Multi-purpose board for Beer Swap 2021

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Project by EarlS posted 09-07-2021 11:56 PM 949 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s always a challenge to make something interesting and unique for the beer swaps. This year was no exception. After considering and rejecting a whole host of ideas I settled on a multi-purpose board with multi-functional accessories.

It is a cutting board, that doubles as charcuterie board, or a checker board, or maybe even a chess board if you have some spare chess pieces laying around. The multi-purpose board also has a hidden compartment where you can hide (store) things. It is accompanied by a large number of checkers that can also double as shot glass coasters. As a bonus, this project checks all of those projects off my to-do list of woodworking projects.

The squares are 1-7/8”, walnut and maple, with a cherry border. The mitered corners have rosewood splines to keep them tight. Magnets hold the two halves together when the board is opened for use. Magnets are also used to hold the halves together to hold the checkers inside when the board is put away.

I had to make the checkers using a 3/4” radius roundover bit so they aren’t exactly round. Each checker has a magnet in the bottom to hold them together when a checker is kinged. The magnets also hold the stacks together for storage.

General Finishes Seal-a-coat and Arm-R-Seal were used as finishes with Behlens wax to give it some luster and sheen. It was a fun project that was also educational.

Making the checker board:
Rather than using the end grain method to make the board, I used the strip method. Start with a couple of wide pieces of wood that are longer than the final dimension of the board. Set the table saw fence to 1-7/8” and ripd 8 pieces of maple and walnut to make the board. Leave the fence set. It will be used again to finish making the squares. Glue the pieces together, alternating between walnut and maple. Once the glue dries, rotate the board so the rows of walnut and maple are parallel to the miter bar and square up one end using the miter bar. That end goes against the fence in the next step to make the alternating walnut and maple squares. After ripping 8 pieces, flip ever other piece end for end to create the final maple/walnut pattern. The pieces are glued up and the board should be perfectly square with all of the corners matching up.

If you look it up on Google there are numerous videos that do a much better job showing and explaining what to do.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

20 comments so far

View pottz's profile


20737 posts in 2232 days

#1 posted 09-08-2021 12:50 AM

very cool earl thats a great board,and hey he can swap out the checkers with slices of cheese and salami,so as the checkers get removed you just eat em.nice work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View JD77's profile


136 posts in 937 days

#2 posted 09-08-2021 01:30 AM

That’s really nice, Earl. Good choice of woods, great craftsmanship, good write up, really like the use of magnets. All around winner.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8476 posts in 1830 days

#3 posted 09-08-2021 01:46 AM

Great job, Earl. It’s also a coaster for a Really Big Beer!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10418 posts in 3657 days

#4 posted 09-08-2021 01:57 AM

Clever, beautiful work!!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Lazyman's profile


8001 posts in 2636 days

#5 posted 09-08-2021 02:33 AM

It is always fun to see what Earl makes for the swaps because he always goes over the top and this year I was the happy recipient of this beautiful board. It is absolutely flawless. The finish is just so nice you just want to touch it. The magnets are cool idea for holding the 2 halve together both when open and closed. Thanks Earl. I am still working my way through hoard of beer that you sent me.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View oldrivers's profile


2735 posts in 2815 days

#6 posted 09-08-2021 03:11 AM

That is a very clever project, and so well done. Congrats.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View therealSteveN's profile


8906 posts in 1822 days

#7 posted 09-08-2021 05:50 AM

Beer n Checkers, what a combo. Nice work Earl.

-- Think safe, be safe

View recycle1943's profile


5869 posts in 2870 days

#8 posted 09-08-2021 09:59 AM

so many great ideas blended in this project it’s difficult to point out any one stand out

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View mikeacg's profile


2038 posts in 2306 days

#9 posted 09-08-2021 11:40 AM


Wow! What a great looking checker board and I love the magnet idea!
“It’s also a coaster for a Really Big Beer!” – I like how Dave thinks!


P.S. I had no idea that you needed a coaster for shot glasses…

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View jeffswildwood's profile


4946 posts in 3225 days

#10 posted 09-08-2021 11:51 AM

Once again, a beautiful, useful and just plain fun project.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View jeff's profile


1386 posts in 4713 days

#11 posted 09-08-2021 12:17 PM

What a clever and crafty project Earl. I like your choices of wood.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View HokieKen's profile


19422 posts in 2387 days

#12 posted 09-08-2021 01:10 PM

Exceptional work as always Earl :-) I love the games we see in these beer swaps. It’s clear you weren’t doing enough sampling as you worked though. The edges are all straight and the joints are all tight. Try to improve on the drinking part next year ;-p

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Lazyman's profile


8001 posts in 2636 days

#13 posted 09-08-2021 01:52 PM

BTW, here is the generous hoard of beer that Earl sent, including one casualty during shipping.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1224 posts in 1637 days

#14 posted 09-08-2021 02:04 PM

That is really nice! Shot glass coasters…

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9004 posts in 1961 days

#15 posted 09-08-2021 03:21 PM

As always Earl comes thru with the nicest checker board i have ever seen GREAT JOB :<)))))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

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