Woodsmith

Chess Set

Pull up a seat, put on your thinking cap, and start the timer. This elegant chess set is the perfect way to hone your mind, and your woodworkin­g skills.

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Stemming from India in the 7th century, chess is the ultimate game of strategy. What appears to be a simple objective on the surface, capture the opponent’s king, is much more involved than that. There are few games that require more planning, strategy, and cunning, than chess. This modern take on the classic game is sure to get the attention of your opponent, and maybe give you an edge.

DESIGN DETAILS. As you can see in the photo, this elegant chess set features a walnut and maple playing surface that appears to float above the base. A soft, flocked drawer allows you to safely store the chess pieces when not in use. While the playing surface is beautiful, the real show-stopper, in my opinion, is the set of pieces.

SOME TURNED, SOME SAWN. While the knights are made at the band saw, most of the other pieces require a little bit of time at the lathe. But don’t worry. You don’t need to be a turning wizard to conjure up these pieces. Some basic turning skills and a few simple tools will help you create the shapes needed for this set. The biggest challenge, perhaps, is the helmet-shaped pawn. However, turning the blank, removing some waste at the band saw, and gluing it back together creates the oblong, helmet shape.

But put the turning out of your mind for now. The first thing to knock out is the chess board, so that’s your opening move.

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