Chess Table: First furniture project, 8 years ago

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Project by JohnMcClure posted 12-08-2017 02:12 PM 913 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first significant woodworking project. I built it in 2009.

The wood is 3/4” and 1/4” red oak from Lowe’s, with hardwood plywood to support the tile top.
I lived with 3 roommates in an awful apartment and wanted a place to play chess.
The only tools I had then were two small clamps, a hammer, a handsaw and a circular Skil saw. I think it’s a pretty impressive piece of furniture considering my complete lack of both skill and equipment at the time. In fact it troubles me that I have 100x the amount of tools, and a whole world of knowledge about wood and furniture that I didn’t have an inkling of back then, yet still this is on the list of the finest things I’ve made.

I guess if I made it today, I’d use miters and lock-miters and have no endgrain showing, and I’d use no nails at all. It would probably take longer to build, much longer to finish, and look… about the same. Fortunately nobody told young me that nails and endgrain and Minwax products and red oak were bad, and I went ahead and did what I could with what I had!

The table moved with me, and has lived in 3 apartments, two storage units, and my current house. (Thank the military for that mobile lifestyle.) For the last two years or so it’s been tucked into a corner of the garage. I’ll try to find a way to bring it back into the house someday…
It is solid as a brick, and has relatively sharp corners. (That’s why it’s been banished to the garage.)

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

1 comment so far

View Ivan's profile


16848 posts in 3985 days

#1 posted 12-08-2017 02:31 PM

Those legs made possible to play chess wherever you stop – nice work.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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