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First try at a chess board and set

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Project by Spacehog posted 119 days ago 728 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was making a lot of end grain cutting boards for some friends and family for Christmas this year. Some of them had checker like patterns on them, and people started asking if I also made chess boards. I had never actually tried to make a chess board, so I decided to give it a stab just to see how it went.

My basic idea was to have a chess board that was also a box for the pieces. I wanted the actual playing surface to be quite stable, so I decided against having the board fold in the middle. Instead I made a bottom panel that opens to hold the pieces. The chess board itself is made from sugar maple and black walnut end grain. The sides of the box are cedar, and the lid is birch plywood. Oh yeah, and then there’s the pieces. The black pieces are made from white oak and dyed with a black wood dye. Hand carving the white oak proved more difficult than I anticipated and I have a numb thumb and a few scars to prove it! The white side is made from poplar which was much easier to carve, but wasn’t heavy enough. So I added some fishing sinkers to keep the poplar pieces from blowing away, haha. I made an extra queen for both sides and finished it off with a product called shellac which seems pretty good.

I finished the box with some lacquer and added a brass hinge to keep the box shut. But since the hinge seemed flimsy, I also added some neodymium magnets to keep the box shut even if the hinge happens to open. I also added some felt to the bottom of the pieces and the bottom of the board just to keep it from sliding around.

All in all, I’m reasonably satisfied with this. Having said that, I learned a lot and will DEFINITELY change some things for next time. It was a fun first chess board though. I also made my first hand carved dovetail joints which was also interesting and fun. I am glad that I made this board, but I’m much more excited about the next one I’m working on…

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...





4 comments so far

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2254 posts in 1479 days


#1 posted 118 days ago

It must have taken a lot of patience to carve all of the pieces!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View thechipcarver's profile

thechipcarver

46 posts in 174 days


#2 posted 117 days ago

Not bad for your first board. That is something I have always wanted to try to make.

View Spacehog's profile

Spacehog

26 posts in 121 days


#3 posted 117 days ago

I won’t lie, carving the pieces left me with a few cuts that will probably scar. Carving the poplar pieces was no problem, but the white oak was pretty tough. I’m going to pick different wood next time for sure.

-- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might...

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11216 posts in 772 days


#4 posted 113 days ago

Congrats! It came out really great looking. Like the joints and the bottom storage. Great carving on the chess pieces. I think there will be more requests for it. Great job!

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