result of that in the 1st picture. I had to take care with the stain, because unlike paint, the stain will tend to bleed into the wood, so I had to be extremely touchy with how much stain I used at the edges.

After that I masked the other portion of the board so I could finish staining the remaining black squares, as well as painting a 1/8 inch black   edge around the border of the squares.

Once the painting was complete I finished the board with 6 coats of a semigloss polyurethane, sanding with 300 grit sandpaper between each layer to ensure a smooth finish. Additionally to finish the bottom, I used some felt furniture sliders to keep the wood from scratching the table.

I'm hoping to fit in a project to make some scrollsaw cut Chess pieces for the set, but for now It is making use of some checkers pieces we made from a 1 inch diameter dowel rod

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    12 Discussions


    1 year ago

    the best board game ever

    i play it always online here but it's nice to play it on the board with family and friends.. really it makes the brain work...


    4 years ago on Introduction

    hi . just noticed you had a heart shake in you piece of wood. so that is what cause your piece of wood to split in the middle.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    How did you cut this piece from a log without having it split after? Mine split right down the middle.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Over the last year a 2-3 inch crack has propagated in the middle. I'm not sure why some seem to crack worse than others, but I have some theories. I coated both sides with polyurethane, which I believe slowed the drying process from the inside. This seemed to at least slow the cracking on the one I sealed vs. the second one I didn't. I think it also depends on the type of wood you use. From what I've read oak is one of the worst, and is very difficult to keep from cracking.

    I attribute my success mostly to luck.. I have very little experience in this type of thing, but in the next few days I'll post what the piece looks like after one year.

    Hope this helps!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I like seeing things done with engrain slabs like this -- it's proof that there's a way to do it. I've been playing with oak stumps for a long time now, but they split. How do you cure/season these?