"Open Book" Chess/Backgammon Table

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Project by SteveE posted 02-10-2009 08:29 PM 3598 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my first attempt at an open book table. I don’t have a lot of time on my hands, or space in my house. So, I tried to combine as many features as possible into one project without making it look too busy or too bulky. I thought I’d put an added twist (aside from the twist of the table top) by making it a game table. The top is a Chess/Checker board with 1-1/2” squares and the inside is a recessed tournament sized Backgammon board. Under the skirt, there is an area to store game pieces. The veneer is a combination of Birdseye Maple (a gift from my dad), Maple, Cherry, and Walnut. The base and edging are solid maple. It was finished with shellac to seal/oil-poly(General Finishes)/then waxed with 0000 steel wool and then buffed. Originally, the legs were to be more shaker inspired but I decided to turn them upside-down to make the top look less clunky -and voila, it looks more modern.

-- Measure twice, cut once, bang into place

10 comments so far

View Rustic's profile


3260 posts in 4928 days

#1 posted 02-11-2009 02:01 AM

very cool

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5004 days

#2 posted 02-11-2009 04:08 AM

Very cool!

View FredG's profile


139 posts in 5029 days

#3 posted 02-11-2009 05:00 AM

Isn’t it going to be very uncomfortable not being able to to put your elbows on the table?
Apart from this, nice table.

-- Fred

View Mike Auclair's profile

Mike Auclair

20 posts in 4769 days

#4 posted 04-17-2009 02:33 PM

Really great job Steve. Great choices of the veneer too.

-- Measure it with a micrometer - Mark it with a piece of chalk - Cut it with an Axe

View SteveE's profile


56 posts in 4841 days

#5 posted 04-17-2009 04:45 PM

Thanks for the comments folks.

I should have mentioned that it is also serves as an end table, too. One day I will have enough space for a dedicated chess table.

-- Measure twice, cut once, bang into place

View SteveL's profile


183 posts in 5100 days

#6 posted 06-14-2009 05:07 AM

Would that my chess game merited such a table… though I do enjoy backgammon and have actually kept myself in “beer money” by playing it while in college, so I guess your table would be open most of the time at my house. Very nice project—I love the quilted/birdseye maple you used!

-- SteveL

View a1Jim's profile


118308 posts in 4909 days

#7 posted 06-14-2009 05:12 AM

Hey Steve
Nice job beautiful wood great build.


View SteveE's profile


56 posts in 4841 days

#8 posted 06-14-2009 02:35 PM

Thanks guys.

SteveL – My backgammon skills are much better than my chess skills. I enjoy backgammon much more than chess or checkers, it is more compatible with beer drinking and converstaions.

-- Measure twice, cut once, bang into place

View Chriso's profile


8 posts in 4831 days

#9 posted 08-21-2010 01:39 AM

Hi there Steve,
I’m very impressed by you “Open Book Table”
Can you explain please how th etop is attached to the base of the table? Or is it floating on the base?
Kind Regards
Chris O

View SteveE's profile


56 posts in 4841 days

#10 posted 06-03-2011 06:02 PM

Resurrecting an old thread just for reference sake.

So, the basic idea is that there is a pivot hinge on the underside of the bottom half of the table. Its position is determined by finding the center of the rectangle then drawing a line toward one of the hinged corners. The pivot hinge should be placed directly at the midpoint of this line. Then, you would locate the pivot point on the table base relative to the pivot point on the bottom half of the table top.

It sort of rests on the base; I have felt pads on the base to keep the base from scratching the bottom of the table.

-- Measure twice, cut once, bang into place

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