Chess board. #4: Having opposite grains.

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Blog entry by degoose posted 11-08-2010 08:14 AM 4628 reads 3 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Making the board.. Part 4 of Chess board. series Part 5: Progress... out of the clamps... »

When making a traditional chess board from timber, the two different timbers are cut into 4 boards each… glued together in alternating stripes and then cross cut and rotated and reglued to make the checker design.. This also gives the squares the same direction of grain pattern.

I know that most people shy away from cutting all the squares and then gluing up each piece … but as most of you will know, I have had much practice and for me it is no more difficult than glueing two boards together..

Doing it this way enables me to have opposite grain orientation..

I trialled this today with just one species of timber…

I selected the highly figured and coloured pieces of Camphor Laurel for the darker squares and as a contrast some very plain and indistinctive pieces as well..Each piece is 55 mm [2 1/4 inch] on each side.. The finished board is just over 25 mm [1 inch] thick.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

17 comments so far

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3893 days

#1 posted 11-08-2010 08:30 AM

Very pretty, Larry! The cutting board I did for mom had 132 blocks in it, only about 2x a chess board, but it took me HOURS of hard work. I appreciate your skills and your speed!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18672 posts in 4188 days

#2 posted 11-08-2010 08:58 AM

Larry, You mean you rip two pieces of one color, then cross cut 2 pieces of the other and glue them up ?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3873 days

#3 posted 11-08-2010 09:21 AM

Hey Larry,
Looking good mate.

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3400 days

#4 posted 11-08-2010 10:06 AM

If your boards get any nicer, they are going to distract the players from their game.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4491 days

#5 posted 11-08-2010 10:27 AM

I love the wood in this one.

Very nice.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 4195 days

#6 posted 11-08-2010 10:29 AM

dont you get the same effect if you cut the boards one across the grain and one with the grain?

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3576 days

#7 posted 11-08-2010 11:21 AM

Great looking board Larry:

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3582 days

#8 posted 11-08-2010 12:12 PM

Larry do you get any crossgrain movement on these pieces which could break the glue joint? or are the pieces too thin? I’d be interested to know,beautiful contrast by the way

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View lew's profile


12862 posts in 4267 days

#9 posted 11-08-2010 04:10 PM

Love the grain in the Laurel.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 3316 days

#10 posted 11-08-2010 05:39 PM

Very gorgeous, the corners and all match up perfectly. That is a very pretty wood

View stefang's profile


16752 posts in 3846 days

#11 posted 11-08-2010 05:55 PM

The camphor laurel really rocks Larry. Great looking chess board.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3676 days

#12 posted 11-08-2010 06:02 PM

Very nice, I don’t play chess anymore, but it would be fun to make and give to someone that does.

Thanks for the tutorial…......


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Kristoffer's profile


675 posts in 3728 days

#13 posted 11-08-2010 07:01 PM

Larry, I think that what Jim is trying to say is that you should send me this chess board (since I still play chess). Or, he wants to make one and send it to me;-)
Great looking board! Thank you for posting it.

-- Cheers and God Bless

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4089 days

#14 posted 11-08-2010 07:03 PM

Check M8 well done

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1910 posts in 4184 days

#15 posted 11-09-2010 02:34 AM


-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

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