Veneering a table top chess table #2: Putting the Apron on the chess surface

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Blog entry by Karson posted 06-16-2007 01:19 AM 4821 reads 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Making the Veneered surface Part 2 of Veneering a table top chess table series no next part

Placing the apron on the veneered chess surface.
First you sand the edge of the chess surface to make all edges smooth.

Then you select the veneer that you want for the aprons. I selected Bees Wing Eucalyptus from Dons’ and Tony Wards and other’s country Australia.

I cut the sheets with enough length to allow for a full overlap on the outside edge.

I am taping them to the surface with the back side up. I place the apron veneer all the way around
I turn it over and tape all of the seams

Turn it back with the back up, because you want to see the corners of the chess surface.

Then you place your ruler or straight edge so that it intersects the corners.

Then tape down your ruler. It probably will require more tape than I used.

This is now probably the time for the trusty Xacto knife.

Cut the angles for the corner and separate the pieces.

You might find that the edges don’t fit too close, so use the sanding block to smooth the edges.

You now have the apron cut around the chess board.

Turn it back over and tape all of the seams.

Turn it back over and remove the tape from the back

Ops! A boo-boo A piece missing from the seam area so pick up one of the scrap pieces so make a patch.

Well Golly Be. It wasn’t a missing piece of wood; it was an extra piece of tape.

You might notice the larger than expected gap at the corner seam. Try to pull it together with the tape, or this will become your practice for mixing sanding dust with super glue to patch fill the seams.

You will note that the surface is approx 25” square, but there are splits on the edges. What I do is I glue it to the substrate as it is. And then I cut it square on the table saw. I might use 26” square substrate so that all edges of the veneer are protected. I’d draw a line around the substrate to match where the borders of the chess top should line up.

But that’s another post. On another day.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

5 comments so far

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4483 days

#1 posted 06-16-2007 03:03 AM

This is really great, Karson! I’ve often wanted to do a chess table and was always concerned about wood movement with the pieces. I really had no idea that it could be done this way. Thank you!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View HandsOgold's profile


95 posts in 4451 days

#2 posted 06-16-2007 04:37 AM

Thats the way I USED to do it. But blue masking tape can leave a slight residue that can pick up sanding dust. For a project such as this, treat yourself to some veneer tape. A huge roll costs about 6 bucks. I place it on the “Good” side of the project and glue down the back with the tape still on. The best part is that while blue tape is minimally elastic, Veneer tape dries pulling the butted pieces tighter. It can be removed by iron steaming after the glue has become permanent.

-- Dan

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4847 days

#3 posted 06-16-2007 04:59 AM

I’ve never been good at getting the veneer tape to stick, and stay stuck. I use clear sealing tape now because it doesn’t press into the veneer. and it’s easy to come off. I use a scraper. I find that I have better control on the veneered surfaces than with a ROS. I still use it but with fine grits so the veneer doesn’t disapear and the substrate appear.

The scraper also peals off glue that comes through the surface.

You need to be good at sharpening though. A dull scraper takes a loooong time.

Maybe a few more trials with the veneer tape. I just bought 2 new rolls a couple of months ago.

Thanks for the suggestion, and your experiences.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4533 days

#4 posted 06-16-2007 05:26 AM

Looks great Karson! This is one of my “one of these days” projects. I’d love to try my hand at veneering and I think the 1st thing I do will be a chess board.

-- Bob

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4758 days

#5 posted 06-23-2007 06:14 PM

Karson, I’m going to be revisiting these often! It’s the next best thing to having you there in person.

-- Jesus is Lord!

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