Chess Board

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Project by RussInMichigan posted 10-03-2011 09:17 PM 1480 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A chess board I made a while back. Maple, walnut and oak with 2 1/4” squares. Making the board is easy compared to getting the finish right. Start with the wood surface itself. Flatten to 400, clean, inspect, repeat as needed. Flatten to 600, clean, inspect, repeat as needed. Go to 1000, clean, inspect and repeat. Then, apply 6 coats of a building finish material sanding between coats. Here, I used a polyurethane varnish. Then, wait out the cure time for the poly. I waited seven days. Then, rub out the finish. Flatten by wet sanding to 400, 600, 1000, and 1500, clean, inspect, repeat as needed. Then, go to a coarse pumice with an oil lubricant, then a fine pumice in oil and then to rottenstone using oil as lubricant. Looks nice when it’s done, but for the time spent to get the shine, you could play a lot of chess on a board with a couple coats of wipe-on poly.

3 comments so far

View Michael Wilson's profile

Michael Wilson

588 posts in 2487 days

#1 posted 10-03-2011 10:07 PM

ya know I never gave much thought to what went in to making chessboards.

But then last weekend I made my first butcherblock.

I can’t imagine how you get the the actual pieces of a particular color quite so consistent.

Beautiful board!

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2494 days

#2 posted 10-10-2011 03:36 AM

Nice looking board but certainly there are faster and easier ways to get a good finish. Skip a couple of those grits (never notice a thing with a clear finish). use different methods/materials, use power. That is unless this was an exercise, then it’s all for the good and can’t be beat.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3557 days

#3 posted 10-10-2011 03:45 AM

Looks nice. Someday I am going to make a chess board.

-- Joe

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