Summerville-New England Chessboards
Handmade Premium Solid Hardwood Chess Boards
Summerville-New England is an engineering based builder of premium grade solid-hardwood chess boards. Driven by the singular goal of producing the very finest chess products, the boards are completely hand fabricated in New England with remarkable precision and attention to detail. From the scrutinizing selection of lumber through final hand rubbing, every board is handled with levels of care and expertise uncommon in today's fast paced world.
Andrew Summerville, a national award winning design engineer and master builder, has created a line of chess boards of impeccable quality, form, and balance. Boards that are designed and built to be the focal point of your chess room. Boards that properly define the battlefield of chess... boards that present your chess pieces as the works of art that they are.
Buyers have provided consistent positive feedback regarding both the quality and appeal of the boards.
Michael C. of Lisle Ill purchased the Cape Elizabeth board. He writes, "If you are looking for an impressive and striking chess board, I highly recommend Summerville-New England. You won't be disappointed."
Miriam A. from San Francisco writes, "I have just received my Monk Chessboard made from solid American Walnut and Rock Maple and could not be more pleased. The heirloom quality chess board is a work of art. There are not the appropriate words to describe how lovely it really is. It is a birthday gift for my son and he is beyond delighted with it."
And Brian S. of Williamsville, NY writes, "I possess about $60,000 worth of chess sets. The Summerville board (is) the only one that I display in my home."
Summerville-New England uses only premium grade solid hardwoods. "Due to our stringent quality standards, we custom mill to our own specifications, then season and kiln on site so that even the entire raw material operation is under tight control. By combining traditional woodworking with tireless research and development and continuous improvement, SNE is able to offer an unparalleled quality guarantee that covers stability of form and guarantees no cracking or separation for a period of five years with reasonable care. These boards are truly heirloom quality and will last for many years to come with proper care." US Patents Pending
Summerville-New England currently builds four different models, each available in 2.00, 2.25, or 2.50 square sizes. Cape Elizabeth is the flagship board, beautifully refined and balanced and exhibiting heavy inlays of solid Gabon ebony, it is a board fit for a king. Behind the Cape Elizabeth is our Old Quebec board for those that appreciate simplistic beauty of French Country, offered as a tribute to Summerville's French ancestry. The Moose River board offers a rustic appeal that works perfectly with the tastes of many. And last but not least, the very popular Monk board, created in honor of those that love God.
When you're ready to move up to a solid-hardwood chess board, and only the best will do. Think Summerville-New England, America's finest chess.
The following photos highlight the Cape Elizabeth.
Manufacturing Process of Summerville-New England Chess BoardsThe lumber is properly harvested, air cured, and kiln dried to provide the finest quality wood products obtainable. Each piece is carefully qualified before entering the manufacturing process. No veneers are used, and the boards are fabricated only from solid premium hardwoods.
The platform or "frame" is fabricated of premium solid American Walnut. There are two "peripheral inlay" options (the inlay that surrounds the playing surface), the light-wood option is solid white ash, the dark-wood option is solid ebony. The solid strips (approximately an eighth of an inch in thickness are hand laid and bonded into carefully machined seats; they are then brought perfectly flush with the surface and finished accordingly. A second option on the larger sized boards is a solid ebony frame inlay. Inserting frame inlays is a difficult and time consuming process, but results in a truly exquisite finished product. Platforms include corner splines in a contrasting solid Walnut. (see photo below) These pieces serve to strengthen the critical frame corners, and provide exquisite beauty and detail.
Playing surfaces are the result of extensive research and development. The surfaces are "quarter-sawn" which means that the grain on the top surface is radially exposed as opposed to plain sawn hardwood. Surfaces are made from solid premium American Walnut and Rock Maple. The surface is fabricated using Summerville's TruDiamond construction process. This process is designed to hold surface flatness and to prevent warping to a high degree of correctness. Summerville's TruDiamond construction also minimizes reflected stress to the support platform.
Once completed, the playing surface is carefully placed into seats within the supporting platform, and mechanically attached to the platform using Summerville's TruFreedom surface mount technology. This technology allows the playing surface to expand and contract with normal changes in relative humidity, without being bound or constrained by the support platform. The technique further addresses otherwise unbridled tendencies for warping and cracking. Summerville's TruFreedom mounting technology holds the playing surface firmly in place while providing these benefits.
Summerville-New England chessboards are finished by using only natural oils. No stains, lacquers, urethanes or the like are used. The objective is to provide a beautiful natural finish that is not highly reflective, and therefore not bothersome to the players. Multiple applications of premium BriWax, a natural blend of Beeswax and Carnauba wax provide the final surface treatment. Note that BriWax can be reapplied by the end user periodically to keep the board looking like new! Clear, toluene free BriWax is available online at www.briwax.com Be sure to follow manufacturer's directions and precautions carefully!
Heavy Felt Pads are carefully placed in triangulated fashion so that even if placed on an uneven surface, the board will not move during play. We understand that such a minor thing as chessboard instability during a game can be aggravating and can impact your performance.
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Why Chess House?
Elliott Neff, author of a Pawn's Journey