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Hidden Compartment Chess Table

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Project by CharlieM1958 posted 2027 days ago 6826 views 22 times favorited 50 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was inspired not just by the contest, but by my grand-nieces and nephews, who have a tendency to play with, lose, eat, or otherwise mistreat game pieces. I came up with the idea of a removable top with hidden trays underneath. Rather than hinge the top, I decided to make both it and the trays unattached so that the game can be played at another table or on the floor.

There are runners on the underside of the top (see last photo below) which serve two functions: They fit exactly into the provided places in the table base to keep the top from moving around, and they slightly elevate the playing surface when the top is used by itself, making it easy to pick up. The trays rest inside the table base by their handles on the provided ledges. I divided the space into two trays so that one could be used for chess men, and the other for checkers.

Construction is all walnut except for the maple squares and inlays, and the birch ply tray bottoms. This was my first attempt at tapered legs using my new table saw and a taper jig. They are two-sided tapers, and actually went off without a hitch (which was a great surprise). The miters were also cut on the table saw, using a miter sled I constructed. I know some will want to take issue with my capturing the board inside the frame. Time will tell, I suppose. Here in south Louisiana, humidity is consistently very high, and temperature extremes are not that great. I’ve constructed a number of things this way over the past few years, and so far (knock on wood) no problems with wood movement.

Finish on top is oil-based wipe-on poly, sanded out after a number of coats so that , in effect, the poly becomes a grain filler for the walnut. The last few coats then leave a glass-smooth surface. Finish on the table base is also wipe-on poly, but without the smoothing-out process.

Thanks for looking. All questions, comments, criticism welcome.

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





50 comments so far

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2925 days


#1 posted 2027 days ago

it’s a fantastic looking table, nice work.
love the look of the top.
best of luck in the contest!

View Bigbuck's profile

Bigbuck

1347 posts in 2261 days


#2 posted 2027 days ago

Very nice charlie, I like the removable top idea

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View johan's profile

johan

144 posts in 2108 days


#3 posted 2027 days ago

Ha,yes what a lovely table i like the more sleek lines of this table if thet makes sense.

-- Johan, South Africa, www.wildwoodboxes.co.za /www.knysnawoodworkers.co.za

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 2412 days


#4 posted 2027 days ago

Looks great! Great job on finishing it as well—I love wipe on oil-poly.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks, http://uppercutwoodworks.com/

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2484 days


#5 posted 2027 days ago

Great job Charlie!!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

3474 posts in 2125 days


#6 posted 2027 days ago

Sorry Charlie, All I can offer is the Good ol’ WOW, that’s what I’m sure I’d say if I walked up to it for the first time. Master work. Love the details. The inlays are gorgeous , the wood is fantastic, the design is top notch the fit and finish superior. Super!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View lew's profile

lew

9944 posts in 2354 days


#7 posted 2027 days ago

Charlie,

Absolutely beautiful table! The tapered legs and arched sides give it a very “light” look. And the finish on the top- well I wish i could do that level of work!

Best of luck in the contest.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2561 days


#8 posted 2027 days ago

This probably the greatest of a long series of great projects. Charlie, you just keep getting better and better. A real master.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Mike_in_Ohio's profile

Mike_in_Ohio

22 posts in 2048 days


#9 posted 2027 days ago

Beautiful table!

-- Mike

View YorkshireStewart's profile

YorkshireStewart

1106 posts in 2499 days


#10 posted 2027 days ago

Absolutely first class Charlie; beautiful design, choice of materials, construction and finish!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 2478 days


#11 posted 2027 days ago

youve outdone yourself there charlie ! what a nice peice that is , well done !

View TomK 's profile

TomK

504 posts in 2473 days


#12 posted 2027 days ago

Really like the design fo this Charlie.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View majeagle1's profile

majeagle1

1416 posts in 2094 days


#13 posted 2027 days ago

What can I say that others have not already said….......... You truely have outdone yourself and you “ARE” a master. This is a piece that you call a “WINNER”. The only criticism that I can make is ” It’s not in my house”!
I really like ths design and sleek lines of the whole piece.

Great job and thanks for sharing.

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks, http://majesticeagleww.etsy.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/majesticeagle/

View Woodhacker's profile

Woodhacker

1139 posts in 2321 days


#14 posted 2027 days ago

Charlie, simply beautiful in every way. Well thought out design and excellent craftsmanship.

Thanks for posting it.

-- Martin, Kansas

View FlWoodRat's profile

FlWoodRat

732 posts in 2507 days


#15 posted 2027 days ago

Charlie, that is a great looking table. I really like the inlays on the top. Thanks for posting it.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

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