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Chess Set Returns

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Project by dustynewt posted 10-26-2008 03:52 PM 1834 views 6 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently, I was helping my mom with the tremendous task of sorting through my dad’s stuff. Ralph was a Disney vet and collector extraordinaire. He had well over a thousand chess sets along with masses of other games, books on games, artwork, Disney memorabilia and other neat stuff. He loved to have fun.

Cool, wooden boxes abounded everywhere. From plain, slide top container boxes to Victorian compendiums with their secret drawers, doors and lids. It was in one of the former that I discovered something that was familiar. A set I had made for him about twenty-five years ago when I was touring the mall circuits around the country making my bandsaw names, signs and keychains.

This set was carved completely on the bandsaw out of oak and mahogany I salvaged from the building/rehab of the Cheyenne Saloon at Church Street Station in Orlando. The finish, I don’t remember what I used (probably Krylon Crystal Clear) has darkened so that it is hard to distinguish oak from mahogany during play. The pieces are a little rougher than the work I do now. But it surprised me to see it after all these years. Ralph loved the set as he loved all the stuff he collected and it wound up in this non-descript little box, safe and sound.

My mom gave it back to me along with the neat roll-up board, circa 1890, you see in the pics. I miss old Ralphee-Boy.

-- Peace in Wood ~ http://dustynewt.com/





13 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

10154 posts in 2501 days


#1 posted 10-26-2008 04:02 PM

As you can tell, he cherished it. I am sure he was/is proud of you !

Nice set and wonderful story.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2809 days


#2 posted 10-26-2008 04:43 PM

Scott,
Thanks for posting these. The story and the chessmen made my Sunday. Sounds like you come very honestly by your love of boxes. Best to you.
Douglas

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5365 posts in 2823 days


#3 posted 10-26-2008 04:58 PM

Great, great story…thank you.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2631 days


#4 posted 10-26-2008 05:13 PM

Great job and story!!! Could/would you post some pictures of some of the other wood things he collected, the box with the secret drawer sounds neat too.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3971 posts in 2809 days


#5 posted 10-26-2008 05:28 PM

Scott,
Thanks for posting these. The story and the chessmen made my Sunday. Sounds like you come very honestly by your love of boxes. Best to you.
Douglas

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View TedM's profile

TedM

2002 posts in 2478 days


#6 posted 10-26-2008 05:33 PM

Great story, great project. A thousand memmories no doubt! Here’s to Ralph!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit http://www.woodworkersguide.com and sign up for my project updates!

View Woodhacker's profile

Woodhacker

1139 posts in 2469 days


#7 posted 10-26-2008 06:26 PM

I’m sure your father loved this set! You did a great job on it and thanks for the story behind it.

I the design of the pieces. For some reason especially the pawns…I think it’s because they look like the knob on infill planes.

Thanks for posting it.

-- Martin, Kansas

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2685 days


#8 posted 10-26-2008 06:28 PM

This is the perfect example of why woodworking is particularly special. Something made years ago, given as a gift that returns full of history and cherished memories. Great story and very cool that the set came back to you.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View dustynewt's profile

dustynewt

647 posts in 2608 days


#9 posted 10-26-2008 06:46 PM

Thank you all for your comments.
John Gray – Alas, no. Most of the better boxes have been sent to auction to help pay off her bills. Next time I am over there I’ll try to remember the camera to get some shots of things she couldn’t part with.

-- Peace in Wood ~ http://dustynewt.com/

View BarryW's profile

BarryW

1015 posts in 2652 days


#10 posted 10-26-2008 07:16 PM

Great story…and a great little chess set.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View pashley's profile

pashley

1029 posts in 2463 days


#11 posted 10-27-2008 12:34 AM

Really cool!

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com

View Handi75's profile

Handi75

371 posts in 2220 days


#12 posted 11-23-2008 01:30 AM

Pretty Sweet Chess Set, you make that with a Band Saw?

Did you design your own pieces?

Give me the specs! :)

-- Jimmy "Handi" Warner, http://www.facebook.com/HandisWorkshop, http://www.facebook.com/HandisCreations, Twitter: @Handisworkshop, @HandisCreations

View dustynewt's profile

dustynewt

647 posts in 2608 days


#13 posted 11-23-2008 05:07 AM

Handi,
The pieces are all freehand carved with the bandsaw. Once I got the king (about 3’tall) formed, I just scaled and similarly formed the other pieces. Keep in mind that I have freehand cut tens of thousands of names, keychains and signs doing mall shows and fairs around the country. My “old school” Craftsman 12” (circa 1978) would be my tool of choice if I could have no other.

-- Peace in Wood ~ http://dustynewt.com/

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