Red Oak and Poplar Chess Board

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Project by dnewell posted 12-18-2013 04:38 AM 2825 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past weekend I got the itch to make a chess board, and in a surprising turn of events I actually did just that! It’s my first project of any kind with this kind of detail. In the past year I’ve made a chicken coop and a sawhorse desk – a far cry from a chess board.

The dark squares are red oak and the light squares are poplar. The border (3.5 in) is also poplar. In all it’s 19×19in. Home Depot sells strips of poplar and red oak that are 1.5 in wide so I picked out the straightest pieces they had and just had to cut sections at 1.5in increments. After that, it was a pretty easy process of figuring out the dimensions of the border, gluing it all down to the plywood base, and then doing the staining.

If I had to do it again I think I’d stain/finish the border first before gluing everything in. Because the squares needed to be sanded smooth across the board I had to wait to do that last.

The tools I used: Miter saw, circular saw (used to cut the plywood base to size).

I definitely plan to make more of these as gifts – it was cheap and easy to do – so if you have suggestions please feel free to leave some in the comments!

2 comments so far

View Jenine's profile


146 posts in 1894 days

#1 posted 12-18-2013 05:14 AM

with a miter saw and a circular saw!? Wow! That alone is impressive – but the chess board is pretty fantastic, too!

-- - Montana sucks. Tell your friends.

View majuvla's profile


13211 posts in 3039 days

#2 posted 12-18-2013 01:38 PM

Looks good to me.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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