A while back I had built a mid-century modern chess set to play with my son.  This time around I completed the chessboard.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized that the best way to proceed was to simply create a walnut and maple cutting board.  Buy gluing up strips of maple and walnut I was able to cut strips off of that and reassemble them into the classic chessboard pattern.

After some edge cleanup, I sanded all the way to 320 grid and then applied 2 coats of Tung oil!


In terms of sizing, I went with a thickness that just felt right to me. I did, however, research the square size and learned that the chess pieces needed to be 75-80% of the surface. Working backward I ended up with squares that were 30mm meaning that my chess pieces were around 20mm.

Board Setup

On a correct setup board, the square in the lower right-hand corner is always white, making the queen’s position from white’s perspective (on her own color) fourth from the left.  I was unaware of this while I set up the shots but was pointed out to me in a Reddit post.

I think I had the board upside down 😁

This was really fun and actually a very simple project to make.

One thing I wish that I had added is a border around the board. I knew I wanted a bevel but my table saw can’t cut deep enough to get the results that I wanted.

Don’t forget to check out Part 1 where I build an entire Mid Century Modern Chess Set.

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My name is Adam Patterson and I am located in Canada. By day, I am a full-time web developer, but in my spare time, I love to make stuff. In my videos, you will find a variety of woodworking projects that I have created out of recycled and found materials. As a father and mountain biker, I enjoy spending time outdoors and capturing my adventures through photography.

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