How to Make a Chess Board & Drawers

by Tad Cronn
Build your own chess board with a storage drawer.

Build your own chess board with a storage drawer.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Chess is a classic game enjoyed all around the world. You need a good board to play, however. Since premade boards, especially ones with storage for your pieces, can be expensive, you may want to build your own. Putting together a board with a storage drawer won't take long once you gather the materials.

Items you will need

  • 32 light-colored 2-by-2-inch ceramic tiles
  • 32 dark-colored 2-by-2-inch ceramic tiles
  • 2 16-by-16-inch medium density fiberboards
  • 1 15.5-by-15.5-inch medium density fiberboard
  • 2 16-by-2-by-1/4-inch pieces of lumber
  • 2 15.5-by-2-by-1/4-inch pieces of lumber
  • 2 15.5-by-1.75-by-1/4-inch pieces of lumber
  • 1 15-by-1.75-by-1/4-inch piece of lumber
  • Glue
  • Finishing nails
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain
Step 1

Put wood glue on one long edge of a 16-by-2-by-1/4-inch piece of lumber and glue it to one edge of a 16-by-16-inch piece of medium density fiberboard, or MDF. This will be the base and the back of your chessboard.

Step 2

Put glue on one long and one short edge of each of the 15.5-by-2-by-1/4-inch pieces of lumber. Glue them to the side edges of the MDF, flush with the back piece, so that you have three sides of a box, with the MDF as the base. There should be 1/4 inch of MDF overhanging at the front.

Step 3

Set the 15.5-by-15.5-inch piece of MDF inside your box. This is your drawer base.

Step 4

Glue one long side of each of the 15.5-by-1.75-by-1/4-inch pieces of lumber and attach to the side edges of the drawer base. Apply glue to one long edge and both short edges of the 15-by-1.75-by-1/4-inch piece of lumber and attach it to the back edge of the drawer base and the drawer sides.

Step 5

Carefully apply wood glue to the front edges of the drawer sides and the drawer base. Set the remaining 16-by-2-by-1/4-inch piece of lumber on the 1/4-inch overhang on the board's MDF base and press the lumber against the drawer edges to make a firm connection. Do not glue this front piece to any other pieces except those belonging to the drawer.

Step 6

Apply glue to the top edge of the chessboard back and sides -- not the drawer. Place the remaining 16-by-16-inch MDF piece on top.

Step 7

Glue 64 2-by-2-inch ceramic tiles on top of the MDF, alternating light and dark. There should be eight squares on each side of a chessboard.

Step 8

Sand all the wood parts of your board and stain the finished product.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add finishing nails for extra strength wherever parts are glued together.
  • Add a drawer pull to give it a finished look.

About the Author

Tad Cronn is a professional journalist living in Los Angeles. His columns have appeared in the "Los Angeles Daily News," the "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," the "Orange County Register" and other publications. He is an award-winning illustrator, author of "The Lynx," and an experienced handyman, model builder and gamer.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images