Most boys like to play draughts. It is one of the most entertaining of the indoor games and is ideal for the long winter evenings. Why not combine a draughtboard with a firescreen? This will have the added advantage of being extremely useful as well as ornamental can be used for the dual purpose of playing this absorbing game and being an attractive firescreen in the daytime. A glance at the illustration will quickly show the possibilities and how easily it can be made.
To make this combined board and firescreen, you will need a piece of smooth wood, cut to 15 inch square and preferably not less than 3/4 inch in thickness. Also a length of 1/4 inch in diameter steel, with two wing nuts and washers for the ends. The supports for each side of the board are made from pieces of 1 1/2 inch angle iron and the based is constructed from 3 inch wide wood, joined as shown in the diagram.
First of all make the draughtboard by planning the surface of your 15 inch piece of wood and finishing it off with sandpaper. Make the edges quite smooth to give a good appearance. Now mark out the draughtboard squares in the centre with pencil and ruler, making 64 squares in all, each measuring 1 1/2 inch. this is clearly shown in the diagram. Rule over your similar to the picture. Black enamel, put on with a fine brush, will be most effectie and when dry, varnish to complete the surface of the board so that it will be glossy and have a professional appearance. Whilst you are busy with the varnish, it will be a good plan to varnish the back and edges of the board.
The next step is to make the supporting stand of the board. the steel axis, A, should be cut to 18 inch in length, with 1 1/2 inches threading at each end to take the wing nuts. This axis is fastened to the back of the board (as shown in the daigram in the dotted lines), by means of two eyeholes having 1/4 inch holes, and screwed to the board in position. Two 1/4 inch wing nuts and four washers are needed to keep the axis in position. The iron supports, B, are made fro two 21 inch lengths bent at the end to give a height of 18 inch. The bending can be done easily in a vice. A 1/4 inch hole should be drilled at the top to take the steel axis and two holes at the base for the screws, C. Now make thecwooden based, D, from 3 inch wide by 12 inch long for the outside stands and 15 1/4 inch in length for the cross piece. The two iron supports are fastened to the wooden base with wood screws, and the cross piece is glued into position as shown. it only remains for you to place the board in position on the supports by pushing the axis through the holes, with the washers placed in position as illustrated. the steel axis will move sideways through the eyeholes, so it is a simple matter to secure the sides with the wing nuts.
It is a good idea to paint the iron supports with a brightly coloured enamel. Also a spot of varnish on the wooden based will give finish to your work.To use as a Draughtboard table, move the board until it is quite horizontal and tightly screw up the wing nuts and it will be rigid and ready for play. For the alternative position as a firscreen, simply loosen the wing nuts and move the board upright and once more tighten the wing nuts. This will make a most attractive firescreen when not in use as a playing table.