another wobble chess set

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Project by Jim Sellers posted 05-14-2016 02:52 PM 2299 views 17 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Y’all may recall the first set I posted a while back. This is wobble chess set # 3. ( and 2 ).............I stole the idea from a set made by Umbra which you can buy for $250. I wish I knew how it was made but since it was manufactured in China, I doubt that solid wood was used for the board. But it was such a cool concept, I just had to figure out how to make one myself. I think mine is a little bit nicer. I have a blog on how I set up a jig and cut the square pieces for the board….................Purpleheart and maple, brass half balls on the bottoms. The pieces stand straighter and firmer by grinding about a 1/8” dia. flat spot on the bottoms. I turned the playing pieces in pairs as a spindle and separated them in the middle…...........As always, sanding is the most labor intensive and least favorite task in the build process. I made sanding drums out of plywood discs then sanded each square after the glue up. I’ve got around 40 hrs.+ or – in the project. About 10 hrs. of that was sanding….......For the finish on the board I used a few coats of zinsers seal coat shellac. This left the board too glossy so I top coated with spray on satin lacquer. Playing pieces finished with spray on shellac…..The board is 16” square, 1.75” thick and very heavy. Put tapered legs on the bottom just inside the border to elevate 3/4”. Maybe next time I’ll try a flat board.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

20 comments so far

View cutmantom's profile


401 posts in 2867 days

#1 posted 05-14-2016 03:11 PM

Great job, I’ve never seen a set done like that before

View Andy's profile


233 posts in 660 days

#2 posted 05-14-2016 04:12 PM

That is a very nice chess set. If a had that I would want to play every day.

-- Andy Smith

View DocSavage45's profile


8373 posts in 2675 days

#3 posted 05-14-2016 04:22 PM

You are one talented ( fill in the blank)!

I was thinking about a chess board that might be different. and dam here it is! Nice.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View majuvla's profile


11170 posts in 2700 days

#4 posted 05-14-2016 04:23 PM

This is one of chess sets that pops out of many. Beautiful and unusual design features. Are there any problems with balancing figurines?

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View OSU22's profile


32 posts in 2863 days

#5 posted 05-14-2016 05:45 PM

Wow, I really like these sets, Jim!

View drewpy's profile


682 posts in 1189 days

#6 posted 05-14-2016 07:00 PM

That is one very cool chess board design. You did great work on it and everything about it looks top notch.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View MatthewG's profile


81 posts in 2611 days

#7 posted 05-14-2016 07:08 PM

I’m a longtime chessplayer, but I have never seen a wobble chess set. Do the pieces wobble? Does that play some role in the game?

Looks cool!

-- Matthew, from beautiful Wisconsin USA

View Pointer's profile


421 posts in 943 days

#8 posted 05-14-2016 08:19 PM

Looks like Weebles from the days of old. Very nice set.

-- Joe - - When 10 million people believe in a dumb idea, it's still a dumb idea.

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

417 posts in 2167 days

#9 posted 05-14-2016 08:42 PM

Thanks guys for the comments and compliments. Yes they wobble but I flattened the bottoms slightly so that they regain their stance fairly quick. Without the flat spot they sway if you breathe on them.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View htl's profile (online now)


3099 posts in 992 days

#10 posted 05-14-2016 11:19 PM

Those are one really cool project and well done I need to add.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19736 posts in 2938 days

#11 posted 05-15-2016 01:47 AM

That is so cool, Jim. It looks like the pieces will rock when you set them down on a square which looks like it is dipped in. Great effect!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Vince's profile


1140 posts in 3262 days

#12 posted 05-15-2016 05:47 AM

That’s awesome

-- Vince

View rackjabbit's profile


44 posts in 1740 days

#13 posted 05-15-2016 11:38 AM

This is a cool design and idea. Sanding is always the greatest chore, but it can make or break a project.

-- Once the dust settles, breath and behold the beauty of the wood.

View Roger's profile


20874 posts in 2636 days

#14 posted 05-15-2016 02:06 PM

Spectacular!! “weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down”

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View SteveGaskins's profile


735 posts in 2419 days

#15 posted 05-15-2016 03:12 PM

Very nice. I love this idea.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

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