How to Customize a Chessboard

Learn what makes a handmade chessboard better.

The word "Handmade" demands quality. A craftsman who's dedicated his life to creating beauty in the world has given his undivided attention to something you and your family can cherish.

But what do you ask for? What do you actually want? This article will demystify the language of custom handmade woodcraft, and help you discover your dream design, for chessboards, and more.

Your first questions

This looks really nice, but is it possible to...?

Yes. The answer is, most likely, yes. Understand how it's made, so you can imagine what's possible.

Factory-made chessboards use pre-cut, pre-sized, high-volume, and often synthetic (or "engineered) materials, which are perfect for making thousands of the same chessboard. Even if they're made of wood, there are many systems in-place to minimize variations in each board. This is truly wonderful, because factory-made boards allow virtually anyone in the world to afford a reliable chess set, play with friends, study, and learn to love the game.

Like with any passion, as chess players may find themselves spending more and more time at the board, their equipment starts becoming part of their passion. The weight of the pieces, the way they slide across the board, the rapid tapping sounds in an intense blitz match. The chessboard itself becomes a statement of the chess player's style. 

Back to the question - is it possible to...? 

A proper handmade chessboard gets you ultimate freedom over your playing experience. The maker of your board starts from raw materials, and has skills and techniques to cut, shape, blend, bind, carve, etch, resize, customize, smooth, polish, burnish, and embellish those materials into virtually any design.

Not only does the maker have these skills, but a passionate chessboard craftsman understands how wood behaves and breathes. The maker must adapt the design to work with the wood. There are often secrets behind simple designs that require delicate skills, careful planning, and an eye for beauty.

So yes, "it is possible", whatever "it" is. Your maker will help guide you through the customization process and make sure that the design looks amazing, and lasts a very long time.