Giving chessmen just a little more room…


The first chess board I made looked a little small when all the pieces were set out on it. So I went back to the lumber store for more purple heart and hard maple to make a slightly larger one. The squares this time are 2″ rather than the 1 3/4″ of the old board. Two take home points here:

  1. The chess set looks way better now there is more room on the board.
  2. I bought rough lumber this time rather than the pre-surfaced stuff. I spent about the same money for both boards, but the new one is much thicker than the original one. I figured there was no point in getting the surfaced stuff given the amount I planed off after the glue-ups anyway.

I also made an extra queen of each colour to be used for pawn promotions, like the professional sets have. It has been a long time in the making, but I am very satisfied with the set and can finally call this project complete.


7 thoughts on “Giving chessmen just a little more room…

  1. A beautiful design. I like how the colours drop off the edge of the board. As a chess fan, I would personally like to see lettering and numbering around two of the sides and most chess boards are framed, giving them a nicer finish. I also think you could alter the design of the bishop piece as it is too similar to the rook at the moment. I also thought it may be better to make the rook, bishop and knight all the same height and to only have the king and queen pieces standing tall.

    Hope this helps if you decide to make another one. What price tag would you put on something like this?

  2. Thanks Robert. An intention of the design was to make the height profile of the back-row pieces sweep down from the king/queen and back up to the rooks. That said, I also like your idea of having the king/queen one height, and the remainder of the pieces constant but shorter. Yeah – maybe the next one!

    As for price, the materials came in under $100. Given that I am doing this for fun, I guess I would sell it for a little above cost, but if I had to pay the bills with it – maybe $300 or so. I took a lot of time to make given it was done with hand tools and a foot powered lathe.

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