Made at theCO: Wooden Chess Set

This week’s Made at theCO is a simple guide on how to make a wooden chess set. Chess is one of the most played games on this planet. It comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. However, there is something intriguing about a handcrafted chess board made out of wood that makes you want to play over and over again . . . even if you don’t really play chess (like me)!

Materials & Equipment:

  • Walnut and cherry wood (Any two kinds of wood that contrast with each other will be fine)
  • Band saw
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Corner clamps
  • Wood lathe 
  • Polyurethane

Step One:

First, using the walnut wood as the base, cut the base of the board to your desired dimensions. Using clamps and wood glue, let sit and dry over night. 

Step Two:

Take both kinds of wood and the band saw, and cut small square flat pieces of wood to achieve the “checkered” pattern on the top of the board. It is very important to make sure the pieces are perfectly square as to not have gaps between them. Glue them in an alternating fashion to your base. 

Step Three:

After your board has dried, it’s time to cut the game pieces. This part takes some trial and error if you’ve never had any experience on a lathe. Using the lathe, take a chunk of wood and carve it down to a reasonable size and shape someone would recognize as a pawn, king, queen, etc. 

Now that you have your game board and pieces, make time to put the finishing touch of polyurethane on it to seal the wood from the elements. Then just sit down, relax, and play!