Chessboard #1: Design Plan

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Blog entry by CartersWhittling posted 02-02-2011 01:56 AM 10076 reads 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Chessboard series Part 2: Drawers and Posts »

Hello. I have started a chessboard and set for an uncle and thought I would set up a project build so that I can get advice from other woodworkers and to hopefully inspire someone else. I am using maple and walnut for the project and the walnut was all resawn from logs I got from my opa’s firewood pile. So far I have almost all the walnut parts cut and the drawer dovetailed. I still need to cut most of the maple parts and then I can beginning joinery for the board. I will use dovetails to join the carcass sides to the bottom and half blinds for the rails. The drawer fronts are going to be raised frame and panel and unlike in the SketchUp picture the board will also be frame and panel to allow for wood movement. For the drawer slides I plan on using a sliding dovetail underneath the drawer so I can fully extend the drawer. If anyone has any questions or advice, please comment.

This SketchUp drawing is not completely accurate but close to the planned board.

Maple Rook.

The small ball on the top of the Bishop broke off so I need to glue one back on.

Walnut Pawns.

Turned post. There are two walnut posts and 2 maple posts.

Walnut drawer sides. The grain flows around the entire drawer.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

7 comments so far

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 2925 days

#1 posted 02-02-2011 03:47 AM

Wow, that’s going to look fantastic when you are done! I look forward to seeing your progress.

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3842 days

#2 posted 02-02-2011 04:23 AM

Cool man! It looks great! Looking forward to more!

-- christopheralan

View Don's profile


517 posts in 3194 days

#3 posted 02-02-2011 11:03 AM

Very nice. I’ve been meaning to build a chess set forever but somehow never get around to it. Now I can do it vicariously through you… :)

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View HerbC's profile


1785 posts in 2981 days

#4 posted 02-02-2011 06:10 PM


That’s going to be a great looking set.

Did you use a pattern for the pieces or do them on your own? What’s the knight look like?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Keep up the good work. And please remember…

Be Careful!

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2795 days

#5 posted 02-03-2011 01:05 AM

Hi Herb. I have not made a knight yet. I will probably make all 4 at once and do one step at a time on each to get them as similar as possible.
I do each piece on its own. I have a picture of each piece with the dimensions, so I just use a ruler/dividers/calipers to make each piece. It take me about 1 hour for each pawn and about 2 hours for the king because I need to carve the cross after its turned.
If anybody wants more info. on how I make a piece, I have thought of doing either a video or step by step in photos. If anyone has any advice on making the knights please message me.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View SeaWitch's profile


149 posts in 2516 days

#6 posted 11-23-2011 04:31 AM

Wow. That is beautiful. How did you know what size to make the pieces? Is there some standard reference?

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2795 days

#7 posted 11-23-2011 04:07 PM

After doing some research I found that most standard sets have the King around 4” high and the rest of the pieces are proportioned around that. I am not an experienced chess maker though.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

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