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what do you like in a chess table


  • 13 months ago · Quote · #81

    ollave

    I have the opposite problem to you: my drop leaf table is too narrow! It's about 59cm, so a standard vinyl board will just fit, but a 60cm wooden board (with 6cm squares; I somehow ended up with some large-ish sets of pieces) it's not deep enough.

    I am talking to a furniture maker and am planning on a NON-drop leaf table (I really prefer the legs at the corners) which will double sometimes as a small dining table as I live in an apartment.

    The drop leaf table I have is laminated (yuck!) in fake wood pattern (yuck!) and was a "temporary" solution until I found something better. Temporary over twenty years ago. Ahem.

    I guess after a while I stopped looking, but after having taken up chess again and with <topic drift elided> reasons to continue living at my current apartment for the next year or three, have decided to replace the damn thing with a nice present to myself.

    Buying a nice looking set of chess pieces and ending up buying a table for them is ... an odd way to go about things, I confess.

    Dimensions (a mix of my apartment's contraints, the size of the pieces I intend to use most often, FIDE rules and UCSF rules -- neither of which will be precisely met) will be 120cm by 84cm, with 62mm squares.

    Having a table made isn't a cheap thing to do, but OTOH the table itself will cost less than some computers I've owned over the years, and well made tables last a lot longer than computers!

    In a few months I hope to be able to revive the thread with some photographs, or links to some.

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #82

    ollave

    ollave wrote:
    ...

    In a few months I hope to be able to revive the thread with some photographs, or links to some.

    Well, I did go ahead, and the table arrived today. In the end chose 63mm squares, as there are plenty of sets of pieces available for 2.5" squares, and while I'm confident the table will outlast me (with care!) pieces are more vulnerable.

    The main wood of the table is Australian redgum. The dark squares are walnut, the light squares birdseye maple (from Australia, but I don't know if it's native or not), the black border is "ancient redgum": redgum timber recovered from a clay deposit, and thousands of years old.

    The white pieces are Boxwood (surprise ...) and the black pieces are dark brown stained rosewood.

    Please excuse the photography: it's just a phone camera, downsized, and minorly colour corrected in the view of the board. (I don't have all my equipment handy, or my screen calibrated, and unless you're using a colour calibrated screen yourself, it's all guesswork anyway. Smile  On my screen the colours in the first picture aren't too bad, but the second is awful: too brown, not red enough, but it does show something of the wood grain.)

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #83

    SmyslovFan

    Ollave, I love the arts and crafts feel to the table and the warm cherry finish of the redgum! Very stylish indeed!

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #84

    ollave

    I think it came together well. The hard part was finding the light coloured wood, believe it or not: the "white" boxwood pieces I have are almost as yellow as they're showing on my screen, and most Australian hardwoods tend slightly yellow and darken as they age.

    I didn't say before, but I chose an oiled finish, not any laquer or the like which will wear off. Some care and maintanance will be required from time to time, but I wanted something for use not something suitable for a museum's decorative arts section!

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #85

    MaximRecoil

    Ollave, your table is perfect in my opinion. That is exactly what a chess table should look like. I've looked at countless pictures of chess tables and it is rare to see one that has elbow room and lots of room on the sides like yours. What are the dimensions of your table? Did you go with the 120cm x 84cm that you mentioned in your previous post? What is the height from the floor?

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #86

    ollave

    Try again: first post didn't seem to make it.

    Yes, 120cm by 84cm and the height is 74cm, which is standard (I am told) for dining tables, which this very much is despite being a chess table as well. Generously sized for four people, but six can squeeze around.

    With the height settled, 120cm is as long as I could have and still rotate the table 90 degrees against the wall where it is located. Fitting the table to the apartment was cheaper than buying a new apartment. Smile

    84cm? I think that matched the longest dimension of my old table, so I knew I could tolerate that much intrusion into the room. Experience will tell how much of the time the table is set as pictured and how much parallel to the wall.

    From memory (not that I was insisting on going "by the book") FIDE's regulations are 100-120cm by up to 83cm (but my squares and thus my board are larger, and I stretched a tad) and (here it is again) 74cm high.

    I'm happy with the result: it will work excellently as a dining table (my old table was really too small for more than two people) and as a chess table it has elbow room (very happy about that, as my chairs don't have arms in order to be able to be pushed under the table) and all that lovely space at the side for books, notes, drinks, etc.

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #87

    MaximRecoil

    Coincidentally, I was talking to my father about making a chess table yesterday before I saw this thread. I was thinking 30" x 40", but I like the dimensions of your table better, so now I'm thinking 30" x 48". 30" is wide enough for the 18" checkerboard pattern that I'll be using (2-1/4" squares), giving 6" of elbow space to each player, and 48" is close to 120cm, but it is a nice round number here in SAE land.

    Dad is a cabinet/furniture maker, so the only cost will be materials. I'm going to use walnut and maple for the squares, thin maples strips as a delineator, and walnut for the rest of the table. It will be solid 3/4" thick block construction for the checkerboard area. It will basically be like a classic Drueke solid block board, but with a table-sized frame around the checkerboard pattern. Here's a mockup:

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #88

    ollave

    MrBlueLake wrote:

    Ollave, how much did it cost you to get it made?

    Well, if I had a significant other at the moment, it'd have to have been approved in the family budget. Smile

    At the low end, the first quote I obtained was ~AUD$2400.

    My second quote from a more local business (which I accepted) was more, but not as much as the AUD$5000 the furniture maker had charged for his previous chess table a few years back: apparently that one had everything: drawers, decoration and (I suspect) more expensive timber.

    I hit about the middle of those two prices, added chairs made of matching timber (not available with the first quote) and the second furniture maker being local delivered without charge which helped a little.

    Knowing what is a fair price is hard: good quality boards can go for hundreds of dollars, and while a chess table is small compared to most dining tables there isn't much less labour in crafting the basic table. So my chess table wasn't inexpensive, but it'll last longer than me, and I'm happy.

    I was wondering if someone would ask about the price. Smile

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #89

    ollave

    MaximRecoil wrote:

    ...

    Dad is a cabinet/furniture maker, so the only cost will be materials. ... Here's a mockup:

     

    I'm suitably jealous!

    I really do like the width of my table. For a table used for competition where mostly all you need is a score sheet and clock width is less important, but if you want to open a book to study or have a small notebook PC handy then I think the extra width is well worth while.

    Also, the extra space is just enough that I could squeeze six people around my table; as mine is doing dual duty as a dining table that's important to me.

    Your mock-up looks good: you got the white square at the bottom right. Smile

    Do you prefer the grain for the squares to run up and down the files (my preference) or across the ranks? I've seen both, but across the ranks seems wrong to me, although once I concentrate on the play it doesn't matter.

    Walnut is nice. Especially if you don't have ready sources for redgum!

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #90

    MaximRecoil

    ollave wrote:

    Do you prefer the grain for the squares to run up and down the files (my preference) or across the ranks? I've seen both, but across the ranks seems wrong to me, although once I concentrate on the play it doesn't matter.

    Walnut is nice. Especially if you don't have ready sources for redgum!

    I didn't pay attention to grain orientation when I made the mockup, but I just looked at my Drueke board and it has the grain parallel to the files. I'll let Dad decide that matter when he builds it, because I don't have a preference either way. Here's the mockup with the grain parallel to the files:

    Walnut is my favorite wood in general, so even if I had a free selection of any type of wood in existence, it would still be what I'd choose. I'm the same way with gun stocks. Exotic woods such as cocobolo look great, but my preference is still ordinary American black walnut.

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #91

    ollave

    MaximRecoil wrote:

    I didn't pay attention to grain orientation when I made the mockup, but I just looked at my Drueke board and it has the grain parallel to the files. I'll let Dad decide that matter when he builds it, because I don't have a preference either way.

    ...

     

    Interesting. Good luck with the project. Do share some pictures if you can! And thank your Dad very nicely!


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