The embellishment I am most excited about on this project is the addition of built-in drawers for storing the checker and marble game pieces. I added suede flocking to the cavities for the game pieces which I think give it a more professional finish. Special inlays were added to the edges of the drawers as well as the four corners of the game board. I also added visual/tactile features to the drawers so that players could tell which drawers contain checker pieces vs marbles when the drawers were closed.
I used Rare Earth magnets on the back edges of the drawers and inside of the drawer cavities so that the mechanics of removing and inserting the drawers had a very “crisp/snug” feel. I added a subtle curve to the front edge of each drawer as a design element to offset all of the “squareness” of the overall project (i.e., square perimeter of the board, square inlays). This seemed to improve the visual appeal of the finished work.
The precision of my work on this project benefited greatly from recent purchases of some new equipment, including a drum sander, chisels, and a low-angle block plan. Unfortunately, as my addiction grows for sophisticated tools, I realize I must continue to hold down a day job to afford them! Although the game board itself is done, I plan to supplement this project by making chess pieces, as well as a table for displaying the board when not in use. It actually has turned out to be a nice piece of furniture which I am proud to display in my home.
I encountered several traumatic moments (aka, learning experiences) throughout this project build, including severe burn marks introduced by my drum sander, and a bad finish coat application that required a complete re-sand and re-coat of finish. All were correctable, although I feel fortunate that my wife agreed to continue to let me live with her after witnessing several of my meltdowns. Please feel free to offer your insights and suggestions…all are welcome.
Materials, Cost, Labor:
Game Board Base: Cherry (checker board side) | Ash (marble game side)
Inlay woods for checker board: Paduk and Maple
Checker board pieces: Paduk and Maple
Seal coat: Shellac (clear)
Finish coat: Polyurethane (GF High Performance – Flat sheen)
Paint for marble holes: Enamel model paint (Testors brand)
Total material cost: Approx. $268
Hours spent: A bunch!