Creating One King Sized Chessboard

Published On June 13, 2019 | By Ellina Willson | Featured

Playing a game of chess can be a great way to sharpen the mind, increase your tactical thinking, and can be a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon. But as a woodworker, you shouldn’t just be thinking about playing chess, but also about making your own board. While building a chess board out of 64 alternating blocks can sound like a bit of a time consumer, it’s a very rewarding process.

Thankfully, you only need two high-quality types of wood, primarily of different colors, and having eight strips of contrasting wood will make the process easier. If there is one thing you need to know about building a chess board, then it is precision. Every square on the board is the same size for a reason, and yours need to be too.

The easiest way to do this is to line up the eight pieces of wood and glue them together, before cutting them horizontally and getting alternating planks of wood. One color then the next color, so it should look like a chessboard. Put the pieces together and alternate the colors to create the classic look and feel. Once the surface is complete then you can sand it and smooth the grain out.

With that, you have a good DIY chessboard, but in order to make it really professional, you can make a box to hold all those chess pieces as well. You’ll need to groove the edges to create holders for the sides using a saw. Then build a box that is slightly bigger than the lid, using side pieces of wood and coving them accurately to make sure the lid fits neatly between them. Then cut the groove into the sides to give them some float. If this part gets confusing, look for woodworking plans online. Good sites like The Joinery Plans have detailed plans for building chess boards and boxes.

Once you assemble the box, glue everything together and it’s done. Most people like to attach the board to the box using hinges so it can be easily opened. Plus, the board can be slightly elevated above the table. You can place felt inside the box to make it even nicer and even add separators to make finding and storing the pieces easier.

Then just open the box anytime you want to challenge someone to a game of chess, and that’s that. You’ve built your own chess board, and if you want it can even be used for checkers! The board is easily customizable, and you can use what you’ve learned to easily build some other game boards. No more spending money on board games if you can make all the favorites at home, and if you really want a big project, then you can even try to make your own pieces!

Much like making a board, making the different pieces only requires some wood, research, patience, and time. Plus, how cool would it be if you made everything yourself, then you’d certainly have the home court advantage every single time you played.

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