Blocky Chess Pieces

  • Advertise with us
Project by Aaron McCain posted 12-23-2015 04:56 PM 1206 views 8 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend approached me with a design for chess pieces that would be a Christmas gift for her husband. I don’t own a lathe, so I was a little hesitant until she showed me some sketches. The pieces are all cubes and shaped based loosely on the movement of the piece.

The pawns are 1”x1”x1” cubes. The rest start as 1.5”x1.5”x1.5”. Rooks are cubes due to straight movements. Bishops are crosses due to diagonal movements. Knights are missing corners to form an “L” representative of their movement. The king are queen are just a bit taller by adding a head: cube for the king, ball for the queen.

The basic construction was pretty simple it just took forever to sand all the pieces by hand. Finished with a coat of Danish Oil.

*note: I did not make the chess board

7 comments so far

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2381 days

#1 posted 12-23-2015 05:06 PM

Someone was thinking waaay outside the box on this one. My complements on the fine job on the chess set. Thanks for sharing the set and the detail of wood and finish.
Edit: For the knights, you could have used a piece of wood for a “base” and then cut a corner out with a band saw, then glued them together. Just my idea of another way to do the one piece.

View wiser1934's profile


496 posts in 2567 days

#2 posted 12-24-2015 04:34 AM

always wanted to make a chess set. this would be easy for me!! the concept is completely mod, and i love it. thank you for posting this. once you get the hang of sanding quicker, you would be able to sell these anywhere.

-- wiser1934, new york

View holzwurmbr's profile


16 posts in 631 days

#3 posted 12-24-2015 09:44 AM

Hallo ,
Das schachspiel sieht sehr schön aus. Sie haben eine “saubere Arbeit abgeliefert”.

-- holzwurmbr Großräschen Deutschland

View cebfish's profile


126 posts in 2108 days

#4 posted 12-24-2015 11:33 AM

The king looks like a blockhead. Great job. Count me in on favorites

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#5 posted 12-24-2015 02:11 PM

This is a very creative project. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Mambrax's profile


138 posts in 912 days

#6 posted 12-25-2015 07:19 PM

very cool !!!

-- Let's do the best we can !

View metolius's profile


10 posts in 151 days

#7 posted 05-26-2016 05:46 PM

Great work !

I stumbled on this as I have been thinking of making the same set.

I’d like to provide some details of what I know or have heard of the design.

The set was designed by Josef Hartwig in 1924. He was a stone/wood sculpture artist in the German Bauhaus movement which emphasized design with simplicity and function.

From what I have gathered, of the original, pawns were 14mm square, the rook, knight, and bishop were 28mm square as were the queen and king bases. The queen is a rook with a pawn on top. The king is a rook with a sphere of 13mm radius.

By FIDE board standards of a King occupying about 75% of the area of a square, the dimensions above would be appropriate for a board of 32mm squares ( 1.25” ). So, a standard 2.25 square board would use a large cube (rook piece) that is a hair less then 2”.

Also, an interesting thing I noticed about the knight is that the original appears to be constructed with 3 rectangular pieces that were 14×14x28 with two horizontal and one vertical.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics