I say unique because I haven’t seen any like this before, though I doubt I’m the first to try it.
The idea is for a big and bold board with kind of a 3D look, though not a traditional 3D chessboard where the blocks rise and fall. Here is the rendering I did as I was mulling it over.
And the roughed out base with squares.
Paduk base with Maple and Cherry squares. I had a cherry board that was really pretty and I knew I wanted to use that. Then I found a lightly quilted maple board to go with it.
The squares were kind of fun to make. Only because they came out much better then I had anticipated. I was able to hold the size in both directions to only .004”! That was of course before I sanded the ends. Then I chased the size all over but was able to keep them relatively in check with each other. There were a couple of challenges I knew I’d have right off the bat. First was making the squares…I got past that. Second, I knew that I couldn’t allow any squeeze out between the blocks because the .125 gap would not be easy to clean. So I came up with the glue mote. I cut a groove in the bottom side of each square, .125” in from the edge. I’ll glue only on the material inside the groove. Not IN the groove but the flat material interior to the groove. The idea being that when squeeze out occurs it fills the groove and does not travel to the outer edge and thus is not visible.
Thirdly, I needed a way to apply some linear pressure to the squares during glue up. “C” clamps or other “twist” clamps I’m afraid will tweak the squares plus I don’t have or know of any that have the kind of reach needed. So…enter the Long Arm Of The Clamp.
There is a t-nut on the underside of the baseplate to accept the threaded rod. Then I screw the baseplate down to anchor the rod. Threading a wing nut applys pressure to the bar that is “hinged” by resting it on a block..to the right in picture 1. The you get downward clamping pressure on the other end.
I fought lots of movement in the paduk slab so I ended up ripping it and adding in some unplanned accents. It seems to be holding now so all is good.
So here I go. I’ve started glueing up the first squares.
The glue mote has worked perfectly! The last design challenge was a method for aligning the squares.To do this, I made a steel “X” that gives me exact 90deg corners that I can index off of. It seems to be working at the start. Fingers crossed that it continues to align right.
Back out to to glue the next squares. I’ll post more progress later.
-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"