Melissa's Chess Set

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Project by jeepturner posted 09-11-2011 01:49 AM 1841 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


5317 posts in 3846 days

#1 posted 09-11-2011 02:10 AM

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


20923 posts in 2768 days

#2 posted 09-11-2011 02:44 AM

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

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

View souichiro's profile


369 posts in 3310 days

#3 posted 09-11-2011 04:56 AM

fantastic work!

-- Dale, Oregon

View Brett's profile


950 posts in 2723 days

#4 posted 09-11-2011 05:31 AM

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


3111 posts in 2898 days

#5 posted 09-11-2011 06:17 AM

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


2148 posts in 3734 days

#6 posted 09-11-2011 06:52 AM

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

-- Tom D

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3319 days

#7 posted 09-11-2011 10:28 AM

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.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3153 days

#8 posted 09-11-2011 03:12 PM

Well done, one to be proud of!

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

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2757 days

#9 posted 09-11-2011 05:32 PM

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


11643 posts in 3053 days

#10 posted 09-11-2011 05:41 PM

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


939 posts in 2757 days

#11 posted 09-11-2011 05:51 PM

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


11643 posts in 3053 days

#12 posted 09-11-2011 09:56 PM

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


4270 posts in 2787 days

#13 posted 09-12-2011 09:32 AM

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


1081 posts in 2908 days

#14 posted 09-12-2011 05:32 PM

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 3909 days

#15 posted 09-12-2011 07:06 PM

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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