Wall hanging chess set

I like the idea of a wall-hanging chess set – it doesn’t take up space on your tables so you can take your time to play a game. It also has the secondary function of wall art/decoration.

There are some commercial examples that make use of regular chess pieces that rest on shelves (like this from Straight Up Chess), but as pieces are taller than they are wide, the squares (and therefore the board) are more rectangular in shape. It isn’t the end of the world but I find it a slight distraction.

So for my take on wall-chess, I’ve opted for a square, shelf-less board. This means the pieces need to be custom made to square proportions. Avoiding shelves means either using magnets or drilling holes in the board that the pieces can peg into. I’ve opted for pegs in this case, but might try magnets in the future.

I made my board the same way as my previous one (see this post for further information) with the additional step of drilling holes in the centre of each square. A simple mitered frame was glued to the back of the board to act as a hook for wall-mounting and to counter warping of the board. Against this effort, the board has still curved slightly over time, so I would make a thicker board in the future.

Another point to note: it is hard to see the pieces because they are the exact same colour as the board’s squares. A wall set is less forgiving than a regular table set in this regard because the pieces are completely enclosed by the squares from a player’s perspective. I think either using different woods for the pieces or using some stain would solve the problem.

The pieces are modeled after the 2D depictions often seen in newspapers and books. I drilled shallow holes in the back of each piece and glued in small lengths of dowel to form pegs. They have a friction fit in the board.

Now this hanging set is complete, I’m already filling pages in my notebook designing my next set of turned chessmen.



13 thoughts on “Wall hanging chess set

  1. This is a great Idea. My son (10) has been wanting to build a chess set and I’ve been hesitant to start in large part because he has no turning skill, but I think something like this would be do-able as he can use a coping or scroll saw.

    • Absolutely – I probably spend more time on designing the pieces than on sawing. A scroll saw would have been useful – I used a band saw which was overkill for a project like this. Let me know how it goes!

  2. I realize I’m late to the game on this, but it’s beautiful and brilliant! Did you ever try it with magnets? Do you have an etsy shop or anything and make/sell these?

    • I did’t try with magnets, but I think that would work nicely. It also took me some time to make – maybe it would be faster if I made a bunch at once, but because of that I am not currently making any to sell. Sorry!

    • Hi – I sold this one some years ago. It was a one off made by hand. If you are serious about having one commissioned, that would be awesome, but it would take a number of weeks to make.

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