How To Build A Chessboard

Build this simple and elegant chessboard in one afternoon and make it your own by selecting the wood species of your choice.

You will love playing chess on this custom board. And it's easy to do! Select the contrasting wood species you want, gather some glue and a few other tools and materials, and you're ready to start building.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about How to Make a Chessboard

Source: BA Woodworking

Time: a few hours
Complexity: intermediate
Cost: $ 20-50

Tools Needed

  • 18 Gauge Brad Nail Gun
  • Forks
  • Miter saw
  • Router
  • Table saw

Required Materials

  • 1 in. 18 gauge brad nails
  • 2 'x 2' 1/2 "plywood
  • 8 '1x4 Dark Wood Top (Mahogany)
  • 8 '1x4 Light Wood Board (Aspen)
  • Wood glue

Step by Step Project

Step 1: Rip boards on the table saw

Cut the boards to 1-1 / 2 in. On the table saw. You can certainly buy 1x2 boards and skip this step, but I don't always trust the edges to be perfectly square.

Step 2: Rough-cutting boards with a miter saw

Cut four pieces of each species of ripped wood to about 16 inches. We used a stop so we didn't have to repeatedly measure. This rough cut will give you some slack when gluing the pieces together and cutting them into strips.

Step 3: Glue the strips

Arrange the boards alternating light and dark wood. Make sure the edges fit well. In other words, don't rely on pliers to compress the boards. Spread wood glue on the boards, making sure it is even and around the edges. Secure together with bar clamps. Let dry completely.

Step 4: Flatten or sand the board

Smooth or sand with fine-grit sandpaper to lay the newly created board flat and even.

Step 5: Cut the rough edges

Use a miter gauge on the table saw to cut the edges of the board.

Step 6: Set a stop and cross-cut to the board

Using the same square gauge method as above, set a stop at 1-1 / 2 in. Blade and cut eight strips from the board.

Step 7: Flip the strips and glue them

Arrange the strips and flip all the other strips, creating the checkerboard pattern. Glue the strips and secure them together. Let dry completely. Sand or flatten the newly created chessboard.

Step 8: Cut the plywood and attach it to the chessboard

Measure the dimensions of the chessboard. It is highly unlikely that it will be perfectly square, but be sure. Rip and cut your 1/2-inch plywood. The size of your chessboard. Using glue, staples, and 1 in. 18 gauge nails, attach the plywood to the chessboard to create a flat surface at the bottom.

Step 9: Rip the wood to a depth

Measure the height of the chessboard at several points, take the smallest height, and cut the lightest wood species to that size.

Step 10: Write lengths of wood

Line up the torn light board with the chessboard and mark the lengths. Cut the light wood board to the length of the miter saw. Using glue and nails, secure the pieces to the edges of the chessboard. Sand until the tray aligns with the outer frame.

Step 11: Round and tear darker wood

Use a router and a 1/4 in. rounded drill to round the edges of dark wood. Tear plate up to 3/4 in. On the table saw. If you don't want to go through this step, home supply stores sell 3/4 in. square molding of almost all species of wood. These materials are often very inexpensive and can save you construction time.

Step 12: Miter angles on the rounded board for the outside edge

Mitter a 45-degree angle on the rounded table. Take it to the chessboard and scribble on the board to get the length of the outer edge. Repeat this process to get the other three sides.

Step 13: Glue and staple

Glue and secure the miter boards to the chessboard and let them sit until fully healed. Make sure to spread the glue in the corners. This is the key to good retention. If you don't just rely on glue, you can also nail from 1-1 / 2 in. Drive 18-gauge nails into the chessboard and secure completely.

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