Six wood test for chess pieces

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Project by MontanaBob posted 08-22-2011 10:43 PM 4617 views 4 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

From left to right – Cedar, Poplar, American Walnut, Zebra Wood, Maple, Chakte-viga. I used the Flying Dutchman No: 3 blade which is a 20.51 t.p.t., on a Delta Model 40-570 scroll saw. These pieces are not sanded. I have to give these blades a five rating because they are the only blades I ever used that didn’t burn the wood. I used one blade to cut the king and queen, and one blade for each of the other pieces. I had to go real slow with the Zebra wood, the blade had a tendency to follow the grain, the Maple and Chakte were also done slow because of the hardness of the wood. As you can see I don’t use clamps or blocks to hold the pieces when cutting….the blue tape trick is so much easier to do….This was done using Steve Goods pattern from

4 comments so far

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 3032 days

#1 posted 08-22-2011 11:57 PM

I think the chakte viga and the zebrawood create the most beautiful of the pieces, and they would be my choices for a set, if you’re looking for input.

I also think some sanding and shaping with sandpaper (which you said you didn’t do) might take away some of the rougher edges, and give them a softer look. The pawn also looks a little blocky and thick, but overall very nice. The knight is my favorite.

View KnotCurser's profile


2032 posts in 3549 days

#2 posted 08-23-2011 12:34 AM

My vote is for Walnut and Chakte-viga – love that combo!

If you take a look at the set I just did, out of walnut and white oak, I took a sanding mop to them to basically eliminate all the corners – made them look really old and used, which is just what I was looking for.

I also figured out a way to cut these pieces with NO extra tape other than the initial tape I use to apply the patterns with! LMK if you want that secret – the way I did it also pretty much guaranteed square/straight sides.

Good luck with this – Let me know how bored you get on your 16th pawn! ;-)


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View MontanaBob's profile


868 posts in 3164 days

#3 posted 08-23-2011 03:44 AM

I started to make a chess board and pieces out of the Chakte & Curly Maple, but the Chakte bled all over the maple….. I just cut these pieces to see how they would look and if the blades I’m using would cut without buring the wood…. Knot- I saw your pieces the other day…..That’s what gave me the idea to try cutting different kinds of wood… The Chakte would be nice…only they turn to a orange to brown color if exposed to sunlight. Bobthefish- I just cut the pieces for a test, didn’t sand them just to show how well the blades cut the wood…... I’ve finished two sets of the same pieces in American Walnut and a tight grain Fir, and a Brazilian Walnut and fir. I thought the rook was a little bocky and thick, but to each their own…. Thanks for looking and the coments….

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3498 days

#4 posted 08-23-2011 05:40 AM

Very nice, I like them and think it would be cool to have a set with all different kinds of wood. Light woods on one side and dark woods on the other.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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