A simple chess set

Here’s a rough draft of a simple chess set, using freely available chess piece designs.

Scoring the squares instead of engraving anything meant the board took less than 20 minutes. What do you think is the quickest way to get nicer black squares?


I like the swirls. :grinning:


Cross-hatching might be a bit faster, straighter lines. But the spirals are cool. Rub a bit of black “filler” (paint, crayon, grout), that will darken up quick.

How about a fractal fill? Each square has a miniature copy of the board in each square.


Definitely like the spirals! If you want to try thickening the score lines, try defocussing (for instance, for 0.25" material set the focus height to 0.4"). That should widen the lines a bit.


Mask it then pull up the squares you want darker, then leave the lighter masking on then stain the dark squares with a dark stain if you have unfinished wood to start with. I do this with a lot of projects.


Something like this, the leaves are just stained applied before pulling the other masking off


I really like the swirls! I think they are dark enough without having to do anything else.

What I did for the boards I made was to cut each square, stain it, and then glue it all back onto a backer board. I did this with baltic birch here:

I also did one that was all hardwoods:

No staining was required for that one.

1 Like

You could try a defocused engrave at 10-20 lpi, maybe.

1 Like

I’ll definitely keep this trick in mind, great idea!

1 Like

I remember seeing your chess board. It looks fantastic!

1 Like

Clever way to mark the dark squares. Good job.


I drew up a Tak board to put on the other side. Similar settings but with a 0.3" focus instead of 0.125" or whatever may have been default for medium cherry plywood. Look at that bold difference! I can’t believe I never tried to get the defocused score right before. Also check out my awesome Tak pieces :slight_smile:



I was gonna say to use the masking with spray paint, but the stain would be way classier.

1 Like