I love getting photos of chess and checker boards that people have built using my tutorial (How To Build a Chess Board or Checkerboard (Part 1 of 3)), or after being inspired by it, and so I’ve decided to start asking permission to post those photos and the stories behind them here. I hope that these photos will provide even more inspiration as well as ideas for customization.
So far over the years I’ve seen some exquisite work, and I’m delighted to be able to share some of them with you. If you’d like your board to be included, let me know by commenting below.
Like most photos on this site, click the thumbnail images for larger, more detailed photos.
Five Boards for Five Boys
In July of 2011, Dennis Bouscal writes:
“In 2 weeks I will be having all 5 of my sons (aged 21 to 45) here for what I hope will be a yearly reunion. They are scattered between L.A. and Calgary, so this is quite an event for me. They each play chess to some extent, so I thought it would be cool to make them a distinctive set of chess boards.
“I began by getting in some practice by making one for myself using 1-1/2” squares. I chose Rock Maple for the boarders, Black Walnut and Birds Eye Maple for the squares, and Jatoba (left overs from our floor) for the inlay and feather-board, and as I am currently recovering my pool table I had lots of felt for the bottoms. At first I was going to cover the entire bottom with felt however the Maple was so beautiful I couldn’t cover it, so I routed a slot for the feather-board, glued the felt down then put in the Jatoba.
“After finishing mine I decided to go with 1-3/4″ squares for theirs, which gives a nice 18” board. I had no experience with Tung Oil and I am now an advocate, so much more than Varathane. I am very pleased with the outcome, all the time spent with each boy’s board provided much thought, memory and soul searching as a dad, a real bonus in making these. Like the boys there is a crack here, a flaw there, contained in an overall beauty.