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CustomChess.Com Chess Board Desing Page

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Playing square and chess set size:
as a general rule, the correct size chess set for a board is a set where the diamter of the king's base is aproximately 70% of the size of the playing squares.  If you choose a board first, simply multiply the size of the playing squares by 0.7 to get the aproximate diameter of the king's base needed, then look for a set in that size. For example, if the playing square size is 2 1/2", then you would look for a set that has a king with a base diamter of around 1 3/4" (2.5 X 0.7 = 1.75)   If you choose a set first, then divide the diameter of the king's base by 0.7 to get the aproximate playing square size required.  For example, if you have a set in which the diameter of the king's base is 2", then the best size board would be one with 2 3/4" or 2 7/8" squares (2 / 0.7 - 2.85, then round up or down to the nearest 1/8").

Light Squares:
The light squares are usually a subtle color and are often a good place to add some figure to the board. In most cases the light squares will be in the Maple family (plain, birdseye, curly, spalted, or burl). Ash and Holly are other common choices. If the dark squares are very dark (ebony or wenge), it is possible to use darker light squares and still maintian contrast.

Dark Squares:
There are two main things to consider in choosing the dark squares. The first and most important consideration is the color of the chess set you will be using on the board. If the dark squares and dark pieces are the same color (no contrast), the set will tend to blend in to or become "camouflaged" by the dark squares. This camouflaging effect can effect a players ability to visualize the chess board and various moves. Therefore, we recommend choosing a color of wood for the dark squares that compliments the color of the dark pieces in your set, but is not the same color as the dark pieces in your set.
   The second thing to consider in choosing the color of the dark squares is the amount of contrast between the dark squares and light squares. Like the amount of contrast between the dark squares and dark pieces in your set, the amount of contrast between the squares can also effect a players ability to visualize the chess board and make moves. Adequate contrast between the playing squares will allow for easier visualization of the playing area. For example of different playing square combinations, review the various chess boards in our Gallery. Also, you can contact us at any time for recommendations.

The delimiter is the piece that visually seperates the playing squares and border. We recommend choosing a wood that is different from that of both the light or dark squares. This will help to provide some contrast between the playing squares and the border and help to visually distinguish the two elements. Often boldy colored woods like Ebony, Wenge, or Holly work well here. It is common to have the delimiter the same wood as the rest of the border.

The color of the border will provide the main color scheme of your board. Consider how it will compliment the playing squares and the chess set. Also consider how the board will look if the border is a different wood than that of both the light and dark squares, or if the border matches one of the square colors.

Upper Accent:
Use the accents to customize the look of your board. High contrast accents will provide a bold look, low contrast accents a more subdued look. Also you can chose to leave off an accent to achieve a certian look. Click on the following links for some examples:
- Bold / High Contrast Accents
- Subdued /Low Contrast Accents
No Upper Accent

Lower Accent:
There are two parts to chosing the lower accent: type and wood.
   (a): The first part is to chose the type of lower accent you would like. The accent are 3/8 of an inch wide and can be the full length of the border (Full Length), or can stop short of the corner accents and have rounded edges (Rounded). You can also chose to have no lower accent at all. Here are some examples:
- 3/8 inch wide Full Length lower accent
- 3/8 inch wide Rounded lower accent
- No Lower Accent
   (b): The second part to the lower accent is chosing the wood type. As with all the accents, consider the contrast and how they will effect the overall look of your board. NOTE: if you chose NONE/no lower accent in part (a), also chose NONE in part (b) or our software may add unnecessary cost into the price listed at the bottom of the page.

Corner Accent:
There is also two parts to choosing the corner accent: type and wood.
   (a): The corner accents are scaloped cut, and can be either full thickness or partial thickness. You can also choose to have no corner accents at all. The "cut" refers to the profile of the accent across the top side of the border. The thickness refers to whether the accent is the full thickness of the lower border or only part of the thickness of the lower border. Click the links below for examples.
- Scaloped Cut
- Full Thickness
- Partial Thickness
   (b): Wood - choose the corner accent wood. Note: If you choose to have no corner accents, also chose NONE for the corner accent wood.

The bottom of the chess board can either be covered with green or black felt (standard), or can be a solid hardwood panel with accompanying padded leather feet. The most common woods used for the bottom panel are Maple and Cherry. If you would like another type of wood for your bottom panel, please contact us for availability and pricing. Review the pictures below for examples of hardwood bottom panels with padded leather feet. Review the pictures below.
- Green Felt
- Maple Panel w/ Leather Feet
- Cherry Panel w/ Leather Feet

There are several types of finish to chose from:
   Varnish: This is very durable surface finish that is the most common finish found on wood furniture today. It comes in three sheens: high-gloss, semi-gloss, and matte. High-gloss will produce a highly reflective finish and somewhat of a "wet" look. Semi-gloss varnish is the standard finish and is recommended for most applications. It leaves the surface with a nice shine, but with not too much glare. Matte finish produces a very flat, non-reflective surface.
   Oil: This is a traditional finish and has been used on furniture for centuries. It penetrates into the wood and hardens, as opposed to varnishes which sit on top of the wood surface. Oil leaves the wood with a low gloss sheen and a traditional, "antique" look.
   Shellac: This is a high-gloss finish that has also been used for many years. It is a surface finish like varnish. Shellac is a natural material, is non-toxic, and is actually used in some food products. The finish comes in clear and amber tinted.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please review the Information and FAQ's page and feel free to contact us.