George Vondriska

Router Table Chess Board

George Vondriska
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Duration:   18  mins

A chess board is a “bucket list” project for many woodworkers. The boldness and precision present an interesting series of challenges from joinery and finishing perspective. This project provides a simplified approach that brings this project into reach for a woodworker with intermediate skills and a modest set of tools.

The project utilizes some techniques that take much of the stress out of building a chess board, compared to other approaches that you might have seen. Some of the concepts include:

Start with a simple panel. Rather than gluing up a bunch of tiny squares and attempting to keep everything lined up and gap-free, this project starts with a simple panel that can be glued up using a single species of light colored hardwood such as maple, birch, or other closed grain light colored hardwoods. After the panel is prepped add a masking plastic sheet before making the cuts with a V-bit router bit in the router table.

Create squares using a router bit. George walks through the process of determining the size and spacing of the lines on the chess board. You’ll also learn some alternative approaches to making the lines, including the use of a table saw if you don’t have a router table, or if your router table isn’t large enough to produce the size of chess board that you want to make.

Produce contrasting squares by using stain or dye. A chess board has to have a lot of contrast between the squares, and with this approach, you can use any color that you want to set off that contrast. The contrasting squares are created by applying aerosol toner to half of the squares.

We are confident that you will enjoy making this project, and once you accomplish this, there are many more woodworking projects waiting for you in the WWGOA project collection.

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