Milling a Circuit

Project by Jeremy Fryer-Biggs


making a chess board with your microfactory!

To accompany our cast aluminum chess pieces we designed this nifty Canadian birdseye maple and Tanzanian wenge chess board. As the underlying board is larger than the table on the microfactory we broke it up into 4 interlocking parts that were individually milled and then glued together. The result is a stunning, solid board with a natural finish in two of the most beautiful woods you will ever see!

project parts list

  • .25in thick wood stock (we used wenge and birdseye maple)
  • .5in thick wood stock (we used wenge)
  • woodglue
  • sand paper (for finishing)
required bits

you will need a 1/8th downcutting bit for milling the wood for the chess board.

Eagle Speaker Circuit Layout Image By Jeremy Fryer-Biggs

making the chess board

first we CADed up the board, you can see a frontal shot of the design

CAD rendering of dock by Jeremy Fryer-Biggs

as well as a reverse image of the 4 identical, interlocking components which make up the base

Photo by Rachel Tine

next we converted the base to a CAM file using CamBam

Photo by Rachel Tine

and the individual tiles into their own separate CAM file

Photo by Rachel Tine

then the tile file was loaded onto the microfactory and a corresponding piece of 0.25in wenge was placed into the machine

Photo by Rachel Tine

and the program was run

Photo by Rachel Tine

(see a video here of the wenge cutting)

this was repeated for all 32 tiles with each run taking less than a minute

Photo by Rachel Tine

next, the wenge was removed and a 0.25in thick piece of birdseye maple was secured to the machine. The program was run a second set of times to create the remaining 32 board squares

Photo by Rachel Tine

the individual squares were extracted from their boards by using a box cutter to break their thin holding tabs

Photo by Rachel Tine

and the tabs were lightly sanded off

Photo by Rachel Tine

next the file for the base of the board was loaded and a 0.5in piece of wenge was secured to the microfactory's table

Photo by Rachel Tine

and the program was run

Photo by Rachel Tine

(see a short video of the machine milling out one of the base pieces)

next there was a bit of finish sanding. The board war glued together using a 2 part epoxy and brushed in polyurethane to protect it. We got around the problem of the board being larger than the 12 inch x 12 inch work envelope of the microfactory by constructing the base out of 4 interlocking "puzzle pieces" seen in the picture below.

Photo By Rachel Tine

and voila a beautiful chess board made from exotic woods!!

Photo By Rachel Tine

special thanks to

Rachel Tine - for doing the cool photography