Checkers, Anyone?


Permalink 01:28:32 am, by daryl Email , 1845 words, 13204 views   English (US)
Categories: Fun, Etc.

Checkers, Anyone?

Now it's time for one of the more stressful parts of the project: gluing 64 wooden squares to a plywood base while keeping them aligned properly horizontally and vertically.

I clamped a couple unfinished oak trim pieces to the left and bottom of the board, giving me a corner to work from (and press against with my rows of squares). I started with row #8 (the bottom) and worked my way toward the top. Each square got two short dabs of Titebond II wood glue which I smoothed to a consistent film layer using another foam brush.

If I were doing this again, I might opt for Titebond III glue (instead of type II) as it is supposed to allow for a longer set-up time. By the time I was halfway through the squares the first ones were pretty much locked into place.

Gluing the squares

Once all the pieces were glued into place, the fit (vertically and horizontally) was pretty decent. I let it all set overnight, but honestly I could probably have continued work on the project within an hour of gluing the last square.

Squares glued
Squares glued in place

Next step: Sanding and staining the oak trim pieces. The oak strips I bought were naturally reddish, but I'll be staining them with a "Red Oak" stain for a deeper red which I hope will go well with the black & white checker grid.

Oak trim (pre-stain)
Oak trim (pre-stain)

After staining with a foam brush, allowing 10 or 15 minutes to soak, then rubbing with a cloth, the oak trim is looking pretty nice. It's the reddish tint I had hoped for, but on oak it looks natural and rich.

Oak trim (after stain)
Oak trim (after staining and rubbing)

After cutting the oak trim to the proper length (with a hand saw and miter box), I used the same Titebond II wood glue to attach to the plywood base. Note that the base extends beyond my trim on two sides of the board. We'll fix that problem after all the glue has dried.

Trim pieces glued
Trim pieces glued and clamped

My checkerboard and trim is slightly smaller than the plywood square it's glued to. I didn't want to pre-trim the plywood base for fear of getting it too small after all the pieces were glued in place. (In retrospect, that would have been easily fixed by sanding down one or two of the oak trim pieces).

So I hauled my board over to my dad's place where we used a band saw and belt sander to trim the plywood base to match the checkerboard size.

Band saw and belt sander
Band saw and belt sander

With that complete, I used a rigid sanding block to shape and smooth the edges of the board. This ruined some of my oak stain work, but that was easily re-stained (and I was able to stain both the sanded oak and the plywood edge below--giving it a cool laminated look).

Edge sanding
Edge shaping and smoothing

Starting to look real now!

Checkerboard edges trimmed, shaped and sanded

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Daryl's Take...

"Meandering ruminations, shared for the benefit of those who probably need to get out more."

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