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Thread: Building a Chess Board?

  1. #1
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    Building a Chess Board?

    I've been asked to give a price estimate for building a pretty straightforward chess board. Before arriving at a price, I need to figure out how I'd like to build it. I can think of several ways it can be done, but I'm curious what other folks' experience might have been. End grain or face grain? Solid or veneer? I'm leaning towards thin stock (say 1/4" or so) laminated to a stable substrate like MDF, with a simple frame around the edge to conceal the MDF. The back would be veneered to also hide the MDF.

    Any suggestions?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  2. #2
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    Vaughn,

    I had a request to do the same, but my request came with a stipulation that the playing surface be made from porcelain tiles:

    Attachment 3158 Attachment 3159 Attachment 3160 Attachment 3161

    Attachment 3162 Attachment 3163 Attachment 3164

    I didn't like the concept at first, but I'm not displeased with how it came out.

    Just another variation...
    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  3. #3
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    Greetings Vaughn,

    I built a chessboard 30 years ago and its still going strong. Maple and Walnut
    2" squares that were 1/4" thick - these squares were glued onto 1/2" cabinet grade plywood. The entire board was then edged in walnut. There has been no movement at all.

    The board was finished with varnish.

    Good Luck

    Bob

  4. #4
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    vaughn, i`d go the veneer route too.......cool board marty!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    End grain or face grain? Solid or veneer? I'm leaning towards thin stock (say 1/4" or so) laminated to a stable substrate like MDF,
    If you veneer, you pretty much have to go with face grain, no?
    And if you are veneering, I would bet that even thinner than 1/4" thick pieces would be fine, if you want a thinner/lighter board.

  6. #6
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    I can't remember where I saw it, maybe on NCWoodworkers, but one of the guys showed a chess board he made and chamfered each of the squares. It really added a nice touch to the board. If I can find it I'll post a picture.



    Here it is. Chess Board
    Last edited by Ed Nelson; 01-11-2007 at 05:06 PM.

  7. #7
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    Okay, I admit it - posted a reply meant for this thread to Mike Toupin's thread . 2 chessboards at a time is more than my cranium can sort . So, please read Mike's thread if you want to read my input.
    All the best,
    Ian G

    **Now holding auditions for a catchy new signature**

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    If you veneer, you pretty much have to go with face grain, no?
    .
    art, burl has no grain per-se.......it`s all wrapped up in one package, end,face,edge and knots
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    art, burl has no grain per-se.......it`s all wrapped up in one package, end,face,edge and knots
    I was worrying about the glue strength of face grain. Didn't even think about burl.

    Having made an end-grain cutting board with walnut, I know that end grain will finish much darker, which might be nice for the contrast between the black/white squares.

  10. #10
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    Sorry, but repeating much of this reply in several threads - a lot of veneering questions popping up all at once. I recently took a semester-long veneering class - http://www.palomar.edu/woodworking - where we each made numerous projects including starbursts, mariner's stars and game boards. So my vote would be for a veneered project. Be glad to cull my class notes and handouts and send more detailed replies to specific questions.

    I have notes and a handout on veneering a chess board on MDF (with 1/40" veneer); can veneer edges or (probably better) trim with solid stock. I need to find my article. See also http://www.marquetry.org/chess_board.htm This assumes you have or will make a veneer press or a vacuum bag system. A good basic veneering book would help to get you going in the right direction. My personal experience is that joewoodworker.com is a great site for info and supplies and he has excellent customer service. There are a lot of tips on making your own system. PM me if you want more info.
    If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable!

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