Upscale Chessboard

I have a very good friend who runs a gallery in Gatlinburg, TN who wants me to make him a very nice, and rather large, chessboard. I'm thinking the squares will be something like 5". His chess pieces will be comic book action figures about 8" tall. I will turn a 4" round base for each of these. I'm guessing the board itself will be glued up of squares of maple/cherry or maple/walnut. I'm thinking some simple inlay work may help to dress up the board.
Does anyone have any advice/plans/ideas on how I should proceed? I have some concerns that the board will simply be too large to "look right". If the board is composed of 64 - 5" squares, that means it will be 40" X 40", plus it really should have a border or 5" or 6". To me, a four (4') foot chessboard is not too practical. But it is more a display for the action figures than it is a board for playing chess. Comments please. Thanks.
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Well,
If I wasn't sure how it would look, I'd sure make a quick full scale model out of cardboard with magic marker squares, and see what your friend thought of it.
Saves remaking it if he's not pleased.
Sounds like a fun project.
Old Guy

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In article

That was my first reaction: "FUN!"
Chess boards of any size are a great way to use up sink-cut-outs from solid surface. I can see an entire chess board filled with cartoon characters. Jessica Rabbit as a queen.... scratch that... too distracting.*
It will be really hard to NOT make it look tacky. Yogi Bear will make a nice bishop. <G>
This is not going to be easy.
*(I have a thing for Jessica Rabbit. NO therapy has helped me much.)
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First thing I'd worry about is weight. How thick is this going to be? If it's about half the size of a 3/4 plywood sheet, and a sheet of plywood weights about 25lb per quarter inch, that's something like forty pounds or so for a 40x40x3/4. Heavy and awkward. Is it going to go to any conventions or things like that?
Maybe a torsion box, or something similar so it can still be 3/4 or even one inch thick but weigh a lot less?
Dan

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I don't think the scale is a real issuel. I think your biggest problem will be disimilar materials and expansion in general. Therefore, I would suggest one of two methods.
1. Use quality hardwood veneer plywood squares of the two materials. 2. Use veneer squares on a stable substrate, such as MDF
If you use plywood, then the edge gluing would be an issue so I would go with slots and splines along one edge direction. Then do a hardwood boarder.. You could also do a plywood base with the squares just placed down on that with no splines and then a hardwood band. Start by applying the hardwood band to two sides and try to keep it and the squares super square (ie cutting the squares on the table saw. Then band the two open sides once you are done.

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Something I have done in the past is to make a raised grid over the squares, sort of like window mullions. I have the pieces fit a bit tighter into the squares than normal so it doesn't make the board much larger, you still get the same spacing between the pieces. Mine were just flat, but with this large of a board you could have a small molding (256 pieces mitered at both ends, yikes!) to break up the large board. The profile could match the profile on your turned bases.
http://krtwood.com/images/chess/chess01.jpg
In this case the grid was necessary to cover the edges of the bark, it's actually a T shaped piece that is glued into slots in the plywood base.
You don't necessarily have to do a wide frame, you can also go tall. Gives a similar massive look without the extra width.
If I ever do another chess set it's going to be for me, and someone else can have it when I am worm food. Too much freaking work.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
:
http://krtwood.com/images/chess/chess01.jpg
: In this case the grid was necessary to cover the edges of the bark, : it's actually : a T shaped piece that is glued into slots in the plywood base.
That's beautiful. What are the materials used?
    -- Andy Barss
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What a beautiful application of sapwood and a natural edge.
wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

YOU, sir, are a madman. Absolutely delightful. What a wonderful piece of work it is. $ 5000.00 minimum.
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On Jul 7, 6:32pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Very sweet work! I love the way you handled the crenelations on the Rooks.
I gotta ask - what did you let that thing go for? Oh, and how _could_ you?! ;)
R
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"RicodJour" wrote On Jul 7, 6:32 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Very sweet work! I love the way you handled the crenelations on the Rooks.
I gotta ask - what did you let that thing go for? Oh, and how _could_ you?! ;)
I really like it too. Not only different, but wonderful forms and colors. I was impressed by the inclusion of the two knots at the edges of the chessboard.
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Those knots were a brilliant touch.
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Nice idea, but 256 mitered pieces...............eiiiiieeeeaaaahhhhh!
Barry
wrote:

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There's going to be a lot of wood movement in a board that big. I don't know that making the squares from solid wood is a good idea. It'd be a shame to go to all of that effort and have the board develop splits and warp. Veneer on plywood would be more stable and more economical.
You may want to think about embedding rare earth magnets in the figure bases and pieces of steel in the board, or vice versa, so the figures would stay put unless you wanted to move them.
R
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"barry712" wrote:

Glue up adjoining strips of 5"-6" wide, then cross cut in 5"-6" strips and slip one (1) block, then glue to get checkerboard pattern.
When cured, clean bottom till smooth, then laminate to a piece of plywood, say 1/4" (6mm) thick.
If you make the blocks 1/4" thick, you get a 1/2" panel that could be loose fit into the rest of the table, same as you would a drawer bottom.
Lew
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I was thinking maybe 3/8" squares from soild wood loose fit into a 3/4" frame. Thanks. Barry

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Yes, I had thought about that, too. Not sure how to attack that problem using solid wood. Maybe a central board that is thinner, say 3/8", with a 3/4" grooved frame that surrounds it? I don't know.........that's why I am appealing to you guys. I've never done anything like this before.....but it sounded like a challenge. Thanks.
Barry
wrote:

There's going to be a lot of wood movement in a board that big. I don't know that making the squares from solid wood is a good idea. It'd be a shame to go to all of that effort and have the board develop splits and warp. Veneer on plywood would be more stable and more economical.
You may want to think about embedding rare earth magnets in the figure bases and pieces of steel in the board, or vice versa, so the figures would stay put unless you wanted to move them.
R
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