Types of Wood for Chessboards

Whether you are planning on making a chessboard by hand out of wood or are in the market for one, it will be good to understand their different types, either to choose the best one for your tastes or merely to appreciate chessboards on another level.


A type of Maplewood. It is an indigenous tree in Europe. What is great about this is that it is easy to work with and that it gives a complex grained shine to its finish. It is a lighter wood and often described as honey-like.


There are several types belonging to this same family, and they differ by colours. The most commonly used Maple is ‘hard maple’. It is found abundantly in the United States and in the United Kingdom. A bit of trivia: it is this type of Maple (hardwood maple) that is used to make Maple Syrup.


A wood found mostly in North America. The most sought after type of Aspen is the Trembling Aspen. It is so called as its leaves tend to tremble in the breeze. It grows in various places including rocky mountainous terrain. It has a whitewash to creamy colouring. It is great for chessboards as it has a very smooth clean finish.


Often used for the white squares on chessboards. The birch grows in various terrains, from northern and eastern Europe to the United Kingdom and all the way to the Scandinavian regions. This wood tends to have a stable colour, with little variations. It is brownish but only lightly. Sometimes it can seem white. This wood is often sought out for its glossy finish.


The principal wood used for chessboards. This wood varies in colour but has dark specks. It has a smooth finish but sometimes may have a wavy disruption in it.

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