Large Chess Board 2.25"+ Squares Cocobolo/Birdseye Maple

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Project by Waterlog posted 10-06-2014 11:46 PM 4336 views 6 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Large squares for 4” King and taller chess sets. Frame is curly maple, the squares are set proud 3/16” and trimmed with a narrow band of Honduran mahogany. Glued in strips then cut and flipped every other. Squares are actually 3/4” thick. Board surrounded by frame then, both were glued to 1/2” birch plywood. sanded in 200 grit increments from 150 up to 1500, then finished with walnut oil and wax. Last winter there was warpping, it returned to normal this summer. I plan address this issue on this piece later. If I were to make this board again, I would glue the squares to the birch plywood flush. Then rout a groove around the entire board, groove and attach a thicker frame with multiple biscuits. I have done it this with no warping on one other board since. This board will likely become the top of a chess table. I enjoyed making this, my first nice chess board project. My frames are much tighter now too.

-- LWB Waterlog

7 comments so far

View jakeprater's profile


90 posts in 2869 days

#1 posted 10-07-2014 11:56 AM

Nice board, love the figure!

-- All this sawdust.......wait........ what happened to my board???

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4469 days

#2 posted 10-07-2014 02:55 PM

Well done nice looking board.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3453 days

#3 posted 10-07-2014 09:15 PM

Your work is impeccable. Nice job on the wood combination. Well done.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Matt Stauffer's profile

Matt Stauffer

110 posts in 4045 days

#4 posted 10-07-2014 10:53 PM

Very nice work. Gorgeous wood. I recently bought a Krenov book, The Impractical Cabinetmaker, in which he builds a chess table with a twist. He put little gaps between all of the squares, which I am assuming are to allow for expansion.

-- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. ~ John 5:24

View Ivan's profile


17045 posts in 4147 days

#5 posted 10-08-2014 12:47 PM

Nice shape and finish. Board is great

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View namenick's profile


17 posts in 2716 days

#6 posted 10-09-2014 04:12 AM

PLEASE don’t glue the chess board to the plywood. You DOOM it to failure, warping or worse. The squares need to expand and contract with the changing moisture content of the air as your seasons change. Next time make your outer square run a half inch wider than the others. Then form a tenon on the outer rim (with the extra ½” of material) that fits into a slot in your frame. You can glue the center 1 inch of the board to the frame on 2 opposite sides and leave about 1/16 gap inside the frame all the way around for expansion. Spacer balls, used for cabinet panels, can be placed around the rest of the board to keep it from rattling. This will make your board very happy! Good luck!

View Waterlog's profile


109 posts in 3212 days

#7 posted 10-20-2014 04:46 AM

Thanks for the comments. Thank you “Namenick” for your response, your way is how I will attack this next time. Your info is exactly the kind of input that helps all of us become better and more successful woodworkers.

-- LWB Waterlog

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