Steve Ramsey's chess board #6: Getting close to the finish line

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Blog entry by Jake posted 01-02-2014 09:20 PM 1778 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Paying stupid tax Part 6 of Steve Ramsey's chess board series Part 7: Drawers made a lot of hand sanding to be done »

Ok, a lot of pictures in this one. After my accident on saturday, I have just been taking my sweet time to be safe and work while I am at a 100% concentration, when I fall under that, i just leave the shop and come back later.

Please excuse the pic quality, the lighting in the shop is still crap, I will get around to it once I get a few projects out of the way first.

So, pics from production:

Glueing up the bottom, messed up the plywood was about 1/8 too small on 2 sides, so I tried to fill in with glue and sanding dust, but it looked like crap, I will try applying some of the fine sawdust with a glue, hopefully it gets better, if not, i will learn to live with it.

Glueing up the top without the inlays (I tried to do it all at once the previous day, But I could not get the mitered cornes to fit, so I had to take it all apart and wash the glue off and after that i just needed a break from the shop to avoid mistakes, so I did that)

After that I put in the inlays and tried a dry fit with the corner posts (no sides done yet)

That was extremely satisfying, even though the top looks like crap and it is hardly even square, I could finally see at what the end product will look like and the proportions were fine, so that felt great and gave me a much needed energy and motivation boost.

Today I made the sides and glued them up, I also did some finish sanding on the sides, as I wont be able to get to them later, here is the wood done with an OS 80,120,180,240 and then 320 grit. Please take note on the lovely redneck clamping (scraps and screws) I don’t mind though, because this is a temporary workbench, after my kitcehn a new workbench will be priority no1. But that wood sanded to 320 does look pretty sweet:

The top before planing – I put too much weight on it when I glued it in, so the top is about 1/8 or so curved, but I don’t care, after all the sanding is probably at 1/16, it is noticebale form the side, but it also can pass as a planned look, so that’s what I am going for:)

After planing with my trusty old plane (the new one on the other pic I could not get to work, the 25 degree angle on it seems to be to steep)

The top after sanding through the grits to 320:

Now for next steps in order of doign them:
1. Putting a 1/4 round over on all the sides of the top and bottom. Sanding the bottom to 180 to have it ready for finish. Or should i go up to 320? Done tomorrow
2. Planing the top of the sides to make a perfect fit on the top and bottom of the board. Glueing up the sides. Hope to get it done tomorrow.
3. Making the middle support pieces and glueing them in, probably saturday morning or sunday.
4. Making the drawers for the chess set, as well as the stop blocks, runners etc.
5. Sanding the top up to 400 with an OS, glueing up top and bottom.
6. Start of finishing (hopefully tuesday of next week)
7. After 5-7 layers of laquer sanding it from 180 with an os to 400, from 400 go to wet hand sanding with 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200 and 1500, buff up with felt, buff up with lamb wool, apply beeswax, buff with lamb wool.
8. Pack with the shavings in a big box and deliver to dad on the next weekend.

If you have any suggestions on how much I should sand the sides and bottom to that would be highyl appreciated, is 320 too high? My main focus will be on the top of the chessboard itself to get it to a near mirror finish.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

3 comments so far

View sras's profile


6105 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 01-03-2014 03:33 AM

Anytime I wonder about using a finer grit, I test it out and almost always use it. I think after 180-220 it becomes a matter of preference…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View degoose's profile


7281 posts in 4438 days

#2 posted 01-03-2014 05:58 AM

Just remember when you think you are finished there is still 1/2 hour of sanding to go….

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2715 days

#3 posted 01-03-2014 06:35 AM

Yes sir, I have noticed that. Like Mr Ramsey himself says, “Woodworking is 5% planning, 5% cutting and 90% sanding”

My way is something like that, in terms of time actually spent on the projects: 5% planning, 1% cutting, 9% fixing my mistakes, 85% planing and sanding

Having a hard time getting any work done at the office, really need to get back to the shop, it hurts to be away!! :)

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

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