5. Add magnetic locks to the drawer.
Carefully line up the drawer with the front edge of
the box, and then glue some wooden stops behind
to prevent it from slipping too far inside. Now mark
the drawer sides where the magnet slots are, and
cut a matching recess in the drawer sides. The bar
magnet should be able to slide freely into and out of
the slot in the drawer.
Photograph by Garry McLeod
Place the bar magnets into the slots, and temporarily place the MDF top onto the box. You can now
test that the magnetic locks will work by passing
a magnet over the area of the locks, sliding the bar
magnets back and forth in their slots.
6. Assemble the chessboard.
Remove the MDF top and glue the tiles to it using
contact adhesive. Trim the edge of the box using
hardwood strips. Make sure that on the front side
you glue the trim to the drawer only, not to the box
sides (Figure H). The trim should be wide enough
to cover the box and the edge of the tiles.
Finish the corners with a wooden corner molding
of your choice, but remember to glue it in such a
way that the operation of the drawer is not affected.
All that remains is to finish the wood trim and give
everything a final polish. I used a dark wood stain
and beeswax to finish the wood, and then gave it a
polish with a soft cloth.
You could just as easily use metal or plastic trim
instead of wood, but I prefer the more natural look
that wood offers.
Andrew Lewis also wrote “Self-Destructing Object” and
“USBattery” in this volume of MAKE.