|Project by Chris Wright||posted 01-20-2010 09:50 PM||2507 views||21 times favorited||10 comments|
This is my first attempt at a chess set that wasn’t a kit. I based the design off of the duplicator templates that are available through PSI, though I didn’t use a duplicator for these pieces. They are made from Walnut and Hard Maple. They are a little less than an inch and quarter in diameter and range from about an inch and a half tall for the pawns to three and a half inches tall for the king.
To assist in the repetition, which is always the most difficult part of making a chess set, I used a technique that I read about in the September/October 1990 issue of American Woodworker. In the article, wood turner Rude Osolnik describes how he makes custom scrapers to cut the bases and tops of the different pieces and uses a gouge or skew to finish off the shape. His pieces have a very modern style to them where I chose to go with a more traditional style on mine. Making the cutters is pretty ease, just very time consuming if you’re using high speed steal like I did. The last photo is of the cutters I made. I used an old planer knife and cut it into about 10 inch lengths. So I didn’t have to make 6 different tools, I decided to grind a different cutter on both ends of each piece and made a handle with a slot in it to hold them snuggly while I turned.
For the knights I left the top square and did a compound cut on the bandsaw using the knight pattern from PSI.
It takes some work to get the results you like, but once I figured out the optimum position for the cutter to reduce chatter, I went from about 50 minutes apiece from start to finish to about 30 minutes per piece.
This was fun, and now that I’ve got the hang of it, I’ll try making a different set of cutters for a more modern style set like Rude’s.
Here’s a link to the article if you’d like to read it yourself:
-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken