Turning Archive 2005

Subject:
Chess set finally done. PICs

Dave Smith, Longview, WA
>My daughter ordered a chess set for her husband and I started on it the second week in November. I wasn’t a very good spindle turner when I started this set. I am still not very good but I am better now than when I started.

One set is made from lilac which I got from my number 2 daughter. The wood sat for a long time before I got it. It was badly split. Lilac splits spirally and usually has more than one split in any given section. It was hard to get enough wood to complete the set. Of course I started doing the lilac set first instead of doing the more abundant English walnut.


Some of the raw lilac material I started with.

The plans came from Woodturning Online curtsey of Shopsmith. When I do another set I will redraw the patterns for better detail and make some changes. The knight was the most difficult to figure out. For some reason I had difficulty visualizing the cut sequence of the off set turning. I think I trashed 6 turning before I figured it out. There was no instruction on carving the pieces so I tried real hard to ruin the pieces as I was figuring out how to create the dentalis. A couple hints for you if you attempt to make these pieces. The scroll saw is good for make the miter for the bishops. It is not good for cutting out the cross for the king.

I enlarged the print out of the patterns until the grid squares were 1/4". That makes the king and queen base 1 ˝", the other court pieces are 1 3/8" and the pawns are 1 1/4" in diameter. I put steel shot in a half inch hole in the base and poured in epoxy to hold it in place. Black self stick felt was applied to the bottom of each piece. The pieces were sanded to 600 while on the lathe and finished with 2 coats of Rockler Gel Polyurethane.


Lilac royal court.


Whole lilac army.


English walnut royal court.


Whole English walnut amry.

There were beheadings, disembowelments, and the walnut queen started life as a king. The trusty skew is to blame for all the mayhem visited on the chess pieces. Obviously I was powerless to stop the tool when it had a mind to go berserk.

Comments are welcome but no calipers are allowed anywhere near the two armies.

Dave Smith

Skewing things up in Longview, WA.

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