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vig129

chess board top cracking

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I am having a problem with the chess boards i just built cracking after about six months. I used blood wood and curly maple. The top is 1/4 thick glued to a piece of cabinet grade 3/4 plywood. Should I just put glue in the middle and not around the edges so the wood can move?The cracks are all down the middle of the boards and go all the way through.

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Did you check moisture content of the wood? It probably dried out and shrank. I don't think a 1/4 thick solid wood top glued to ply is a great idea. I always try to use balanced construction. If I add a layer of veneer or laminate to one side I add the same thickness to the other side. It might not be the beautiful high grade material but at least a similar thickness and strength.

Only fix that comes to mind is saw a kerf thru the crack and glue in a strip of wood.

Good luck!

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I am having a problem with the chess boards i just built cracking after about six months. I used blood wood and curly maple. The top is 1/4 thick glued to a piece of cabinet grade 3/4 plywood. Should I just put glue in the middle and not around the edges so the wood can move?The cracks are all down the middle of the boards and go all the way through.

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Vig, can you post some pics?

Also, can you describe how you glued and finished the boards? What finish? And did you finish the bottom (of the plywood) as well as the playing surface?

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I'm just guessing, but it seems like 1/4" is too think to use as a veneer (glue it to a stable backer and assume that it won't move). I'd stay under 1/8" for that approach. I see that you got a similar reply in your duplicate post, so I'm going to see if I can merge the threads.

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I used lacquer to finsh it and I didnt finish the bottom. Should I make the top thicker and assume it will not have any movement.I also have a frame glued to it. I dont have any pics because I gave them away as gifts. I want to make new ones that wont crack to replace them.

Kevin

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I wanted to make a similar chess board inlaid into a cherry coffee table top. I would be using 1/4" stock. I know that if i just put this in flush I will eventually have problems. Would a solid wood frame around that allow me to inlay it? Another idea i had was to cut the pocket a little oversized and have a gap between the side walls and the chess board. center it with some shims and then route a channel for a strip of wood to cover up these gaps and use is a a border to frame the chess board? Any thoughts. I know this might be hard to imagine at first

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Late to the party, I know ...

This past weekend I was shown an expensive chessboard from India whose inlaid ebony squares had splits running parallel with the grain. The owner asked if I knew the cause and if it could be repaired.  I said I did not know the cause and since I do not know how it was made I was be reluctant to give advise on how to repair it - if it could be repaired at all.

Does anyone know what might be causing these ebony squares to split?  None of the white squares exhibited any cracking at all.

Thanks!

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Ive made pens from ebony and found the stuff was bad about developing cracks. Maybe it retains moisture for a long time and when its machined it loses moisture faster and cracks from the stresses involved from being glued up in a structure.

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I also think 1/4 is too thick. 1/8” or maybe 3/16” at the most. Commercial veneers are much thinner. If I was making my own veneer. I would start with 1/8” and then sand a fair amount. If it makes you comfortable, go ahead and add a similar layer on the bottom, but with 3/4” plywood I don’t think it’s needed. I would finish both sides, but really the movement causing the most problem for you is the 1/4” veneer layer. Good luck. 

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37 minutes ago, Barron said:

I also think 1/4 is too thick. 1/8” or maybe 3/16” at the most. Commercial veneers are much thinner. If I was making my own veneer. I would start with 1/8” and then sand a fair amount. If it makes you comfortable, go ahead and add a similar layer on the bottom, but with 3/4” plywood I don’t think it’s needed. I would finish both sides, but really the movement causing the most problem for you is the 1/4” veneer layer. Good luck. 

x2 

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I guess I'm lucky. I made my daughter a drawing desk. All beautiful strips of about every wood in the shop. Planed to 1/4" and glued to 3/4" ply. Now I DID also glue the other face with 1/4" Maple I had so maybe that's the difference.

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Not questioning any of you, especially Steve as he has given me some wonderful advice, well hell, you all have for that matter but just wondering. How can surfacing both sides of a piece of 3/4” ply help stabilize it? That’s so thick, one side will never know the other side is there. Talking stability and not looks. 

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Wood glue has moisture in it. gluing one face of a board to a thinner material will make it swell, and the thinner face can't hold it back. I made a chess board that did that until I glued a backer to it to balance it out.

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