Gameboards and Coloring Wood

I want to create an inlayed chess board (and possibly accompanying back-gammon board) into a table top. I was wondering of techniques that can be used to get different colored tiles.
My plan is to cut some square pieces of wood, glue them on a flat surface, and run the whole thing through a planer (before sanding and finishing of course).
The other option is to run two pieces of wood through a planer, and then cut the square peices, and glue them on, and sand smooth (but I forsee that as being more work).
Ideally, I would use two different types of wood. However, I was wondering about the possibility of bleaching or staining the wood as well. The problem I forsee though is as I plane it or sand it, I will loose the bleached/stained area of wood. Is there any way to bleach or stain wood to a significant depth?
Thanks
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julvr wrote:

Did this in HS shop.
Rip strips of two different colored woods to whatever width you want the final squares to be (Maple & mahogany or stain one piece a darker color though you'll have differences in edge color so if you go that route you will have to use some kind of edge banding)
Glue together and clamp
Once glue dries, release the clamps and then crosscut the panel into pieces the same width as the first rip.
Rotate every other piece 180 degrees (you will now have a checkerboard pattern) and glue strips together.
Joint, plane & sand as appropriate
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I recall something like this, but using one type of wood. Cut into cubes, then arrange the cubes so you have side grain and end grain alternating in the checkerboard pattern. Stain will soak in differently and accentuate the differences.
Kurt
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