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I have decided to use rosewood for the dark side of my chess set I'm making. The piece in the picture below has been sanded to 800 and I love the look and feel of rosewood. Here's my question. Is there a light wood I can use that is similar to rosewood for my light side? I tried white oak and poplar. Didn't like either. I need something closed grain and tight similar to rosewood. Polish rosewood to 3000 grit and you don't need anything else to make it shine. Basswood is perfect but too light weight. I would have to fill it with lead shot. Any suggestions?

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Hard maple would be my first thought, tough, tight grained and polishes up well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Basswood is the right color, tight grained and it sands very smooth. However, it is very light and I'm afraid it might dent. CA glue might solve the denting problem and a drilled hole with lead or steel shot would solve the weight problem. How do woodcarvers, who love basswood, get around the above problems? Thanks again for all the suggestions.

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Did anybody say Osage orange? Saw one as I was driving and thought of this.

- firefighterontheside
Biggest problem with Osage is that over time it will darken to a coppery brown that isn't going to contrast enough with the rosewood. It polishes up great on turnings, though.
 
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