Chess Board

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Project by Woodshopfreak posted 02-27-2008 02:51 AM 7160 views 7 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the Chess board I built after Christmas. I love it. I had to use all of my new tools. I also had to do some precise measureing so that the squrares would match up (even though they don’t exactly in some places). If anyone has advice in makeing one with no gaps beteween squares I am open for advice. The picture that is on the right has a finish of aresol spray clear satinl lacquer. (It works pretty nicely, although it has a little yellow color, although it gives it a nice warm color.


-Squares- Purpleheart, and Maple that is 1 3/4 inches
-Frame- Maple, resawn to about 3/8 of an inch

-- Tyler, Illinois

32 comments so far

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 5416 days

#1 posted 02-27-2008 03:04 AM

Tyler, at 13, you are well on your way to becoming an extremly skilled craftsman. Your Chess board looks great. Keep trying to improve and you will go far. And remember, there are no mistakes, just learning experiences.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1306 posts in 5236 days

#2 posted 02-27-2008 03:15 AM

Tyler fantastic job there bud, very well done. I started doing woodworking when I was twelve, if you keep this up you’ll be way better than me.

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 5539 days

#3 posted 02-27-2008 03:55 AM

Tyler, the one you made looks really good. A technique I once saw for making a chessboard is as follows:

Rip 4 strips of each wood to the exact same widht, (8 strips total). The length of each strip should be over an inch longer than the width of all 8 strips combined. This extra length will allow for trimming and the saw kerf of later cuts. Edge glue all eight strips, alternating woods. Trim one end of the glued up panel then proceed to cut out eight strips the exact same width as the earlier strips. Flip every other strip and edge glue those together. Here you will need to be careful to align the squares properly. When done you should end up with a nice and square chessboard without gaps.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 5314 days

#4 posted 02-27-2008 04:06 AM

Great job on the chessboard Tyler, you sure are well advanced for your age. Welcome to Lumberjocks. This is a great community of people with like interests.There is much to learn here & you will have the opportunity to share your skills & ideas with others. I hope you enjoy LJ’s as much as I do.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View cajunpen's profile


14577 posts in 5529 days

#5 posted 02-27-2008 04:09 AM

Tyler your chessboard is outstanding. Hard to believe that someone as young as you has the maturity and thirst for knowledge for our craft. You should develop into a top notch craftsman one of these days. Just don’t get frustrated and treat each mistake as a learning experience. Remember – even our finest craftsman make mistakes, the key to it is not to let it discourage you – but make you want to do better the next time and learn something from each mistake.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5681 days

#6 posted 02-27-2008 04:10 AM

The method Owen describes above is the one I use too. But you did a FANTASTIC job of making yours out of individual squares.

Keep up the great work!

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5285 days

#7 posted 02-27-2008 04:13 AM


This is a fantastic job. I have often said that there are no mistakes in woodworking. There are only opportunities for details.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Paul D's profile

Paul D

2134 posts in 5211 days

#8 posted 02-27-2008 04:26 AM

Great job Tyler. Take what you learned from this chess board and make something else, maybe a nice end grain cutting board or something else you might like.

-- Paul D - Lawrenceville, Georgia

View Belle City Woodworking's profile

Belle City Woodworking

357 posts in 5479 days

#9 posted 02-27-2008 04:37 AM


You did a great job on the chess board.


-- Formerly known as John's Woodshop - and NO not the one from Ohio!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5451 days

#10 posted 02-27-2008 04:49 AM

You did an excellent job!

Owen explains a good method for making a chessboard.

I usually use a 9th piece. Then after I’ve cut them into strips, instead of filpping every other one around
I push every other piece up a squares distance. I find that this gives more flow and grain matching.

Then just trim off the staggered pieces.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 5251 days

#11 posted 02-27-2008 04:57 AM

Tyler, I have done this both the way Owen describes it and the way Gary did it. I agree with Gary that you can get better grain matching by adding a ninth strip. This is great work! I am impressed that you built it using individual squares. That shows great accuracy on your part to get each one to line up. I thought about this when I built my first chess board and figured I would mess it up and went with the strip method. Kudos to you for doing it the hard way! When do you make the chess pieces?

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5553 days

#12 posted 02-27-2008 05:50 AM

Well done. Do you have pieces to play with?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View rikkor's profile


11294 posts in 5337 days

#13 posted 02-27-2008 11:56 AM

You did a fine job young man. Keep working on your precision.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5623 days

#14 posted 02-27-2008 12:48 PM

No wonder you love it—it’s gorgeous!
You must be very, very proud of this! Well done

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View ChrisN's profile


259 posts in 5236 days

#15 posted 02-27-2008 01:44 PM

Great Chess Board!!!

I Hope the fact that you made it give you a subtle edge on your competition when you play!

-- Chris N, Westford, MA - "If you won't eat something from your fridge that turned green...why would you eat something that started out that way?"

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