Unique Chessboard #1: A Unique Chessboard

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Blog entry by ghazard posted 03-13-2010 06:01 AM 1940 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Unique Chessboard series Part 2: Square glue up....getting there. »

I say unique because I haven’t seen any like this before, though I doubt I’m the first to try it.

The idea is for a big and bold board with kind of a 3D look, though not a traditional 3D chessboard where the blocks rise and fall. Here is the rendering I did as I was mulling it over.

And the roughed out base with squares.

Paduk base with Maple and Cherry squares. I had a cherry board that was really pretty and I knew I wanted to use that. Then I found a lightly quilted maple board to go with it.

The squares were kind of fun to make. Only because they came out much better then I had anticipated. I was able to hold the size in both directions to only .004”! That was of course before I sanded the ends. Then I chased the size all over but was able to keep them relatively in check with each other. There were a couple of challenges I knew I’d have right off the bat. First was making the squares…I got past that. Second, I knew that I couldn’t allow any squeeze out between the blocks because the .125 gap would not be easy to clean. So I came up with the glue mote. I cut a groove in the bottom side of each square, .125” in from the edge. I’ll glue only on the material inside the groove. Not IN the groove but the flat material interior to the groove. The idea being that when squeeze out occurs it fills the groove and does not travel to the outer edge and thus is not visible.

Thirdly, I needed a way to apply some linear pressure to the squares during glue up. “C” clamps or other “twist” clamps I’m afraid will tweak the squares plus I don’t have or know of any that have the kind of reach needed. So…enter the Long Arm Of The Clamp.

There is a t-nut on the underside of the baseplate to accept the threaded rod. Then I screw the baseplate down to anchor the rod. Threading a wing nut applys pressure to the bar that is “hinged” by resting it on a the right in picture 1. The you get downward clamping pressure on the other end.

I fought lots of movement in the paduk slab so I ended up ripping it and adding in some unplanned accents. It seems to be holding now so all is good.

So here I go. I’ve started glueing up the first squares.

The glue mote has worked perfectly! The last design challenge was a method for aligning the squares.To do this, I made a steel “X” that gives me exact 90deg corners that I can index off of. It seems to be working at the start. Fingers crossed that it continues to align right.

Back out to to glue the next squares. I’ll post more progress later.


8 comments so far

View PG_Zac's profile


373 posts in 4848 days

#1 posted 03-13-2010 09:57 AM

I’ll be watching this one with great interest

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 4782 days

#2 posted 03-13-2010 01:50 PM

Same here! And what a great set up to make everything precise and clean.

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

View sras's profile


6697 posts in 4589 days

#3 posted 03-13-2010 03:06 PM

Nice problem solving! Looking forward to the final result.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 4491 days

#4 posted 03-13-2010 04:01 PM

Why not use superglue gel?

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View ghazard's profile


394 posts in 4969 days

#5 posted 03-16-2010 02:42 PM

Sphere, do you suggest that for the quick set time? Never occurred to me, to be honest. As it turned out, TB II set to enough strength in about 15min so it went pretty quick.

View rolltopbox's profile


71 posts in 4454 days

#6 posted 03-16-2010 04:11 PM

A vacuum bag would facilitate the gluing of the squares to the base. Easy instructions here:

-- Bruce

View clieb91's profile


4267 posts in 5395 days

#7 posted 03-16-2010 09:53 PM

Can’t wait to see more. I really like the idea.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4748 days

#8 posted 03-16-2010 10:53 PM

great idea very unique

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

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