Walnut and Maple Chess Board

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Project by BennyJ posted 01-03-2011 03:08 AM 2950 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally got some shop time in December and my brother has really gotten into chess lately so the opportunity presented itself and I took it. I didn’t make the pieces (no way I’m up for that yet), but it was a very nice triple weighted set made of Maple and Rosewood. The style is called “Staunton Regalia” (doesn’t mean anything to me).

I live close to a very nice lumberyard and they had some great quilted maple and walnut boards. The hard part is that my brother was with me at the time so I bought them under the guise of making cutting boards as Christmas presents for others.

I cut up the boards into four each 2 and 1/4 inch strips and glued them up, then cross cut the board again into 2 1/4” strips, then flipped every other piece. I found out the right hand corner for the player is always white so I oriented the wood grain to run from player to player.

Found some challenges doing this, my tablesaw fence doesn’t want to stay square (stock on a Rigid R4511) so the was a little harder than it probably should have been, but glue and tight clamps made up for it. Next time I may not try to glue up all the strips at once, I think I could have made it easier on the sanding stage if I glued it up in pieces instead of all at once.

To make my life easier, I also found out my lumberyard will run stuff through their big belt sander and saved me lots of time trying to level it out. The inlay actually is a full strip as I wasn’t sure which side was going to end up as the top so both sides look the same.

I finished it with 4 brush on coats of Waterlox Original, I lightly sanded with artificial steel wool between coats, but only enough to remove any dust. I then did a coat of Waterlox high gloss. I sanded this up to 1500 grit, then wiped on a last coat of Waterlox High Gloss. Then I sanded with some of the higher grits again. A little wax just to give it some extra sheen and then it was Christmas. I rushed it a little since Christmas came up real fast but I am pretty pleased with the results and I’ve never tried anything like this before. I think my brother is pleased as well.

4 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3289 days

#1 posted 01-03-2011 03:44 AM

wow what a nice smooth finnish on that board. thanks for the finnish leasons i really needed them for a finnish like that, now just to try. Great job!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View souichiro's profile


369 posts in 3346 days

#2 posted 01-03-2011 08:27 AM

The finish looks fantastic, and that maple is so sharp looking. The walnut has such a cool grain in the dry picture, I’m sure that it just “Pops”, but that maple looks so cool in the photos. Love it. Good work on this one!!

-- Dale, Oregon

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3184 days

#3 posted 01-03-2011 01:07 PM

Very nice work. I may have to make one for my brother next Christmas.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3189 days

#4 posted 01-04-2011 12:23 PM

Great job, I made a few a while back as well. I like the colors looks great!

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

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