2x4 Checkerboard

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Project by Dave Owen posted 04-11-2012 03:59 PM 2303 views 8 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This checkerboard was my entry in our local club’s Tubafore (2s4) contest. It didn’t win a prize, but I did have fun making it, and it should be fun for some of my great grandkids. I first planed off the radius edges from the 2×4, then cut it in half, and glued the two halves together before cutting the 64 individual squares. It would have been more work, but in retrospect, I think the end-grain squares would have been more interesting if I had cut the pieces before gluing the 2×4, and book-matched them. After individual pieces were cut, I first glued them into strips of 1 square x 8 squares – gluing them into the final checkerboard pattern after trimming the glued strips.

Checkers were cut on the table saw – first into squares, before trimming the corners on a miter jig to create octagons. Then the tops were painted with acrylic before cutting the top rabbet. The colors? Auburn, of course!

Each checker has a small rare-earth magnet embedded for ‘crowning’, and the bottoms have non-slip pads. The board and all checkers have several coats of brushed, water-based urethane.

-- Dave O.

7 comments so far

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 2872 days

#1 posted 04-11-2012 04:03 PM

War Eagle!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3504 days

#2 posted 04-11-2012 04:34 PM

i really like this project dave, i think i shall do some boards for some friends…great job, hope your doing well…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3005 days

#3 posted 04-11-2012 04:43 PM

I think ya shoulda won somethin Dave. Very nice tuba4 entry and project/game

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 2464 days

#4 posted 04-11-2012 05:46 PM

Looks great! Especially from a tubafore!!
Thanks for sharing.
Well done.

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View kosimov's profile


4 posts in 3156 days

#5 posted 04-11-2012 09:00 PM

This is a great project, Dave. It is the kind of thing I would expect to see in a magazine!

I have a couple of grandchildren – boys as well as girls – who have expressed an interest in doing some woodworking or carving with me, so they could have fun and learn the techniques as well. I am working on projects for them, as well as how to thoroughly teach them about safety, and that safety is the most important part of the process, etc. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I forgot to teach them something and they went home to mom and dad with missing fingers or worse! I wish I hadn’t said that; now I am going to worry so much I will probably make them hate it.

Anyway, I plan to use your project as one of those which I use to teach some skills and also build something they will use. They all like to play checkers, and two are even interested in chess. I will combine woodworking to build the playing board, and wood carving combine with wood working to do the game pieces. As smart as their generation seems to be, they will probably come up with many more variations.

It would, I believe, be tedious to try to do this with hand tools, but I am sure there are some parts which would lend themselves to hand tooling as well as power tools. I like to use hand tools some of the time, but not to do things which are so tedious and exhausting for an old dog like me. Oddly, some of the things I do without using power tools are sanding and … well, ONE of the things! Again, I only do sanding when it is not too overwhelming, and I am sure the kids will feel the same. One thing about teaching kids is that you must keep their attention by keeping things simple and somewhat rewarding in a short time, and of course, safety safety safety. They have caught me a couple of times forgetting hearing or other protection, so we seem to have a kind of game going about safety, so that whoever catches me or anyone else in a safety violation gets some sort of reward from that person; that was their idea, and it is a good one for anyone who is teaching the use of dangerous tools to children – or anyone for that matter. They especially like to “catch” me because they know my reward will usually be ice cream or a popcicle which I keep around for their visits. But that is actually a good thing; while they are eagle-watching me, they tend to be more focused on themselves as well.

Thanks again; I really enjoy creative people’s work, and yours is all of that.

Larry Holmes

-- --- Larry Holmes Riverdale UT

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2815 days

#6 posted 04-12-2012 01:07 AM

that’s a fine board Dave must have been some good entries in the contest for that not to win i wonder if a person could stain the squares and make a chess board the same to play checkers and chess .not real good at checkers just always getting trapped.i really like it good build.

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View clieb91's profile


3521 posts in 4136 days

#7 posted 04-12-2012 02:35 AM

What a cool use of a 2×4! I am sure the great and justplain grandkids will put it to use.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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