How To: Make a Vertical Wall-Mounted Chessboard

Make a Vertical Wall-Mounted Chessboard

Love chess, but hate having to stop in the middle of a game when you don't have time to finish? This DIY vertical chess set made by Redditor pigthunder will ensure you never have to abandon a game again. It hangs on the wall, so you can pick up where you left off anytime.

Here's how to make your own.

What You'll Need

  • 16 thin pieces of wood, cut into 16" lengths (the width depends on how tall you want the finished product to be; red oak was used in the original)
  • 4 pieces of crown molding, for the frame
  • Stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Black paint
  • 4 long strips of painter's tape
  • Wood glue
  • 4 small cylindrical dowels
  • 4 rubber bands
  • 2 long square dowels, for the frame

Step 1: Lay the Foundation

Stack eight pieces of wood horizontally. Between each, stand a piece vertically for the shelves. The pieces for the shelves should have a shorter width so they don't stick out too far.

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Step 2: Stain the Wood

Apply several coats of stain. Make sure all the grains of the wood are filled so that the paint won't run when you add it later. You may need as many as five or six coats, depending on what type of stain you use. After you've done this, seal it with polyurethane.

Step 3: Paint the Board

Lay the painter's tape in four even columns. Apply black paint to the exposed sections. You may want to do a test section first to make sure the paint doesn't run under the tape. If it does, that means you need another coat or two of stain.

Images via

Step 4: Rearrange the Rows

Flip every other row horizontally to make the checkerboard and use wood glue to attach a shelf between each.

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Step 5: Assemble the Frame

Glue together the crown molding. Then, drill a hole and place a dowel coated with wood glue through each corner. Attach a rubber band to each dowel to hold it into place while it dries.

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Once the glue is dry, remove the rubber bands and cut off any excess from the dowels. Sand down the dowels and use wood glue to fill in any gaps.

You can check out this video for a more detailed guide on putting together a frame.

Step 6: Add Some Support

Cut the two square dowels to the same length as the height of the frame. Drill holes in the top and bottom on each side and screw in the dowels so that they're flush with the edges of the frame. This is where your board will rest.

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Step 7: Put It Together

Fit the chessboard into the frame and wood glue it into place. Once it dries, hang it up and let the games begin!

Photo of finished board with hand via Straight Up Chess

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me and my fiance built one for my father in law to be.. he loved it.. it was not as fancy but not to shabby for our first try..

I think it looks pretty amazing. Great job!

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