How to Make A DIY Chess Board: Instruction for Wood Carvers

Building your own chessboard can be quite fun, and satisfying to make once you get the best result. It will also make you love playing chess more by using a board that you made yourself.

Now here’s what you’ll need to make an elegant chessboard at home:

Materials Needed:

  • 1” of 18-gauge brad nails
  • 2’ x 2’ of 1/2” plywood
  • 8’ 1 x 4 board of Aspen or light wood
  • 8’ 1 x 4 board of Mahogany or dark wood
  • Wood glue

What it Requires:

  • It takes 3 hours to build
  • Intermediate skill needed
  • It costs $30 to make
  • The tool you’ll need would be Miter Saw, Router, 18-Gauge Brad Nail Gun, Table Saw, And Clamps


Now, here’s what you’ll do with the materials.

Step #1: Cut the Board Into Strips on a Table Saw

Grab the board of aspen and mahogany woods, and rip them to 1 to ½ inch thick. You can also buy a 1 x 2 boards of wood if you want to skip this step.

Step #2: Rough Cut the Boards with a Miter Saw

From the ripped wood pieces, cut each ripped wood into 4 pieces to 16-inch roughly. You can use a stop to avoid measuring it again and again. Rough cutting the woods will make it easier for you to glue them up, and when cutting them into strips.

Step #3: Glue the Finished Strips

Next, lay the strips of wood in an alternate way. Make sure the edges fit well together. Spread the glue evenly on the sides before clamping them up together with the bar clamps.

Step #4: Sand or Plane the Board Evenly

Once the board is completely dried, sand or plane the board to make it flat and even.

Step #5: Cut Off the Uneven Edges

After sanding the board, cut off the rough edges with a miter gauge.

Step #6: Use a Stop and Crosscut the Chessboard

Crosscut the board into 1 to ½ inch strips by using the same miter gauge earlier.

Step #7: Flip and Glue the Strips

Lay and flip every other wood strip to create a chessboard pattern. Next, glue the strips and clamp them all together. Once dried, sand or plane the finished chessboard.

Step #8: Cut and Fasten the Plywood into the Chessboard

Rip and crosscut the plywood into the size of your chessboard. Then use a clamp, use, and 1-inch brad nails. Fasten plywood to the chessboard to create a smooth and flat surface at the bottom.

Step #9: Rip a Wood into Depth

Measure the height of the newly made board in different points, and then take note of the smallest height. Rip an aspen wood to that size.

Step #10: Scribe the Lengths of Wood

Line the ripped board with the chessboard and scribe its lengths. Cut the wood with a miter saw with the given length. Use brad nails and glue to fasten the pieces at the edge of the chessboard. Sand the board until it is flush with the board’s outer frame.

Step #11: Rip a Dark Wood and Round It Over

Use a ¼ inch round-over and a router to round the edges of the mahogany, or any dark woods. Rip it into ¾ inch on the table saw. You can buy a ¾ inch quarter-round in any markets if you don’t want to do this step.

Step #12: Miter the Angles into a Rounded Board to Place on the Outer Edges

Miter a 45-degree angle in the rounded chessboard. Bring it to the board and scribe the other side of the chess to get the length of the board’s outer rim. Repeat the process on the other sides.

Step #13: Glue and Clamp-It Together

Let the mitered boards sit on the chessboard until the glue is fully dried. If you think the glue is not strong enough, then you can use a ½ inch brad nails on the chessboard to make sure that it’s secure.

And there you have your very own DIY chessboard. I hope this guide has helped you out in creating your own chessboard masterpiece. You can check here for images.

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