Chessboard with Storage

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Project by Triman posted 1568 days ago 1370 views 8 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My nephew has been wanting a chessboard for years, so for a (very late) Christmas present, I put this together for him.

It’s made of birdseye maple and ziricote. The squares are the official 2.25” tournament size, which means the overall size is 19” x 19” x 4”. It weighs a ton!

The sides have an inlay of ziricote, and since I wanted the drawer front to continue this pattern without any handles, I routed out a 5/8” deep groove, with a strip of ziricote inset, but flush with the outside of the box. Just enough to grab a hold of it. I also recessed a couple of magnets on both sides, on the inside of the drawer front, then covered with wenge dowel slices to hide them. This gives the drawer a slight “snug”.

The drawer with the most challenging. I wanted the impression of a single chunk of wood, so I glued up 2 pieces of 1 1/2” thick curly maple. I then used a 2” round nose router bit on my router table. This was a bit scary. That’s one big chunk of metal spinning! I had to take about 10 passes for each “trough”. So, after around 80 passes, I had the drawer base. I then made the 3 passes on the tablesaw, then glued in the 3 strips of ziricote to act as dividers. The drawer front was made with the same router bit, then glued up.

The 4 feet are also ziricote.

I added 3 drawer glide strips (fexible delrin(?)), which made the drawer slide much easier. I finished with 6 coats of Tung Oil Finish.

Overall, I’m happy with the finished product. However, if I make another, I’ll stick to a traditional drawer with traditional dividers. The routing was way too difficult, and too scary!

-- Bruce, San Jose, Ca

12 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2371 posts in 1624 days

#1 posted 1568 days ago

Nice Set !! Where are the pieces ?

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Diggerjacks's profile


1714 posts in 1722 days

#2 posted 1568 days ago

Nice set

Well done

I like it a lot
Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View CharlieM1958's profile


15622 posts in 2802 days

#3 posted 1568 days ago

Great design and build!

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

View deon's profile


2132 posts in 1609 days

#4 posted 1568 days ago

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1698 days

#5 posted 1568 days ago

maybee scary to make but that drawer looks awesome speciel with that wood
very well done


View JimArnoldChess's profile


196 posts in 1578 days

#6 posted 1568 days ago

Excellent board! I like the edge design and really like the way you did the drawer.

Very cool!



View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 1614 days

#7 posted 1567 days ago

Very nice indeed.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View wdwrkr's profile


23 posts in 1584 days

#8 posted 1567 days ago

Gorgeous! I love the way you mitered the drawer front to avoid the parting lines a traditional drawer would have. I too try to minimize the appearance of drawers in my work. I like the subtlety of it. The router bit method for making the troughs would be scary indeed, but boy what an effect. I guess that’s a sublety most non-woodworkers never get to appreciate – the risk of lost digits to produce fine woodworks. Congratulations on a fine piece.

View webwood's profile


618 posts in 1833 days

#9 posted 1567 days ago

sweet board – great design

-- -erik & christy-

View Ken90712's profile


14818 posts in 1772 days

#10 posted 1394 days ago

What a great board! Like what you did for the boarder as well. I hade made a cpl boards just recently and hadn’t thought og doing the edge that way. Nice work.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Savage Woods's profile

Savage Woods

16 posts in 818 days

#11 posted 818 days ago

Did you also make pieces to go with this spectacular board…?

-- Rare & Elusive Ziricote @

View jetwhoop's profile


56 posts in 701 days

#12 posted 700 days ago

I’ve always like chess board look. This looks great and with great storage. Makes me want to try one, nice.

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