Making a Folding Chess Board

This was a long awaited project. I’ve had this project in mind for a while now but didn’t really get started, as many other times, by fear of failing….or by the simple fact that I had no idea how to make it. But when I started out It wasn’t so scary.

I started by milling and resawing all the lumber to about 1cm thick pieces that I then cut into 42mm strips. Thats the size of the squares. I glued the strips together, two of each type of wood. I used walnut and ash for this project as they look good together and they are contrasty enough for a chess board.

Since I was making it a folding chess board I kind of made two separate Chess boards that I hinged together. That’s why I was only glueing two of each wood type strips together.

Once the glue was dry I cut them using my table saw and a stop block to cut them at 42mm again. And then I could glue them together once again. Now it was starting to look like a chess board.

I used mdf for the bottom to prevent the walnut and ash from bending. I glued the chess board to the mdf and had the mdf stick out on three of the sides so that I could attach the frame to the mdf.

The frame was also made from walnut and ash. I cut the ash thicker for the outer frame and the walnut about 3mm thick. I glued the frame pieces together and then cut a groove using the router for the mdf to attach to.

Then I did a whole lot of sanding and hinged the two pieces together with piano hinges.

The whole process can be seen in the video below.


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Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and also the rest of the site is also really good. Carly Maxwell Straub

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