Going wild at the chess board!!

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Blog entry by degoose posted 04-26-2009 10:39 AM 4176 reads 27 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Where do I start, at the beginning I suppose, I was born at an …..sorry not that far back!
Ok let do this. [ I will be using imperial measurements throughout this blog..mainly ‘cause all wood working should be in imperial not metric! IMHO anyway]

To start :
Select the timber you will be making this here crazy board out of. For me this was Silver Ash and Tassie Blackwood as they contrast and compliment each other. I also decide to use
some purple heart as an accent.

Now decide on the curve you will be using. I just drew freehand a slow curve on a piece of scrap plywood. Then cut it on the bandsaw and used it to draw out the design on some more plywood.
This will give you an idea of the way the finish board will look.
NB If this is to be a checkers or chess board 8 ‘squares’ by 8 ‘

You will need two blanks about 22 inches square [give or take], one light and one dark, so edge join narrow boards to achieve this. Sand or plane them flat and level. Thickness is up to You but mine Started out about ¾ inch.
Place the light blank on top of the dark blank with double sided tape between to keep them aligned. Using the template draw the first curves on the light blank. [easier to see] and cut on the band saw.
You will now have a number of worm-like pieces of timber. Keeping them in order separate the light and dark and reassemble them with alternating colour strips. You will have two boards that look something like this. [ hopefully a little better cut]

Cut the accent strips from the contrasting my case the puple heart. I cut the strips 1/16 inch thick using the Incra TSLS32 table saw fence [unashamed plug].
Lay these strips in between and using a good amount of Titebond II [ another plug] and don’t starve the joint, glue up the new blanks [I find that doing this in two parts is a little easier] and clamp until dry [use as many clamps as you can to make sure that all the surfaces have pressure]

Don’t take to much notice if the lines look a bit wonky here as my boards started a little longer than I really needed. Notice the outer pieces have not been cut so as to allow better clamping!

You will now have two almost identical [mirrored] blanks. Sand or plane flat and level and keeping the same orientation double stick tape the blanks together. i.e. all the cuts line up.

This shows the basic ‘Idea’ as I don’t have all the pics of every step
Now mark and cut the new strips , separate and alternate the ‘worms’ again [keeping them in order so that any small mistakes will be duplicated in the matching piece]. Insert the accent stripes glue and clamp.
Take care that they don’t slip as they did for me. Keep all the lines tight.

In this pic you will see some screws. I used these to secure the two blanks as I had run out of double stick tape and the hardware store was closed and I was inpatient.

Band saw all the edges clean and sand. Sand the board to 180 or so and apply a finish of you choice/. I used Tung Oil Finish.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

18 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4237 days

#1 posted 04-26-2009 11:58 AM

This is a well documented tutorial, Larry. You have explained the process pretty well, IMHO.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 3806 days

#2 posted 04-26-2009 01:35 PM

A class well taught by a teacher with a lot of class! IMHO
I always look forward to your next post!
Thanks Larry.

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View Vince's profile


1196 posts in 3844 days

#3 posted 04-26-2009 02:01 PM

Good tutorial. This looks to be a fun project.
Thanks Larry …aka degoose

-- Vince

View Karson's profile


35193 posts in 4816 days

#4 posted 04-26-2009 02:56 PM

Great tutorial and a nice job. Well done.

-- 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 mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3943 days

#5 posted 04-26-2009 04:47 PM

Thanks David, very cool.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4492 days

#6 posted 04-26-2009 04:58 PM

I remember in the 1970’s when i was in elementary school (sorry half of you who just got older)...they were telling us that we would be moving to the metric system…i just turned 39…and we are still using the IMPERIAL Measurements…despite the damn revolution!!! At least we now have representation with our taxation…

Now to your project young man…very cool…love the details…this is going inmy favorites…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 4138 days

#7 posted 04-26-2009 05:06 PM

Nicely done and shared! Alice in Wonderland would love this. I would too, but I’m drug free }:)~

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View croquetman's profile


137 posts in 3737 days

#8 posted 04-26-2009 07:00 PM

How do the pieces stay put?

-- Whatever

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4311 days

#9 posted 04-26-2009 07:06 PM

Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for the instructions.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117652 posts in 3992 days

#10 posted 04-26-2009 07:26 PM

Great tutorial and photos .fun unique project. Thanks for all the work regarding this post I really appreciate it.
super job David.

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3857 days

#11 posted 04-27-2009 12:37 AM

Being born and raised on the metric system I cant add 3/16 + 5/32 without staring at a ruler until my eyes glaze over! And why do tool makers insist that 6mm is the same as 1/4 inch? PAH ! where,s my calculator!

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View degoose's profile


7255 posts in 3770 days

#12 posted 04-27-2009 02:18 AM


-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View gwebb's profile


13 posts in 3753 days

#13 posted 04-27-2009 02:23 AM

I guess its easier then saying 6mm is 30/127”.

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

803 posts in 4324 days

#14 posted 04-27-2009 03:05 AM

Degoose, props to you for for your tutorial. I can see many versions of this being posted here at LJ in the future. My grandma used to say….”The greatest for of flattering is to have someone copy your work!”

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 4397 days

#15 posted 04-27-2009 12:11 PM

Thanks for sharing. This is a technique that can be used on all sorts of projects. Great job.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

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