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Classic Chessboard Plan

Item #
66% of 100

Build a chessboard so fine, it's fit for a king or a queen! The uniquely designed chessboard top works with natural wood movement to keep the top stable. Two built-in drawers are perfect for hiding away your chess pieces. Plan is a reprint from issue 48 of Today's Woodworker magazine. Hardware Kit (#34281, sold separately) and Lumber Kit (#34356, sold separately). Intended for adults only; not for children under 14 yrs of age.

(1) Chessboard Plan
More Information
Weight 0.0600
3.3 / 5.0
23 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Good plans. Very complete.
December 11, 2019
6 months ago
Woodworking Experience:
I like the looks of the chessboard and base.
March 20, 2019
1 year ago
A very nice project.
July 26, 2018
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
Good plans. Above my experience level
I will modify plans and build.
January 10, 2015
The plans I received are full...
The plans I received are full color and high quality. The detail views and plan drawings are excellent, clear, and easy to understand. Though I used my own chessboard grid idea, the project turned out great.
January 26, 2009
I built this board from the...
I built this board from the magazine plans in high school shop class. I was glad that I could find the plans as I want to build another one(8 years later). Everybody that sees it loves it! It's fun to build and the drawers for the pieces make it fancy...I made the dark squares out of wenge and the rest of the box out of walnut. You won't be disappointed if you build this!!!
February 4, 2008
I recently carved an intricate chess...
I recently carved an intricate chess set and board, but I was intrigued by these plans.It may take a while, but it looks perfect to go with this carved, not turned, chess set and I am looking forward to completing it.
January 20, 2008
Good plan could be a little more detailed but all in all very good ! Thank you .
August 26, 2019
10 months ago
This is a very nice weekend project but not for a beginner.
Plans are not complete on some of the parts and I also added a bottom and handles to it which made it heavier so it does not move.
January 18, 2018
over 2 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
I enjoyed doing the project and found the plans pretty good but had to do some calculations to address some parts of the plan..
March 13, 2017
over 3 years ago
Woodworking Experience:
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Browse 7 questions Browse 7 questions and 47 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rockler Store
Gift Idea
Mark S on Apr 17, 2020
Basic instructions for building a chess board box.
TODD Snavely O on Mar 22, 2020
Gift Idea
Mark S on Apr 17, 2020
I'm hoping to make this so I can pass down my father's chess set (the original board is toast) to my son & three grandsons. Not sure any of them know how to play chess, but maybe this will make them want to learn.
John C on Apr 3, 2020
Basic instructions for building a chess board box.
TODD Snavely O on Mar 22, 2020
I can't wait to start this project with my son!
Matthew G on Dec 16, 2019
Something to make for a friend.
Bart T on Dec 9, 2019
This is what I was looking for. Would be fun to build .
Paul C on Jul 28, 2019
I liked the design.
Thomas C on Jun 3, 2019
Very classy design, not too much overkill but still pleasing and can be made without too<br />much trouble. Making two for grandchildren.
KEVIN M on Feb 23, 2019
Just want to make my own chess board. Looks nice from the picture
Richard D on Feb 10, 2019
It looks like something I could make and would be a really nice gift for my son.
Lindsey P on Jan 7, 2019
These were the only plans I could find for a chess board.
Noah A on Nov 12, 2018
Lost my old chess set during a move.
Billy J on May 25, 2018
Needed a new challenge
James M on Apr 25, 2018
i wonted it
james p on Mar 26, 2018
Great project for me and a great gift for my grandson
James V on Oct 2, 2017
Terry R on Jul 15, 2017
model I was looking for
Marshall S on Apr 30, 2017
May try to build it later.
Ronald M on Feb 21, 2017
I belong to a woodshop club and it looks like a nice gift for my grandson.
W I on Nov 1, 2016
I want to make the chessboard with the drawer for the chess pieces.
Howard E. H on Oct 9, 2016
Because it looked good.
bb on Sep 18, 2016
I've used plan before and it turned out beautiful. I used African Paduach and Yellowheart.
James C on Aug 29, 2016
something cool for my 16 year old boy in woodshop
trent W on Jan 26, 2016
To get ideas
James W on Dec 21, 2015
Hope to make it some day.
Black Bass on Nov 15, 2015
Who doesn't like chess or checkers?
Mack H on Oct 20, 2015
I purchased this plan with my brother, and Christmas in mind. He likes playing chess, plus he has a nice set of hand carved chess pieces that our parents gave him years ago for his birthday. I thought he would get a kick out this chessboard, and he did. At the time it was a bit of a challenge for my skill level, but it all worked out in the end.
James on Oct 3, 2015
I am making a San Francisco 49ers checker board for my son-in-law for Christmas. This looked like a good plan unless I find a different plan that could possibly be different. This will be my first time trying to build a checker/chess board. Should be fun!!
JOHN H on Jul 29, 2015
Game night
Michael H on Jul 8, 2015
Looks nice
Michael T on Jul 2, 2015
Going to build my grandsons' first chess board.
R.A. K on Apr 28, 2015
gift for my son
Jeffrey Z on Apr 20, 2015
Maker as a gift
Darsey M on Apr 18, 2015
I'm hoping to make this so I can pass down my father's chess set (the original board is toast) to my son & three grandsons. Not sure any of them know how to play chess, but maybe this will make them want to learn.
John C on Apr 3, 2020
I can't wait to start this project with my son!
Matthew G on Dec 16, 2019
What are the dimensions of the finished chess board? What is the size of each square?
John Smith on Oct 11, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The squares are 1 5/8" square. The playing board (without the frame) measures 13 1/2" square - with the surrounding frame the entire unit measures 18" square. For me, it was a little small, so I just increased the measurements (by the same proportion) until I got the size I was looking for to fit my pieces.
If I buy the plans is it just like the picture? With the drawers and everything?
A shopper on Apr 20, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Answer: "Yes" However, I purchased the plans, was not impressed with all drill holes required to join the individual squares. I did not "use" this Rockler plan. I did build a 3/4" thick chessboard (only-without drawers), utilizing maple and walnut squares, cut into 1.500" square. I "joined" the squares by sawing slots, on centerline, from four
foot long strips of hardwood-on two sides initially. Then, I used a 100 tooth (new) carbide saw blade to slice
up the 64 squares,with the help of a stop. For the other two sides, I fabricated a jig, to encapsulate and support each block, with a "face plate", which was glued and screwed along the side of 3/4" sled. The "sled" is carefully notched out, which was approximately 15" long by 4" tall, in the center of the 3/4" thick sled. By doing this, each block is sandwiched between the "face plate" on the left and the table's fence on the right. Keeps your fingers away from the spinning blade. I used a quality piece of pine for this jig. Each 1.5" block should fit snug to the 1.5" x 1.5" opening to prevent any movement. If not, use duct tape to "close the gap" on any given side. I used full length splines, 3/4" wide by approximately 3/16" thick, ripped on my table saw. For the other two sides, during 'glue up', I had a good supply made up of 3/4" x 3/4" short splines during assembly. I "picture framed" the board and splined the entire inner frame's side too . Finally, used Titebond III glue, wax paper and a flat surface, utilizing steel pipe clamps and a damp rag to remove excess glue.
Where can size appropriate chess pieces be found?
Tom P on Nov 4, 2019
BEST ANSWER: The House of Staunton has firmly established itself as the gold standard by which all chess pieces, chess boards and chess sets are judged. All of the luxury chess products have been produced with the discerning chess collector in mind. They adhere to the highest quality standards and their master artisans handcraft the chess pieces, chess boards and chess sets out of such luxurious materials as Porcelain and Maple Burl. Indulge yourself and discover what countless other chess enthusiasts know – The House of Staunton is the finest chess supplier, offering chess pieces, chess boards, unique chess sets, accessories and equipment – bar none! The Staunton Pattern Chessmen, as they were officially known, became commercially available on September 29, 1849 and quickly became the world standard of chess pieces. They are also one of the largest wholesale suppliers of chess equipment in the U.S. If you already own a chessboard, you may match your pieces accordingly to the size of the king, and woods used in your chess board.
What type of wood stock was used for the case?
Noah A on Nov 17, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Hello. I did not build this particular chess board/box, but I have built others. For my two most recent works, I have used a combination of walnut and maple for the squares, and used cherry or red oak for the case or frame. The maple and walnut has very nice contrast and the red oak or cherry is different enough to make a nice frame. Hope this helps.
How large is the case?
David on Mar 11, 2020
BEST ANSWER: The chess board was about 24" square and the case about 4" larger on each side. I hope you're a really good wood worker because I found the plans weren't close to accurate. It took more than a month to build because I had to make numerous pieces to fit. Following the plans, some pieces short others no way they fit. Finally ended up being a beautiful piece, but, lots of frustration. Good luck.
Why couldn’t you just make it like you would a cutting board?
GARY M. on Feb 21, 2019
BEST ANSWER: You could did mine with individual squares without the dowels.
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