Dovetailed Chessboard

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Project by SailorDaddy posted 03-18-2011 02:58 PM 2529 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a chessboard I made for my dad. He had a nice one when I was growing up that was made out of marble. That one broke so he started playing on a piece of cardboard. I saw a wooden chess board at a friends house that inspired me to make this one. I did not want it to split when it got acclimated to a new environment like the one that I saw at a friends house. I used maple and walnut. I just bought a Ryobi router and table at home depot and so I decided to put it together with sliding dovetails and glue. First I cut the wood in 2in strips on the table saw. then I made a sliding dovetail one side male, one side female. Glued it together then turned the glued strips 90 degrees and cross cut the board into 2in strips again. Then I dovetailed those strips the same way. The resulting squares were 1 3/4inX 1 3/4in. I used the leftover maple and walnut to make the boarder. Then lots of sanding. It took me three attempts to get the board right. I gained alot of experience making this thing. I also learned that I could use alot more tools, like a planer. Anyways, I drove it down to my dads house on his birthday and got him out of bed with his grandkids at 1 am. He was thrilled to see his grandbabies and was totally impressed that I had made this for him (I wrapped it in my sons baby blanket on the way in the door). Now it sits under the porcelain chess pieces that were his father’s. You can see the dovetail in the boarder on the second pic.

-- God, Family, Country, Woodshop!

11 comments so far

View CiscoKid's profile


343 posts in 2872 days

#1 posted 03-18-2011 03:18 PM

Very nice. That is an extremely thoughtful gift.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop's profile

Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop

644 posts in 2689 days

#2 posted 03-18-2011 03:35 PM

Awesome idea to dovetail the strips. That would be a good idea for a cutting board!

-- Drew -- "I cut it twice and it's still too short!"- Rock-n H Woodshop - Moore, OK

View RomDodd's profile


27 posts in 3253 days

#3 posted 03-18-2011 03:50 PM

Very nice work.

-- Romney

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3187 days

#4 posted 03-18-2011 05:05 PM

Nice board and great story! I had made a cpl of these a while back for some cutomers, fun project.

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

View dub560's profile


615 posts in 2911 days

#5 posted 03-18-2011 05:38 PM

nice looking board

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3287 days

#6 posted 03-18-2011 05:43 PM


-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2691 days

#7 posted 03-18-2011 05:45 PM

Great looking chess board! Real nice of you to make that for your dad, did you play a game after y’all set it up?
I have an old woodworking mag I was saving with a sliding dovetail jig article. I’ve been wanting to mke me one but haven’t had the project to use it on yet. When I find the magazine I’ll send you a message and let you know which issue it’s in.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View SailorDaddy's profile


33 posts in 2626 days

#8 posted 03-18-2011 06:46 PM

Thanks devann. I see you are from Texas. I lived there before the Navy and I plan on going back some day. My wife loves it there.

-- God, Family, Country, Woodshop!

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 2942 days

#9 posted 03-19-2011 02:50 AM

Came out very nice. I imagine a tough job on the dovetails.

-- Back home. Fernando

View steliart's profile


2595 posts in 2686 days

#10 posted 03-19-2011 01:27 PM

cool work

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2886 days

#11 posted 03-19-2011 03:50 PM

I have the very same chess set here that my wife made me when we were still only dating, about 40 years ago. I should make a new board for it. The one I did for it back then is leather.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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