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  • Making a Chess Board

Making a Chess Board

Andrew Burton from our Brisbane store shows us how to make a chess board!



Step by step process:

1. When making an end-grain chess board the first step is to decide what size you would like the board to be. This in-turn will dictate the size of the squares which will make up each place on the board.

2. Now choose two types of wood of contrasting tones. Preferably dark and light as are most chess boards. For this exercise we will choose a board which finishes at 280mm square before any adornments on the edges.

3. Start by thicknessing your boards to the finished width of each square on the board. Then cut each board into eight equal widths. At this point it doesn’t matter if the thickness is different between each strip as this will be dimensioned after it is glued.

4. Now glue together alternately each of the wood strips. Best bet is the Titebond 3 Glue as it has a longer open time than 1 and 2 and is waterproof and super strong.

5. Once the glue has set (30 minutes) you can take the clamps off but it is a good idea to let it cure for 24 hours as it now needs to be dimensioned to the same thickness as the squares are wide.

6. Now cut it again into 8 equal strips, turn on edge to see the end grain. Rotate every other piece end for end to get the alternating colour pattern and glue it together.

7. Again, let it set, remove the clamps and allow to cure for 24 hours. You can now thickness the finished board to your desired size and add embellishments such as edge strips in contrasting tones and the number and lettering system of professional boards if desired. The only limit is your imagination.

8. After all that’s done, sand it down to at least a 240grit and seal it up. We generally recommend Liberon Finishing Oil as it has a drying agent which allows a couple of coats in one day. The more coats applied (sand to 400 between for an awesome shiny surface) the higher the gloss level!

Final step, learn to play chess!

Happy woodworking!