How to Make a DIY Chess Board | 8 Superb Steps You Need to Know


Because of its many benefits, chess has become a very popular sport. Chess is fun and a great way to train your brain. Studies show that chess improves brain function and can increase one’s intelligence. You need a board and pieces to play chess. You want to practice chess at home and you want a chess board. Here you can learn how to make a DIY chess board and improve your woodworking skills by doing this.

How to make a DIY chess board

This is how I make two DIY chess boards using two different designs. These are chess boards of regulation size. The squares measure between 2” and 2.5”. For an 18-inch overall board, my squares measure 2.25″. These are end grain chess boards made from walnut or ash. The frame around each chess board can be used to store any unused pieces. The chess board has a walnut frame measuring 3.5 inches and a tiger maple frame measuring 3 inches. On the other hand, the maple frame is raised and “floating” along each side of the board. Both chess boards have a thickness of 1.5 inches. The walnut frame is 25 inches wide, while the maple frame measures 24 inches x 24 inches. Now I will explain the steps to make a DIY chess board.

Read more: How to win at chess every time

Step 1

First, to make a DIY chess board, I cut out the squares for the chess board from walnut and ash. Ash has an interesting end grain, so I chose it. I used 10 1/4″ boards. These boards were thick enough to not cut them in one pass. To cut the opposite side, I had to flip them. I ran each piece through the jointer and then ran it through my table saw to get a straight edge. To cut each board in half, I used the straight edge along my fence. Because I have a 6-inch jointer, I reduced it to a manageable size.

Now the pieces measure approximately 5 inches in width. To flatten the face, I ran it through the jointer. To cut the individual pieces, I ran the boards through my table saw once more. These were cut slightly larger than 2 1/4″ because they will run through the planer, which gives me precise dimensions. The planer was used to run each piece. I wanted square pieces, so I ran them from top to bottom and side-to-side.

Step 2

Before I glued the pieces, I ensured that the grain was in the same direction on all pieces. This will make it easier to detect wood movement and ensure that expansion and contraction are consistent. I wanted to ensure that I didn’t get any dust particles or sawdust mixed in with the glue, so I used compressed air to clean my work area.

I used a lot of glue. To make sure the glue was up flat, I raised the board and put a piece of plywood underneath it to be clamped to. It also makes it easier to move the clamp side-to-side when it is raised a bit from the table. I laid down some parchment paper to ensure that the plywood didn’t stick to my plywood while I glued it up.

Step 3

I clamped the strips using light pressure from one side to the other. I applied vertical pressure with some cauls to the top and bottom to ensure the boards were glued flat. Then I tightened it from side to side and let it dry overnight.

Check out: How to set up a chessboard

Step 4

I removed the clamps and then ran the drum sander through it to remove any excess glue. I started with a plan to remove excess glue that can cause the drum sander to be clogged. Next, I used a random orbit to sand the surface. I wanted to extend the life of my drum sander’s sanding belts. They are quite expensive. Because I reduce the thickness of the drum sander by running it through it, I want to sand it as little as possible.

This makes the squares smaller and more square. After I was done sanding, I had only removed about 1/16 inch. This will not be obvious to the naked eye. Because the final board will be 1 1/2 inches thick, I placed my stock block a bit farther away from the blade to allow me to sand it after it had been glued down. To square up the end of my board, I first ran it through the blade. Then I cut the pieces.

Step 5

I had enough material for two chess boards. The walnut frame will be used on the first board, while the Tiger maple frame will be used on the second. When I was close to the end, I removed the crosscut saw and used my table saw’s fence. As you can see, the board was starting to come together. It was now ready for gluing up. I elevated the board on a plywood sheet to ensure the board was flat. To ensure that the boards were perfectly aligned, I used cauls to attach the boards at the ends.

Then I clamped it in another direction. To compress the top and ensure it was flat, I also used boards. I needed to remove some thickness, so I used 36-grit sandpaper. To prevent the glue from clogging, I cleaned the sandpaper frequently. After several passes, I switched it out to 100 grit and 120 grit. I used the crosscut saw to trim the edges slightly so that everything was squared and aligned.

Step 6

I made a groove on the board around the edges where the frame pieces will be inserted. It will be a tongue-and-groove joint. The tongue will measure exactly half ”). To allow for wood movement, I raised the dado blade just a bit higher than 1/2”. To ensure that the chess board is vertical during the cutting of the groove, I clamped a long piece of MDF against my fence. Now make the frame, I joined the board to get a straight edge to run it through my table saw. The frame will be 3 1/2 feet wide, so with a 1/2 inch tongue, the width of the entire frame must be reduced to 4 ”). To get 1″ thickness, I ran the board through the planer.

Finally, I ran the boards through the drum-sander to clean them. Next, I used the dado blade to cut the tongue. It will fit in the groove along the edge of the chess board. Next, I cut the 45-degree miter. I clamped a board to my miter gauge so that it marks exactly where I’m going to cut. This allowed me to cut my miters to exactly the dimensions I needed. Before gluing, I made sure everything was perfect. Then I glued it up.

Step 7

The frame of the other chess board is now made from tiger maple. It’s going to be designed differently. It is raised off the ground to not touch the bottom of your chess board. I also beveled it by 10 degrees to allow you to reach the bottom and lift the chess board. The same method was used to clamp it. The walnut frame is flush with the board’s bottom, so I used my router for some finger slots. This was done in two passes. I started by lowering the router a bit more than I needed, then lifted it up. This allows for a cleaner cut and prevents unnecessary tear out.

To put in the corners of the joint, I made splines. This helps strengthen the joint and gives it a beautiful design touch. They were cut to the maximum height possible using my blade. They could have been a bit larger if I had the option, but my blade cannot go higher than this. Because I wanted to ensure that the cut was precise, I clamped the board in the jig.

The thickness of the spline was slightly greater than my blade, so I did two passes. I used ash splines for the walnut frame and walnut splines for the maple frame. I used my band saw to cut walnut and ran it through the sander to get the right thickness. After that, insert and clamp them. After the glue had dried, I removed the excess material and sanded it to flush it with the frame’s edge. I did some sanding to remove any sharp edges and clean up everything.

Step 8

Apply the finish. To apply multiple thin coats of polyurethane, I used a wipe-on sponge and a rag. Each side received six coats. It was a little uneven in appearance, with little streaks. I decided to spray it with a sprayer and put on the last three coats. After the varnish had dried for a few days, I used pumice to rub it down. This makes it smoother and removes any sheen professional chess players dislike on their board. I mixed pumice with paraffin oil and then wiped it off with a paper towel. I applied paste wax to protect and polish the board.


Depending on your design preferences and available materials, chess boards can be made quickly. These are just a few ways to make a DIY chess board. The steps are simple. These tutorials can be used to generate income. To make a DIY chess board and patterns, you will need to be proficient in woodworking. You can use your imagination to create the perfect board for yourself and your friends.

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