Chess Board in a Table Top

Addressing wood movement details for a chess board set into a table top. December 30, 2007

I am making a chess table similar to one made by Thomas Moser Furniture. The grain of the chess board is going opposite of the grain around it on the main table part, therefore I need an expansion joint. What should I fill this joint with?

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor C:
I'd make the chessboard out of veneer, laminated to an MDF substrate. The rest of the tabletop would be made like a frame and panel door, with mortise and tenon joinery.

From contributor W:
Check James Krenov's books, too. His chess board actually floated in the table top. Each square was spaced from each other and the total was allowed to float in the table frame. For style, the board was proud of the surrounding table.

From contributor J:
When I made several for Christmas one year, I made sure all the grain ran the same direction. Even the table around the board. I just had to over-sand the end grain side so it would stain and finish to match the sides. I used cherry for the border. Looked great, and still doing well, now several years later.