|Project by Tomoose||posted 12-15-2009 05:46 AM||6950 views||14 times favorited||16 comments|
Well, here it is. After many months of looking at all of your excellent projects, here is my first project post. I am a rookie at woodworking and I have been hesitant to post a project for my level of intimidation from seeing all of your truly fine work. This started out as just a board/box for some Onyx pieces we had gotten in Mexico years ago. I have limited tools and budget (and skills?) so I planned this board using only Poplar instead of two contrasting species of wood (mistake #1). I stained the grey and black strips prior to joining and cutting into the checkerboard pattern. In a perfect world that might have been fine, but I was left with small “steps” along the edges of the spaces. I could not sand them smooth or the color would sand away. After considering starting over (and a lot of head scratching) my solution was to pour self-leveling bar-top epoxy in order to attain a level playing surface. That worked out pretty well (what a cheater I am). The box has finger joint construction with a 1/8 Birch ply bottom. The board is sized just big enough to slip-fit over the box (like a shoe box lid).
Playing with the Onyx pieces proved miserable, as it was too dificult to distinguish between pawns, bishops, etc. (and then my complaining kids made me miserable). Begin Phase II – the pieces. I do not have a lathe (and wouldn’t know how to use it if I did), so I found some plans for bandsaw pieces on Shopsmith’s website. I scaled the patterns down for the pieces to fit my board. I think making them smaller added some challenge to the band saw work. A crash course on compound cuts – that is the longest my bandsaw has ever run. 34 pieces and 20-some emery boards later, all (ok, most) of my saw marks were gone. I then convinced myself that I had a problem with the pices feeling too light to the touch. 3/4-inch long x 1/4 solid Brass rods, inserted from the bottom into the core of each piece gave them a nice, solid feel. The last photo shows a bit of the dividers inside, and the extra queens. The finish is just some Cabot stain – wiped off early to try to get a weathered, old look, and some water-based polycrylic – semi for the box and gloss for the pieces.
This was a giant learn-from-my-mistakes project, but it turned out decent enough. Hopefully the next project will benefit from all the dust I made on this one!
Thanks for looking – Tom
-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso