Cut 1 3/4 strips from my off-cuts Padauk and Pau Amarelo. Not worried about making more off-cuts, they will become either checkers or chess pieces. Glue the strips together and go watch TV for 20 minutes.
Cut the glue-up across the grain, so we have three blocked strips, placed neatly together. Slice 3/32" veneer strips from these.
Use 1/2" Domestic Birch Ply as for the box as the substrate and veneer the ply with the checker strips, some mitered figured soft maple and edge the ply with Cherry hardwood. After giving this about 30 minutes (Risky) I hand planed the surface to get the veneer down to 1/16". No sanding on this top, if you know Padauk, next to a light wood, you would know why. To finish plane, one needs special unconventional angles on the iron, as there is grain direction all over the place and Padauk tears out like no other.
The top is glued onto the box, two 1/2" Birch Ply's using same grain orientation laminated basically. You can never have enough clamps.
Tomorrow evening we start with the chess pieces, 32 off and 24 checker pieces, must finish this Saturday afternoon.