Chessboard Part 1

Here is a quick post of one of my Christmas present projects.  Not telling who it is for yet.

This is still a work in progress but I am close to having it done.

Here is the basic board:

Chessboard in progress

This is a marquetry project – well more correctly I suppose I should call it parquetry since that is the more correct term.  The field is made from two kinds of veneers and will be glued down to a MDF backer board.  This is a big board.  I decided to make it with 2 inch squares so after I add a 3 inch border the whole board is 22 inches square.

The dark veneer is walnut and I don’t really know what the light veneer is.  It came in a sample veneer box that I bought last year.  I’ve made a number of pieces from that 50 sq. ft. of veneer and still have a lot left. I am thinking that I might actually need to buy veneer next year.

The back of the chessboard gets a veneer layer too using more of the mystery veneer.  This is a light straight-grained veneer.  Some day I’ll actually know what woods I am using.  Maybe.  Possibly.

Chessboard back taped up.

The steps for assembling the back are simple – cut the veneer edges straight, tape them together with blue tape and then glue the veneer to the MDF backer board.

This is where my new vacuum press comes in handy.

The press in just a vinyl bag with a vacuum pump attached.  The thing you want pressed is placed between two MDF boards, the bag sealed and turn on the pump.  As the air is removed the piece in the bag is pressed together at  14 psi.  The clamping pressure is evenly distributed over the whole surface of the veneer.  It is a fast and easy way to press veneer to a flat surface.

The back veneer is applied.  The next step is adding a border to the chessboard and gluing that down.  Pictures of that in Part 2 next week.

Vacuum press in action

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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