Chess board

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Project by jtriggs posted 10-07-2011 07:13 AM 8625 views 12 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built these from some plans in a magazine several years ago. I’ve still got the plans but can’t remember what magazine they came from. A friend found them and wanted me to help him build them. He had some good ideas but had trouble following through on them so I ended up buying the wood and never seeing him in the shop again. I like chess and loved the looks of the board so I ended up having enough wood for two complete boards with drawers and one board top that stood on the corners as legs, no drawers.

The wood is wenge and curly maple on the top and the body and drawers is mahogany. There are drawers on both sides held by spring clips to keep them shut.

I altered the plans which called for a nearly impossible doweling of the squares to each other. After finding the bits wandered in the hard woods I altered the plans to glue the squares to a plywood substrate for stability. I used old business cards in between each square to give them just a little space to grow and shrink and it has held together for a good 10 years.

Each square has a chamfer on each side that sets them apart and looks nice, imho. The finish is hand rubbed tung oil and it still looks great. I wish I had some real nice chess men to complete the set. Mine are just some old cheap ones but they still work!

I don’t get to play on it much but I’m glad when I can pull it out and play someone a game. Thanks for looking.

-- Jon --Always remember, never live your life by a motto.

7 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3216 days

#1 posted 10-07-2011 09:46 AM

Nice I like the raised top, I built some w/o the drawers a while back. Well done.

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

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3095 days

#2 posted 10-07-2011 02:47 PM

Great job!! Nice work.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2720 days

#3 posted 10-07-2011 06:07 PM

A real sweet looking chess board you have built there. I too like the raised top, good job.

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

View Mark Blomster's profile

Mark Blomster

107 posts in 3013 days

#4 posted 10-08-2011 12:48 AM

I can remember the magazine, too, but can’t think of the title! Great job on the chessboard! Love the compartments for the pieces. Nicely done!

View WilcoFlier's profile


58 posts in 3041 days

#5 posted 10-08-2011 11:51 AM

Wauw, great job. You inspired me!

-- Wilco Flier

View SSAyotte's profile


3 posts in 3424 days

#6 posted 10-20-2011 01:19 PM

I have made a number of chess boards and everybody says the next thing I need to do is build one with a drawer. Do you have the plans? Can you send them to me along with some comments on changes you made that you felt worked?

View acducey's profile


65 posts in 2532 days

#7 posted 01-10-2012 06:12 AM

Nice work!
I agree that the doweling between all the squares is something of a pain. I made two of them, and they turned out to be a good bit more work than I had anticipated.
The plans for this board are reprinted in a Woodworker’s Journal special publication of SMALL BOX PROJECTS, Summer, 2011, pp. 32-40.

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