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Forum topic by McFly posted 10-21-2015 11:37 PM 786 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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McFly

188 posts in 493 days


10-21-2015 11:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question milling tablesaw walnut maple

I’ll warn ya now, this is a long post.

I am lucky enough to work in a woodshop where I am free to see to dispose of cutoffs and scrap as I see fit.

We recently cut up a ton of maple and walnut for two seperate jobs. When the wood chips settled, I had a rather solid hoard of scrap. I laid it out on a table and immediately thought about making a chessboard.

Here’s my plan:

Unfortunaltely, the heights and widths were so varied that I couldn’t build my chessboard from the individual boards I had on hand. So I decided I would true up the edges and glue up a “blank” of each species and then cut those blanks into equal width strips.

Once I have the strips, I’ll glue them up into 10 strips of alternating species so I can stagger them for the final glue up.

The shortest blank width of the two is 15”
The shortest blank length is 18”

Since 15” is the largest dimension I can square and I need 10 strips for the stagger, 1.5” seemed like the right answer.

But if I factor in a 1/8” blade’s kerf, I lose 1.125” (9/8) over 9 cuts, leaving me only 13.875” of usable product.

So do I use 13.875 as the denominator for my square’s dimension? 1.388 (i’m thinking that’s about 1 & 3/8”, no?)

What say the LJ’s?


11 replies so far

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Betsy

3338 posts in 3361 days


#1 posted 10-22-2015 03:57 AM

Okay – just some thoughts before I sign off for the night – a chessboard is only 8 squares by 8 squares – or at least that’s what i used on the last one I sold.

You’ll only need 4 strips of walnut and 4 of maple – so you should be okay on width as for length that’s totally dependent on your square size you decide on.

As for the actual size of your squares – that is usually based on the size of your chess pieces – but if you don’t have that – I would make the squares as large as you can.

I’m not sure what you mean by “stagger them for the final glue up.” Unless I’m missing something – your first glue up would be maple, walnut, maple, walnut, maple, walnut, maple, walnut. After that you cross cut eight slices and flip every other one to get the pattern.

Now one issue I can see you having is since you are cobbling lumber together to make your initial blanks – you could run into a problem of aesthetics – the extra joints may make the finished board look odd – joints in the middle or to the left or right of a square, etc.

That’s my two cents – let me know if I misunderstood your post.

Good luck

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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McFly

188 posts in 493 days


#2 posted 10-22-2015 10:25 AM

Sorry if I was being unclear. I have 2 glued up boards of each species. I intend to cross cut them and glue the strips together to create the chessboard pattern.

I realize now that I hadn’t considered I would only need 4 of each species per row/column in order to complete. This makes far more sense.

So after I cut 4 strips of each species, glue together in alternating strips for my blank, I suppose I could rotate every other strip to ensure the pattern is correct. Does this sound more reasonable?

My initial thought process was flawed.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1980 days


#3 posted 10-22-2015 12:07 PM

I would not even worry about saw kerf width in the beginning. I’d run all my measurements from blade to fence.

So, if I wanted 2” squares, I’d start by cutting four lengths of maple, 2” wide, and four lengths of walnut, 2” wide.
Then you glue up the squares as Betsy described. You’ll end up with a wide board, with alternating maple and walnut stripes, with a maple start, and a walnut at the end.

When you do the perpendicular cuts, that is when you need to have your lengths well longer than 2” times 8”, or 16”. I’d use more like 17”, to allow for blade kerf and skim cuts to the outside squares on the two ends are not thinner, and you can align all the squares up when you do the final glueup after flipping the boards after the second cut.

Since your shortest width is 15”, and length is 18”, I’d think in terms of making 1.5” to 1.75” squares. This would be very possible, and leave plenty of scrap on the 15” width easy. Plenty big for a chess board. But don’t cut everything to final length in the beginning, just cut to desired width. Leave them all well longer throughout the process, so you can have even squares at the end.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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McFly

188 posts in 493 days


#4 posted 10-22-2015 04:22 PM

I’ll plan to cut them wider than I want and then trim as needed.

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3361 days


#5 posted 10-22-2015 11:23 PM

Paul is spot on.

“I suppose I could rotate every other strip to ensure the pattern is correct. Does this sound more reasonable?”

If your glue your slats m/w/m/w and so on. After you cross cut flip (or rotate) every other one to get your pattern.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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McFly

188 posts in 493 days


#6 posted 10-23-2015 12:26 AM

Sounds about right, Betsy. Going to put some time into this one tomorrow before work and see if I can’t get my slats into a glue rack.

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McFly

188 posts in 493 days


#7 posted 10-23-2015 02:25 PM

Ended up cutting the slats @ 3” and planing them all together down to 2.5625” (2 & 9/16”) wide to account for the 1/8” kerf and a 20.5” wide board and 1” of loss over the 8 final cuts (8 slats and a cleanup on each of the edges).

Here’s hoping this works out square!

Pics of today’s progress.

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McFly

188 posts in 493 days


#8 posted 10-23-2015 09:22 PM

Only made one mistake. Curious if it’s all that noticeable

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

3338 posts in 3361 days


#9 posted 10-26-2015 05:55 AM

That’s a trick question because you have covered the mistake with the push stick! cry foul! Aside from that – no I don’t see what is the one mistake.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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McFly

188 posts in 493 days


#10 posted 10-26-2015 10:17 AM

LOL, you’re close.

The furthest course ended up being .175” shorter than the rest. Made a calculation error somewhere along the line. Stands out like a sore thumb to me. Hoping it won’t be all that noticeable when all is said and done.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1980 days


#11 posted 10-26-2015 11:04 AM

It looks great, but I’ve made a few of these over the years, and never gave the math that much thought. Just decided what size single square I wanted, and started my strips from there. I generally use an 80 tooth blade in my table saw to eliminate that pesky edge planing on the jointer that sends your measurements into fractional purgatory. The last one I made was built into the top of a box that when you flipped it over, there was a sliding door that opened a chamber that held a pacific coast maple, purpleheart and paduak checker set for my grandson.
I think it is in my projects on this site.

And your worst fears have materialized, with the last run .175 thinner than the rest. (It becomes more noticeable when you put pieces on the board.)

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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