Raised Square Chess Board

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Project by ghazard posted 04-06-2010 03:13 AM 5537 views 15 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Paduk with Curly Maple and Cherry squares. 14”x14”. Squares are 1.5”. 3 coats satin Poly.

The design caused a couple of assembly challenges. The biggest two were how to align squares to each other and then how to clamp them individually during glue up. The indexing proved relatively simple to solve. I made a steel “X” that was wide enough to span 2 blocks, set the first 2 and then indexed the rest…2 at a time. I had to think about the clamp method a little more and ultimately came up with a cantilever clamp arrangement that actually worked quite well.

Also, I couldn’t risk any squeeze out of the glue from beneath each block. So I routed a “glue mote” around the bottom side of each block. I applied glue to the square, flat area interior to the groove. When the glue inevitably squeezed, it was caught in the mote and held underneath the block. No glue is visible and best of all…no cleanup around the blocks!

To finish between the squares I wrapped my cloth around a card scraper, dipped it in the Poly and slid it between the blocks. I didn’t bother sanding between the blocks during finishing because the surface texture is not noticeable at all so I saved myself the work.

I am really happy with it despite some frustrating moments of a big mis-cut that required a new paduk strip to be glued onto the base and blended in and a few other minor errors. Going back to check the squareness of the blocks, I can insert the steel alignment “X” into every intersection except one! A block must have walked on me during glue up and I missed it…but without the “X”, I can barely tell where that spot it.

The pieces I purchased online. (the light pieces are not nearly as yellow in person as they show in the pics.)

Hope you like.

Thanks for looking and for all the help as I was planning this.


-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

10 comments so far

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 04-06-2010 03:34 AM

Unique and nice chess board. Very well thought out. Great job.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View souichiro's profile


369 posts in 3315 days

#2 posted 04-06-2010 03:55 AM

Very cool idea! It looks great!

-- Dale, Oregon

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3258 days

#3 posted 04-06-2010 04:05 AM

great idea fro the glue squeeze out, it really came out nice!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

#4 posted 04-06-2010 04:14 AM

It’s awesome!

-- Charles-Etienne Sauvé-Faucher, Ebéniste.

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3158 days

#5 posted 04-06-2010 06:06 AM

Very cleaver!

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

View dakremer's profile


2664 posts in 3061 days

#6 posted 04-06-2010 06:10 AM

I really like this twist on a chess board – love the design, and awesome idea on the “glue mote.” Really clever. Great job

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3034 days

#7 posted 04-06-2010 12:38 PM

great looking board..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View jhawkinnc's profile


111 posts in 3270 days

#8 posted 04-06-2010 04:19 PM

Great job!

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3324 days

#9 posted 04-09-2010 11:32 AM

Out side of the box… I love it… and the canterlevered clamp… outstanding..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12758 posts in 3126 days

#10 posted 04-09-2010 04:06 PM

very cool design and excellent instructions… nicely done…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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