Hand Tools Archive

Re: Anyone ever build a chess set?

Yeah I have avoided pattern scraping for the most part, somewhat on principal (it started as a forcer for skills building, continued as skills building, and still is skills building .. despite my anticipation of getting to where that wasn't as interesting - I think you can appreciate the overlap with other discussions here hehe).

You can however get a pretty good surface with sort of a negative rake setup like DRS's beading tools:
Doing that for a more complex profile would be somewhat more challenging to lay out, but certainly not impossible (easier than a molding plane blade design by a smidge).

I think, that like a lot of similar work, unless you're doing a LOT of them its generally still more efficient to just "get better" at turning and be able to get close enough to matching sets by hand. My big problems with that are mostly solved with gauges, dividers, marking tools (aka nails in boards, pencil marks on a board, etc..), and shadow patterns cut out of plastic /cardboard (I've tried to love the various profile gauges but don't mostly because they lack the resolution I generally want). As you say slight variation works pretty well, and doesn't really detract much (or perhaps enhances) from the final appearance.

Having said that the last "match a pawn" I did I had to make 8 of them before I was happy.. The guy I did them for was happy with 5 of the 8, apparently we had different standards of where we were happy :)

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