Melissa's Chess Set

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Project by jeepturner posted 1076 days ago 1301 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I haven’t done a lot of posting lately. This is the reason why. My daughter has been challenging me to build a chess set, mainly because of the cutting boards I made after being inspired by the folks on this web site. After all the cutting boards I would make she would say something like, “That is a real nice cutting board, but you can’t play chess on it”.
I should also say that I told her some time ago that I would make her a chess set. It would have taken me longer to get around to it, if it wasn’t for the projects and people on this site. So thanks to all of you who share your talent here. As it is, the thing took me six weeks of my free time. I don’t get all that much free time, but it still took me longer than I would want.
My daughter helped with the carving details on the knights!
I don’t have a duplicator for my lathe. All the pieces were cut one at a time using the measure compare and cut process. Some of the pawns have some character. I actually cut twenty pawns so I could toss out the four that were rugged individualist, refusing to conform.

This is technically a finish project, but I am going to add a box that will sit under the board and hold the pieces.

The board is maple, walnut with a purple heart border. The finish on the board is a water based poly wipe on.

The pieces are maple. The white pieces are bleached. The black pieces are dyed with RIT and then burnished.
All the pieces have seven coats of sprayed (rattle can) poly.

-- Mel,

16 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


4784 posts in 2508 days

#1 posted 1076 days ago

Wow. That is a lot of work. Good for you.

And a good looking set too.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Roger's profile


14318 posts in 1430 days

#2 posted 1076 days ago

looks like a gr8 game, waiting to happen. really really nice

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View souichiro's profile


369 posts in 1972 days

#3 posted 1076 days ago

fantastic work!

-- Dale, Oregon

View Brett's profile


881 posts in 1385 days

#4 posted 1076 days ago

Nice work and nothing like a good daughter to prod you to go out and make a chess set! Doin’ it for the kids… what a sacrifice. ;)

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View lanwater's profile


3076 posts in 1560 days

#5 posted 1076 days ago

Turning all these pieces must have been enduring.
My hat goes to you.

Great work. You got your daughter a very nice set, I can hear “my dady made it”

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View tomd's profile


1738 posts in 2396 days

#6 posted 1076 days ago

Nice work, chess sets are a real lesson in turning.

-- Tom D

View degoose's profile


6993 posts in 1981 days

#7 posted 1076 days ago

I cheat… I buy the pieces for my boards…you my friend do it the right way… one at a time… and I applaud your effort.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1815 days

#8 posted 1076 days ago

Well done, one to be proud of!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jeepturner's profile


920 posts in 1419 days

#9 posted 1076 days ago

Thank you all for the nice compliments.
I learned a lot of things making this set. The one thing that stands out though, and without this web site I don’t know if I would have, is how to turn Hard Maple black. I just added a picture of one of the black knights.
I really need to get better at taking pictures. I took several and this is the best I have. Maybe I will take more later.

-- Mel,

View mafe's profile


9484 posts in 1715 days

#10 posted 1076 days ago

Wauuu really a nice set.
You have done a wonderful job, and compliments to your daughters carving.
It sound wonderful, a share with the daughter project.
One day I will be brave enough to do a chess set.
Best thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View jeepturner's profile


920 posts in 1419 days

#11 posted 1076 days ago

Thanks Mads,
I think that when you make a chess set, it will inspire hundreds. I will tel my daughter of your compliments, although I must say they will mean more to me than her, and she will greatly appreciate them. Thank you.

-- Mel,

View mafe's profile


9484 posts in 1715 days

#12 posted 1075 days ago

I have no doubt your set will inspire a lot here, it do inspire me, and give me currage, it is one of the things I love about us here together, that we show eachother it can be done, and then we trust that we can since ‘the other guy just like me’ can. Perhaps we do more than we can, but we do it!
Your daughter will be proud, if not now, then later in life, it will be a sweet memory. My daughetr is 12 she like to never show me her admiration, but I hear from her friends how proud she is, and I see the love in her eyes, that is all a daddy need.
Big smile buddy!

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View peteg's profile


2856 posts in 1449 days

#13 posted 1075 days ago

Mel this is a realy fantastic job you have done here, dont know if I would have the patience to do it, all these little guys one after the other, well done Man : )))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View fernandoindia's profile


1072 posts in 1570 days

#14 posted 1075 days ago

Hi Mel, we all are slave of our own words:

..... I told her some time ago that I would make her a chess set…. LOL

Great job on both the set and board. Nice to share the work with her.

Knight looks awesome. Lot of work there. The next one will take much less than six weeks !!


-- Back home. Fernando

View Asher's profile


44 posts in 2571 days

#15 posted 1074 days ago

Great work! One of these days when I get a lathe I will have to make a set for my travel board. Thanks for the post.

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