Chess Board

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Project by Ronald Coone posted 12-26-2017 02:51 AM 2618 views 12 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Solid Oak and Walnut Chess Board.

USCF Standard with 2 inch squares. Total Dimensions 18 3/8×18 3/8×4 5/8.
Key Mitered Walnut corners and bamboo dowels
2 removable drawers with wine colored flock lining.
Finished with satin oil/poly urethane.

-- Ronald Coone, Expression Woodworks Inc.

14 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1417 days

#1 posted 12-26-2017 12:02 PM

Looks great. Good job!

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4103 days

#2 posted 12-26-2017 12:02 PM

Wow, that is a sweet piece of work. I like the contrasting molding on the drawers and the sides. Really beautiful!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1510 days

#3 posted 12-26-2017 01:55 PM

OUTSTANDING! A USCF standard size board has been on my to-do list for years, and this looks incredible!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Boxguy's profile


2876 posts in 3037 days

#4 posted 12-26-2017 02:22 PM

Ronald, Oak and Walnut are one of my favorite combinations. You used the contrast to good advantage with the corner splines, drawer accents, and board. Nice work. The pull out drawers should be handy for play and set-up. I like the heavy corners; it is a good look. The only criticism I would have is that the edge of the playing board could do with a small trim piece to make it blend in more with the beautiful rounded look of the whole piece. There is a great deal of fine craftsmanship in this project. Nicely done. Keep boxing and keep playing chess.

-- Big Al in IN

View MontanaBob's profile


873 posts in 3453 days

#5 posted 12-26-2017 02:30 PM


View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2314 days

#6 posted 12-26-2017 03:43 PM

Nice work! You should be proud.

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View kocgolf's profile


408 posts in 2948 days

#7 posted 12-26-2017 03:51 PM

Beauty. Solid and artistic at the same time. Would love one of these someday.

View MatthewG's profile


86 posts in 3548 days

#8 posted 12-26-2017 08:21 PM

Nicely done! It shows your love of the greatest game ever invented.

1. e2-e4 ... your move :)


-- Matthew, from beautiful Wisconsin USA

View Mean_Dean's profile


7041 posts in 3917 days

#9 posted 12-26-2017 11:15 PM

That’s a beautiful chess board and box combo—really well done! All you need now are the chess pieces!

Big Al, I like the idea of the edge trim, but aren’t you concerned about expansion/contraction breaking the trim pieces? (I’ve always wondered how other chess boards have held up over the years that have had edge trimming.)

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Ronald Coone's profile

Ronald Coone

16 posts in 2998 days

#10 posted 12-27-2017 12:27 AM

Thanks for all the great comments. I always appreciate the input.

I decided against the edge trim. I have always liked the look of the thicker squares. It shows that they are not just veneers. The squares are 5/8 thick and recessed 1/4 into the box. The squares are doweled and glued to each another and also glued to a 1/4” plywood substrate.

Expansion/contraction is always a concern. The corners of the oak box are though doweled and then supported by the walnut corners which are key/mitered with oak (1/8 by 3/4 oak strips). After gluing the walnut corners to the box, I also used small bamboo dowels which I left visible.

I may have overdone it a little but it should last forever

-- Ronald Coone, Expression Woodworks Inc.

View AJ1104's profile


1090 posts in 2429 days

#11 posted 12-27-2017 12:59 AM

I love the overall box and deminsions. Great job!

-- AJ

View LDO2802's profile


167 posts in 1200 days

#12 posted 12-28-2017 04:11 PM

I have a question. I noticed you kept grain orientation for the board itself to account for direction of expanding and contracting due to temperatures. However, you did not do that on the outside of the box. How will that effect the expansion of the outside? I ask because I am about to make one myself for the first time and the books says keep grain orientation throughout.

View Ronald Coone's profile

Ronald Coone

16 posts in 2998 days

#13 posted 12-29-2017 10:44 PM

I’ve done the grain both ways on different boards. If sealed and glued properly C&E is not that much of a problem. As for the box, the answer is simple. It just one board (including drawers) the effect is not so obvious with Oak but with other woods keeping a consistent grain pattern can be very important.
Also when considering C&E the change is more prominent with the width (cross grain) than with length. Also C&E is affected by humidity more so than temperature. Properly sealing the wood is one of the most important steps to keep this under control.

-- Ronald Coone, Expression Woodworks Inc.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 4201 days

#14 posted 12-30-2017 11:10 PM

Same as Mike, I like the contrasted drawer surround moulding. Its the little things that make the biggest impact sometimes. The squares look very solid and ready for battle. Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

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