Checkers Anyone?

I just got some mahagoney checkers cut. I am working on the oak ones. This is for a checker/chess board I have already made. I need to cut a mahagoney border for the outside of the board.

I have in the past turned a blank round and cut them off with a parting tool. However they are all end grain and look horrible. So I found a graphic and made it into an svg. I modified the svg to eliminate some of the extraneous parts and just left the king outline.


Got the second batch of oak cut. None of them are cleaned and are right off the machine. The mahagoney ones will be remade. I did not edit the svg for the crown until I saw the carve. The oak ones are good and just need to be sanded up.

Here is the side by side of the two checker pieces.

I have plenty of mahagoney to make another set. The oak set I did not have a board long enough so I edited the file and made 7 at a time. Likely to have to do that with the mahagoney ones.

I am really pleased with the outcome with the face grain on top. I have made several chess/checker boards and have just bought the checkers from Amazon in the past. They are not expensive but I did not have to wait for them. Plus they dont have mahagoney and oak ones.

I used a 15 degree vee bit for the crown and a 1/8" down cut end mill to cut them out. I had them down with painters tape and super glue to avoid having to sand off the tabs. Painters tape and super glue rule.


Got my border glued up. I used a new tool from Jessem. It is the Pocket Mill Pro and it cuts loose tenons similar to a Festool Domino. It is not a Domino but works quite well. I put two tenons per side and put one in each corner of the mitered corners. However during dry fit I realized the corners would not work due to the angles of putting it on. So I left out the corner tenons and just used the two 5MM tenons per side.

I am considering putting a vcarve on the sides of the board to dress it up a little.

I put painters tape on the edge of the checker board to keep the glue squeeze out from getting on the board. After clamping I used a wet sponge and water to clean up the squeeze out and removed the tape with the glue still wet. I always put too much glue on on purpose because I want a good bond. Starving a glue joint is bad mojo. After removing the painters tape I gave it one wipe with the sponge and all the corner miter joints.

The checker/chess board is mahagoney and oak and the border is mahagoney. I will be gluing on a cork bottom to keep it from scratching up the furniture. The checkers are in a cigar box and will go with the board. I made 4 extra checkers because people always lose some of them.

My last decision is about finishing. I think I will go with Watco Danish Oil Natural finish. That brings out the grain nicely and usually only takes 1-2 coats. To finish with wipe on poly urethane will take 3-4 coats over a 2-3 day period.

So what would the forum suggest I vcarve on the border. I have a crown on the checkers.


Not a damn thing! It looks great just as it is. Even Leonardo Da Vinci stood back and said, “Hey, its done.” :smiley:


So what would the forum suggest I vcarve on the border. I have a crown on the checkers

I would say nothing as well just like @CrookedWoodTex ! Looks great but if you had someone in mind to give it to maybe a personalization or if it is for you, you could stake your claim to a side with a name, logo, or something!

If you don’t put a groove around the edge, what’s going to catch the juices from whatever you’re cutting on it :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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Well you never know if a game of checkers will turn into a knife fight. Hopefully not but you never know now adays.

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The checker board is finished. I need to resand the checkers. I will use Watco Danish Oil Natural finish on the board and checkers. The checkers will just be imersed in a bowl of the Watco and then wiped off. The board will be done with a rag. When the Watco dries I have a 12" x 12" piece of thick cork I will use 3M 77 Adhesive to put the cork on the bottom of the board.

I will try to finish everything today and post one last picture.

I bought a 3d 2 sided chess file but dont have time to get them machined. I am on a time constraint and have a lot of other projects.

I also finished my mallet with Watco Danish oil this morning. Waiting to dry and likely a 2nd coat. The whole thing was cut on my Shapeoko. The handle has a Y shape at the top to keep the handle from coming out. I hate wedges and they always come loose. This mallet is handy in the shop. Anyone that wants the file let me know and I will post it. The two outside faces are madrone and the handle and inner pieces are red oak.

I drilled a hole in the base to put a leather shoe lace through to wrap around your wrist so you dont drop the mallet and a place to hang it up.


So here is my beauty shots. Watco applied to the board and a cork bottom is glued on. The checkers were also dipped int Watch and all looks good. I made spare checkers because people always lose them. I had a cigar box laying around and will put the checkers inside.

The checkers storage.

I masked off the border with painters tape and applied 3M 77 adhesive to the cork and the bottom of the board.

I had bought this cork some where but is only 12" x 12" and so rather than cut it up I just let the border show. Shame to cover up that beautiful mahagoney. Plus this will keep the board from sliding around on a table top and also not scratch the furniture.


It will also make the board easier to pick up.

Nice project!

(reminds me a bit of a folding chess board which I had ages ago, and gave away as a gift when I didn’t have anything else)

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