Finished a chess set - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Finished a chess set

Howdy,

I recently finished a chess set. This is my second set but it's the first one that I think I did a good job on. I took quite a few pictures so instead of including them in this post, here's a link:

http://www.hairybrain.co.uk/Chess

The kings are about 6.5" tall; the board is about 25" square.

Advice, opinions, comments, tips etc. all very welcome.

Matt
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 12:14 PM
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Excellent Matt! Great job on the knight. Micro-carving is tedious I bet.

I suppose ol Nathaniel designed that piece first, and after some thought decided a round look for the rest of the pieces would really make him stand out.

I am covetous of your milling machine.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 12:37 PM
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Matt, that is absolutely stunning! Very nice and humorous writeup of your process. Thanks for sharing.

John
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 01:35 PM
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Now THAT is talent..
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 01:48 PM
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beautiful!

Hands made for wood

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Levi
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words guys!

Texas: I got the milling machine for doing metalwork but it's awesome for wood projects too. Obviously a machine designed for cutting steel can handle any type of wood with no sweat at all. Accurate dovetails, comb joints, slotting, you name it - it's like having a router that's 100 times more accurate and easier to control. Highly recommended. The only thing is, it can't handle very big work (you can see what a struggle it was to get just those little rooks mounted on it).
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 08:13 PM
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Matt,
Excellent work. I have been thinking of building a chess set. Now you give me some ideas. Might be a winter project.
Mike Hawkins
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-21-2008, 09:18 PM
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VERY impressive work!!!!

One thing about the board I'll comment on... It's great, but I made one a long time ago with an older woodworker (who was probably younger than I am now... ) and he used this method to get the squares aligned...

Glue 1x1x6 inch pieces of alternating wood side by side... Dark/light/dark/light... etc. After curing, cut 1/4" off one end and you have one row of the chess board. The next cut, you have the next row, only you alternate the layout (turn it 180 deg) so on and so forth until you have the 8x8 board. Then glue to the base. (Dimensions might be off... I've slept since then... )

Not that there is anything wrong with YOUR board... again... VERY impressive...

I cut that board three times and it's STILL too short!!!...
http://www.geocities.com/capt9992002
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-22-2008, 06:37 PM
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Matt,
That is awesome!!! I especially like the knight!!
John
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-07-2008, 06:04 PM
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Wow!!!!!
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-26-2008, 05:53 AM
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I think i need to re-evaluate how good I thought I was
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-26-2008, 09:32 AM
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Now that is a WOW A woodworker who can turn and carve. A true craftsman. my hats off to you.

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post #13 of 17 Old 09-26-2008, 09:44 AM
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chess set

Looks like you put a lot of work in there and it paid off very well.FANTASTIC JOB
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-26-2008, 08:55 PM
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That is just beautiful!

I particularily liked the write-up. Showing each step as you did, nicely illustrated, with good info, that was just super! For a newbie like me, it was much appreciated. That would make a fine reference page for any site.

And I was very impressed with those Knights!

I cant quite look at my old plastic chess set now in the same way.

Night? - I work the overnight shift.
Mill? - Thats where I work, www.estatemillwork.com.
Bill? - Thats my name!
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-30-2008, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Handyman - I must admit that the knight in the pictures is the best of the four I made for that set. My carving skills are very basic indeed, and if the knight turned out well it's probably because what I lack in ability I made up in hard work! But I definitely will make more and learn better techniques...and of course, save the money to build up a set of carving tools

Night Mill Bill - glad you liked the write-up!

Thanks again guys :-)
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post #16 of 17 Old 09-30-2008, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrney View Post
Thanks for the kind words guys!

Texas: I got the milling machine for doing metalwork but it's awesome for wood projects too. Obviously a machine designed for cutting steel can handle any type of wood with no sweat at all. Accurate dovetails, comb joints, slotting, you name it - it's like having a router that's 100 times more accurate and easier to control. Highly recommended. The only thing is, it can't handle very big work (you can see what a struggle it was to get just those little rooks mounted on it).
You make an interesting comment here. My understanding has always been that tools designed for metal work are not good for wood. The reason being that turning speeds, etc for metal working machines are too slow to use on wood.

I gather that you did not find this a problem.

Excellent work on the chess set. Congratulations on being such an expert.

George
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-01-2008, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Hi George,

You're right, the speeds available on my metalworking tools are well below the usual speeds you'd use for wood. For example, my milling machine only goes to 1,700 rpm, which is 5 times slower than a standard minimum speed for a router. I find this isn't too much of a problem if I just drop the feed speeds accordingly and make sure I use good quality, razor sharp cutting tools. Of course, it does take longer to make cuts at lower rpm and lower feed speeds.

Glad you like the set!

MB

Edit: one more thing - I often use very hard, dense tropical woods which sometimes have mechanical properties more like metals than woods, so these are particularly well suited to being machined with metalworking tools. I've never tried soft, open-grained woods on the milling machine but I imagine that even with reduced feed speeds that would be pretty tricky.

Last edited by Byrney; 10-01-2008 at 05:00 AM.
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