Chessboard with Storage

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Project by Triman posted 03-25-2010 08:04 PM 2513 views 8 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My nephew has been wanting a chessboard for years, so for a (very late) Christmas present, I put this together for him.

It’s made of birdseye maple and ziricote. The squares are the official 2.25” tournament size, which means the overall size is 19” x 19” x 4”. It weighs a ton!

The sides have an inlay of ziricote, and since I wanted the drawer front to continue this pattern without any handles, I routed out a 5/8” deep groove, with a strip of ziricote inset, but flush with the outside of the box. Just enough to grab a hold of it. I also recessed a couple of magnets on both sides, on the inside of the drawer front, then covered with wenge dowel slices to hide them. This gives the drawer a slight “snug”.

The drawer with the most challenging. I wanted the impression of a single chunk of wood, so I glued up 2 pieces of 1 1/2” thick curly maple. I then used a 2” round nose router bit on my router table. This was a bit scary. That’s one big chunk of metal spinning! I had to take about 10 passes for each “trough”. So, after around 80 passes, I had the drawer base. I then made the 3 passes on the tablesaw, then glued in the 3 strips of ziricote to act as dividers. The drawer front was made with the same router bit, then glued up.

The 4 feet are also ziricote.

I added 3 drawer glide strips (fexible delrin(?)), which made the drawer slide much easier. I finished with 6 coats of Tung Oil Finish.

Overall, I’m happy with the finished product. However, if I make another, I’ll stick to a traditional drawer with traditional dividers. The routing was way too difficult, and too scary!

-- Bruce, San Jose, Ca

12 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4323 days

#1 posted 03-25-2010 08:09 PM

Nice Set !! Where are the pieces ?

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Diggerjacks's profile


2330 posts in 4421 days

#2 posted 03-25-2010 08:12 PM

Nice set

Well done

I like it a lot
Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5501 days

#3 posted 03-25-2010 08:22 PM

Great design and build!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4308 days

#4 posted 03-25-2010 08:26 PM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4398 days

#5 posted 03-25-2010 08:37 PM

maybee scary to make but that drawer looks awesome speciel with that wood
very well done


View JimArnoldChess's profile


210 posts in 4277 days

#6 posted 03-25-2010 09:17 PM

Excellent board! I like the edge design and really like the way you did the drawer.

Very cool!



View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 4314 days

#7 posted 03-26-2010 03:02 AM

Very nice indeed.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View wdwrkr's profile


26 posts in 4284 days

#8 posted 03-26-2010 03:50 AM

Gorgeous! I love the way you mitered the drawer front to avoid the parting lines a traditional drawer would have. I too try to minimize the appearance of drawers in my work. I like the subtlety of it. The router bit method for making the troughs would be scary indeed, but boy what an effect. I guess that’s a sublety most non-woodworkers never get to appreciate – the risk of lost digits to produce fine woodworks. Congratulations on a fine piece.

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 4533 days

#9 posted 03-26-2010 08:30 PM

sweet board – great design

-- -erik & christy-

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4471 days

#10 posted 09-15-2010 10:34 AM

What a great board! Like what you did for the boarder as well. I hade made a cpl boards just recently and hadn’t thought og doing the edge that way. Nice work.

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

View Savage Woods's profile

Savage Woods

19 posts in 3518 days

#11 posted 04-13-2012 02:24 AM

Did you also make pieces to go with this spectacular board…?

-- Rare & Elusive Ziricote @

View jetwhoop's profile


89 posts in 3401 days

#12 posted 08-09-2012 12:48 AM

I’ve always like chess board look. This looks great and with great storage. Makes me want to try one, nice.

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