How Chess Boards are Made

Chess boards can be made of wood, leather, metals, glass, marble, stone, vinyl, paper boards etc. Wood, stone, marble, leather and glass chess boards are cut and carved as per specifications. A lot of manual labour goes into the process. Most of the high end chess boards are completely hand made, barring their finishing and packaging. These are not actually mass product sets and are sold at higher prices.

The chief component of the mass product chess boards is card board. The major processes involved in the manufacturing are cutting, printing, pressing, inking, and polymer coating.

First of all the card board is cut as per the desired size and dimensions for making it ready for printing.

There is no direct printing done on the card board. The printing press, fitted with plates passes the plate under a roller for getting it coated with water. An ink roller, specifically designed, connects to the plate in desired printable spots. After the same, the ink on the plate is transferred to a rubber roller. This rubber roller, coated with ink, ultimately is passed over the cardboard, which causes the transfer of ink. Since the chess board is coloured with at least two colours, the cardboard is then passed to roller assembly for getting coated. The specially formulated ink quickly dries before the next inking starts.

After the printing is done, a special clear polymer coating is applied to protect the colours and to give a glossy look to the surface. Clear plastic sheets may also be pressed for protection.

After the board is ready it is transferred to the packaging unit. There, the packaging is done with a shrink wrapping machine. The machine first wraps the board cover loosely with plastic films and then shrinks the same by applying heat to give a tight packaging.