Vertical Chess Board

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This unique vertical chess board doubles as an attractive piece of wall art. Make everything — from the board to the pieces — with products that are easy to use. It's great in a game room or family room!

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1. Use a pencil and ruler to create a checkered pattern on a 12" x 24" board. Along the length of the board make lines 3-1/2" apart. Along the width of the board make lines 1-1/2" apart. This will give you 64 spaces total.


2. Paint the board in a checkboard pattern. Use tape to keep the lines neat. Use black and white or any two contrasting colors. Inspect the board and clean up any messy lines.


3. Prepare the wood divider pieces by cutting eight 1/8" wide basswood strips into 23-3/8" lengths. Then cut eight 1" wide basswood sheets into 11-1/2" lengths. Use a utility knife or a wood cutter. You will have 16 strips total.


4. Paint the 1/8" wide strips with one of the board colors. When they're dry, glue the strips lengthwise onto the board between the blocks of color. Leave a 1/4" gap at the top of the board to allow for the frame to fit flush against it. There will be a 3/8" gap at the bottom to allow room for the last balsa wood strip and frame.


5. When the glue is dry, measure and cut 1/8" notches into the strips at each color intersection on the board. Do this gently using the utility knife. The strips may need to be reglued if they are loose.


6. Take one of the 1" wide strips, center it against the board where the notches are cut, and make a line where each color changes. Paint the strips to coordinate with the board, and paint the edges of the strips as well. Paint the underside of the strip a solid color, in this case black.


7. Before gluing, fit the newly painted strip into the notches on the board, making sure the colors line up and that the strip edge is flush against the board. The notches may have to be cut a bit larger to fit. Apply glue to the edge of the strip that will be against the board and carefully fit it back into the notches on the board, lining up the colors. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the rest of the wood strips. Don't forget to add a wood strip at the bottom of the board where the skinny strips end. Make sure the board is flush against the skinny strips.


8. When the glue is dry, spray the board with fixative. Apply as many coats as necessary allowing each coat to dry.


9. When the board is dry, carefully fit it into the frame. Use the Fletcher PushMate and glaze points to secure the board to the frame.


10. Paint the wood pieces. The pieces pictured were painted a solid color and details were added with an extra-fine Sharpie paint marker. Create two sets in contrasting colors, each with one king (largest piece), one queen (large, curvy piece), two bishops (second-largest piece), two knights (third-largest peg piece), two rooks (wooden spools), and eight pawns (smallest wooden piece).


11. When the painted chess pieces are dry, spray them with the fixative. Apply as many coats as necessary, allowing each coat to dry.