Before I drive myself nuts, are there plans for a manual machinist to make chess pieces? I just made a chess board out of walnut and ash for a relative and would like to machine the chess pieces from aluminum and brass for him. I only have manual machines, mill and lathe. Thanks in advance for any help.
I have made chess pieces , but in wood. The simpler types I think can be made from aluminum and brass.
Small ball turner or even just balls bought and Loctite to the tops of some pieces. Pawns , and queens come to mind. I suggest you but a cheap set of plastic chess pieces for ideas. You will have to do some free hand work. The cross on the king can be made by sawing or milling from one piece. Make the cross long so you can insert it into a hole . The rook or castle can be turned and the slots milled. The knight is usually represented by a horse head. Very difficult and time consuming to carve metal.
I made my knights like a armored knight with a face shield. This can be turned and the shield added later. I have since learned to carve a horses head.
I will suggest a way I never tried , or even thought of til now.
Set a plastic knight in plaster of paris in a small container like a tuna fish can, empty of course.
Make sure the plaster is completely dry. Heat tin or lead to a liquid and pour into the mold.
when cool, break the mold and remove any flash. This will get you a different metal than you want but spray paint will fix that. I have made flywheels from tin that came from used Typemetal. Tin will melt at a fairly low temperature. I bored the bottom of my wood pieces and packed it with bits of lead for weight. Metal chess pieces may not need this.
Try a search for turned chess pieces, maybe you can get some ideas.