Kings, queens and the tired woodworker

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Project by toolchap posted 05-31-2010 09:35 PM 2771 views 6 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Please tell me that some of you have those unfinished projects…..I beg you…tell me I am not alone!

I always wanted to make one, an exercise in patience and delicacy, this on an Emcostar lathe by the way, with handmade chisels (yes, I make a lot of my own tools…never have guessed huh?) The second picture shows one of the four legs 80% completed and the third shows the pattern chisels I shaped to do pawn repetition. This set haunts me among the millions of unfinished projects….and then there’s that wooden clock to build..the one I design myself…wooden everything including my cranium. I even built a precision clockmakers gearcutter to do it….my wife, beloved woman, asked me “So when are you going to build the clock?” I tapped the left side of my head in a wise manner…..It is already built in here. Suffice to say the lady adores me and puts up with my whimsical ways…

The materials? African blackwood, Hippo ivory, Indian Rosewood legs. No human flesh.

goodnight all

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4358 days

#1 posted 05-31-2010 09:50 PM

Wow what you have made looks good . I know if you set a time to work on somthing every day you’ll get your projects done.


View Kate's profile


403 posts in 4656 days

#2 posted 05-31-2010 10:02 PM

Let’s see, unfinished projects, hmm, off the top of my head I can think of several dozen in various stages of completion. The problem is that then I see something like this and, that looks great. I’d love to try it. Presto – another project in the works.

Love that you make your own chisels. Pieces look great.

Thanks for posting.

-- Kate,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 4999 days

#3 posted 05-31-2010 10:32 PM


-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3799 days

#4 posted 05-31-2010 10:39 PM

Good job on this project and I admire your perserverance in completing this set and can see why you asked this question!

I have this mental picture of a chess set that I told myself I am going to make! It first came to me when I was in high school woodworking shop. The only thing that stopped me then was I didn’t have the money to buy the wood for it. “Not enough money you say, but the set is small and not that much materials!” Oh Ho! The set I wanted was to be a foot high and something like 4” in diameter. That’s an entirely different picture. Well now I can afford the materials and have the time so what is stopping me? It won’t fit in with the decor of our house and now that I’m in my 60s, I have come to understand myself a bit better. I do not really care for repetitious projects. I will probably make half a dozen pieces and then have to worry about where am I gonna keep all this wood for that project? Suffice to say that I am much happier with various projects that will keep my interest.

I also have a few pieces of turnings that for one reason or another got put aside as my interest changes and my skill level improves on the lathe and I realize that the piece is destined for the fireplace or fire pit in our patio.

So Toolchap, YOU are not ALONE and I am very positive there are many of us LJs that are in this same boat or should I call it a ship to hold all of us?

Erwin Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4066 days

#5 posted 06-01-2010 01:41 AM

Toolchap, You are not alone and yes I’m one of those LJer’s that still have projects in the works after years of good intentions. I really like your chess set and admire the fact that you made some of your your own tools. Great job, no matter how long it took.

-- John @

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3721 days

#6 posted 06-01-2010 09:13 PM

Let’s not talk about unfinished projects…...he,he!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3669 days

#7 posted 07-07-2010 01:08 PM

I have a question though, where’d you get the hippo ivory and how expensive is it? I have an urge to do a dress highland dirk with ivory hilts…
As for unfinished projects, if it’s good enough for the president… :)
If your wife puts up with your whimsical ways, what MORE can you ask?
Mine too puts up with ME and has for 36 years now, the dear sweet girl.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 3389 days

#8 posted 07-22-2013 12:01 AM

I don’t know when you started yours, but i think that i may have you beat, inscribed on some of the figures bottom is a date of10-3-93. After many hours, I did finally get the 24’ X24’ board done. I did tell my wife to get computer savy, and maybe someday look up starving artist, and see if there is a site that buy’s unfinished projects., this may be valuable someday.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View jim65's profile


1020 posts in 2714 days

#9 posted 05-20-2015 05:23 PM

wonderful chess pieces! Your post made me smile a lot, yes, I have a garage full of those projects and I am in the middle of a chess set, only 1 year now… board is done, beautiful. messed up the table base and can’t get around to fixing it. bunch of wood set aside for the chess pieces, ready to go… but all the other projects seem to get in the middle of it. Thanks for sharing!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View toolchap's profile


150 posts in 3701 days

#10 posted 05-28-2015 03:43 AM

Thanks for the replies all of you, I appreciate it. My life remains filled with stuff not finished and stuff finished.

Who cares?

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3648 days

#11 posted 08-22-2016 07:36 PM

This chess set turned out nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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