Metal Chess Pieces

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mbelfer

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There is a very clear description with diagrams in a book on marquetry that I am having trouble finding, I will keep looking and when found post the page.
I had no particular problems following the method, but rather than cutting blocks I used iron-on veneer that I got in white-oak and walnut. (I needed a reasonably efficient build process because I had decided to build one for each of my grandchildren and there ended up being 19 of them)
 

vederstein

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David,

I just found this thread. From what I've seen in the pictures, it appears that nearly all the parts can be made on the lathe with some rotary table work for details like the top of the castle.

The only one that appears very unfriendly is the knight. As long as it's design isn't too fancy, perhaps I can help you out on those with my CNC'd mini-mill.

...Ved.
 

mbelfer

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There is a very clear description with diagrams in a book on marquetry that I am having trouble finding, I will keep looking and when found post the page.
I had no particular problems following the method, but rather than cutting blocks I used iron-on veneer that I got in white-oak and walnut. (I needed a reasonably efficient build process because I had decided to build one for each of my grandchildren and there ended up being 19 of them)
 

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awake

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Huh - interesting that they use an extra "column" and offset by one, rather than simply flipping the "row" 180°. Does it address the latter option, and give a reason not to use it?
 

mbelfer

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Actually I seem to remember doing that once or twice and avoiding having the left over end squares. But mostly I was concentrating on trying to get the edges as perfect as possible - putty-filling the imperfections was an eye-strain and headache inducing pain!
 

cds4byu

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Here's a set at manually-machinable chessmen from Popular Science December 1968.

Carl
content.jpeg
 

Daryl_bee

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For a long time now the design of chess pieces has been limited by the boring regulation Staunton set to the point most people don’t think beyond it. However, chess sets are a timeless pursuit. EVERY good artist has taken a shot at it. There are two things that are key to a timeless classic set. The pieces must be true and consistent to the desired theme AND they must be easily recognizable as to which chess pieces they are. There are many wild themed sets which fail as the pieces can’t be recognized and others which don’t inspire excitement as they lack theme. Good sets don’t have to be complicated such as the “minimalist set”, the Bauhaus set (which hints at the pieces movement), or May Ray’s compelling geometrical style set (the knights would be difficult).
Minimalist Chess.jpg

bauhaus-chess-set-board-and-pieces-28272383721559_1024x1024.jpg

man-ray-chess-set-board-and-pieces-22649245633_1024x1024.jpg



If you get beyond machining the world opens up. Such as the wonderful 1950’s Spanish Nut & Bolt set of Traveling Musicians. Simple, consistent theme, instantly recognizable pieces.
spannish_screws_500_1.jpg


If you’re into casting, things like Richard Synek’s set of the medieval Charles Martel (The Hammer) founder of modern Europe. It feels medieval yet every piece is instantly recognizable.
Richard Synek - Charles Martel Chess set.jpg
My all-time favourite (which I have) the highly stylized bronze set of Paul Wonderlich. From the lowly curled-hat surf pawns to the regal almighty and lofty shapes of the main pieces.
bdloo8ote1tyr4ifvqik.jpg
I'm not suggesting copies but rather giving examples of winning designs. Whatever you do if you keep to the two main objectives you will be successful. Have fun and good luck.
 

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ajoeiam

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For a long time now the design of chess pieces has been limited by the boring regulation Staunton set to the point most people don’t think beyond it. However, chess sets are a timeless pursuit. EVERY good artist has taken a shot at it. There are two things that are key to a timeless classic set. The pieces must be true and consistent to the desired theme AND they must be easily recognizable as to which chess pieces they are. There are many wild themed sets which fail as the pieces can’t be recognized and others which don’t inspire excitement as they lack theme. Good sets don’t have to be complicated such as the “minimalist set”, the Bauhaus set (which hints at the pieces movement), or May Ray’s compelling geometrical style set (the knights would be difficult).
View attachment 142883
View attachment 142884
View attachment 142885


If you get beyond machining the world opens up. Such as the wonderful 1950’s Spanish Nut & Bolt set of Traveling Musicians. Simple, consistent theme, instantly recognizable pieces.
View attachment 142887

If you’re into casting, things like Richard Synek’s set of the medieval Charles Martel (The Hammer) founder of modern Europe. It feels medieval yet every piece is instantly recognizable.
View attachment 142888 My all-time favourite (which I have) the highly stylized bronze set of Paul Wonderlich. From the lowly curled-hat surf pawns to the regal almighty and lofty shapes of the main pieces.
View attachment 142889 I'm not suggesting copies but rather giving examples of winning designs. Whatever you do if you keep to the two main objectives you will be successful. Have fun and good luck.
(I normally snip the photos but these are so exquisite!!!!!!!)

That Paul Wunderlich set - - - - you might want to insure that!!!
 

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