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I altered the plans which called for a nearly impossible doweling of the squares to each other.
I have made a number of chess boards and everybody says the next thing I need to do is build one with a drawer. DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. There is a single, simple trick to making a wooden chess board which is explained below in the construction section.
If you would like to build addition game equipment, like a table for this board or a metric version, please e-mail . The plans for our Freebie projects are provided free in the hope that you will buy plans for our major projects.
After you download the sketches, these notes will help you understand them more completely. This chessboard is made from a light hardwood (maple, ash, or oak) and a dark hardwood (walnut or mahogany). Square Size -- The drawings are for two inch squares, but you can make them some other size if you like. Jointery -- The notes assume that you will be using biscuit jointery but if you do not have this tool available, you could use wooden splines or simple edge glue the boards.

Splines -- You can cut a grove down each edge of the pieces and then fit a thins strip of wood in the slots.
After the first gluing is completely set, at least 12 hours, turn it side ways and trim the edge off square. After the glue is completely set, at least 12 hours, carefully trim off the extra light squares. If you send us a picture of your finished board, we would be happy to put it on our web page.
After finding the bits wandered in the hard woods I altered the plans to glue the squares to a plywood substrate for stability.
Check on an official chess board to be sure that you are placing the dark square in the correct corner. There length has to be set so that the top of the top piece lines up exactly with the top of the finished board.
I recommend a seal of thinned shellack, and then finish the board with three coats of oil based polyurethane. We very much want to know how you are getting along with your project and would be happy to answer any questions by email.
I used old business cards in between each square to give them just a little space to grow and shrink and it has held together for a good 10 years.

The corners on this board's boarder are cut off at 45 degrees and fitted with strips of the dark wood.
They are the width of the finished square but a little longer than eight times to width of a square so that you will have some trim material.
The problem is that the two woods will expand and contract with changes in humidity and temperature differently which leads cracks over time. Modern glues are great but may not last 75 years and keeping the front face of the board flat is difficult. He had some good ideas but had trouble following through on them so I ended up buying the wood and never seeing him in the shop again.
Use a square on the edge of the first strip to check all the alinement of all the other strips.
You will want to wait until you have completed the entire board before cutting these side pieces. I like chess and loved the looks of the board so I ended up having enough wood for two complete boards with drawers and one board top that stood on the corners as legs, no drawers.

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