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24 posts in 5227 days

Location: Airdrie Alberta

I like to turn chess pieces, veneer chessboards, and make shaker furniture.

-- Mike, Airdrie Alberta

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commented on Turning Chess Pieces #6: Kings 12-06-2014 04:07 AM
added blog entry Turning Chess Pieces #6: Kings 02-22-2008 10:47 PM
commented on Turning Chess Pieces #5: Queens 02-15-2008 01:53 AM
added blog entry Turning Chess Pieces #5: Queens 02-15-2008 12:02 AM
added blog entry Turning Chess Pieces #4: Bishops 02-12-2008 08:47 PM
commented on Mission Style Chessboard 02-12-2008 08:28 PM
commented on Firefighter Chess Board 02-12-2008 08:24 PM
commented on carving and goldleafing 02-11-2008 06:59 AM
commented on Turning Chess Pieces #3: Knights 02-10-2008 10:57 PM
added blog entry Turning Chess Pieces #3: Knights 02-10-2008 07:23 PM
added project Napkin Holder 02-09-2008 07:08 PM
commented on Paper Towel Dispenser 02-09-2008 06:36 PM
added project Paper Towel Dispenser 02-08-2008 09:35 PM
added blog entry Turning Chess Pieces #2: Rooks 02-08-2008 06:58 PM
commented on Chess Piece Box 02-08-2008 07:04 AM

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11 comments so far

View Chessnut's profile


24 posts in 5227 days

#1 posted 02-04-2008 10:05 AM

Yes, I’ve done prototype chessmen and are very close now to being finally being happy with them. I’m going to do a full blown set out of African Black wood and maybe Quilted Maple. I can honestly say each piece gets faster. I turn off the corners so that it’s round but not final diameter then take a pencil and while its turning, mark out in rings where the curves will be and how tall the piece will be. I just use 3” face plates for all my pieces. For the knights, some people carve it out separately and then glue it to a base turned separately as well. I myself like to have 1 piece so that the woodgrain matches. I’ve never carved before and my first knight turned out surprisingly well, try on a scrap piece of maple, just use small chisels and small rifling files and glue the workpiece onto a substrate and mount it in a vise. I just turn the base then take it off the lathe and clamp the 3” faceplate into the vise. It helps if you screw on a piece of scrap wood onto the faceplate first and turn it round slightly wider than the faceplate before gluing the workpiece on, that way that extra wood will grip in the vise and won’t move while trying to carve.
I don’t have pics on computer yet but I can in the future if you want. The best thing is to visit a site like House of Staunton where they have very nice chess piece designs to give you an idea, also Chess Baron even gives height and base diameters on each piece under the luxury chess sets in some of their photos which will give you a huge start. I also weighted my pieces with lead from a local tire shop. I got those wheel weights off of the rims and melted them down and drilled and poured them into the bases of each piece, make sure you thread in a screw before you pour so the lead won’t fall back out on you. Ensure it’s a stainless steel screw at the hardware store or the lead will corrode a regular screw and fall out. Then just finish off the bottoms with either felt or leather and put your finish on each piece and you’re done! I used gasket cork material 1/16 with a sticky back on the bottoms of my prototypes which also seem very durable and slide better than leather on the board. Specific gravity for maple and walnut are almost the same, in my case the ebony is almost twice as dense so I would have to put more lead into the maple so their weight with one another is more consistent. One can also go to a print shop with laser technology and bring a template of a design that can be lasered into the leather of your choice to personalize it for that extra added touch. I hope that helps.

-- Mike, Airdrie Alberta

View cajunpen's profile


14577 posts in 5529 days

#2 posted 02-04-2008 10:44 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks. Enjoy the community

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rikkor's profile


11294 posts in 5337 days

#3 posted 02-04-2008 11:58 AM

Welcome to LJ. You will like it here.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5285 days

#4 posted 02-04-2008 02:34 PM

Welcome to LJs, Chessnut. I am sure you will find this to be an interesting and exciting element of your woodworking adventure. I look forward to seeing posts of your work.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View gene's profile


2184 posts in 5346 days

#5 posted 02-04-2008 05:08 PM

Welcome to the wonderful world of LJ’s (Enjoy) Come on in, The water’s fine, fine, fine.
You can ask, show, teach, learn, and Share woodworking experiences.
There’s something here for anyone that likes working with wood.
Plus new friends
God bless

-- Gene, a Christian in Virginia

View Max's profile


55997 posts in 5736 days

#6 posted 02-04-2008 05:34 PM

Glad to see that you have made Lumberjocks a part of your Woodworking experience… Welcome…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5451 days

#7 posted 02-04-2008 07:20 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks! Enjoy yourself.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Chessnut's profile


24 posts in 5227 days

#8 posted 02-05-2008 08:15 AM

Hi there all, this does seem like a nice group of online woodworkers! I would like to know what all I need to start veneering chessboards, I was going to place an order tomorrow and thoguh’t you all might have some do’s and dont’s on this. I’m going to go the cold pressed glue method with lots of weight as my boards are a little too big to fit without blowing out the seams of a vacuum bag. I have sandpaper and finishing products, I just need to know which tools would be the easiest to use for this application thx.

-- Mike, Airdrie Alberta

View Chessnut's profile


24 posts in 5227 days

#9 posted 02-05-2008 08:25 AM

Hi there all, does anyone familiar with the procedure how to flatten out wrinkled veneer with misting water? I live in Alberta where it is extremely dry and quite a few of my flitches of veneer warps pretty bad even overnight.

-- Mike, Airdrie Alberta

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5863 days

#10 posted 02-06-2008 01:49 AM

Welcome to LumberJocks. Glad to have you aboard.

I’ve got a blog on Veneering Chessboards . you might find it interesting.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 5115 days

#11 posted 01-30-2010 02:51 AM

Congratulations on your upcoming 2 year anniversary being a Lumber Jock. Thanks for your posts and projects.

-- Gary D.

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