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Hand Turned Wooden Chess Pieces

A larger-than-life set that could sell for big dollars, depending on the woods you use.

Step 2: When you’re ready for the Knights, mount your stock on center (we don’t suggest trying the offset turning on your Lathe Duplicator) and first turn just the base and part of the head (see Figure 1). Then, set the head end of your stock 3/8-inch off-center (see Figure 2) on the tailstock end. Turn the neck of the Knight (see Figure 3). While the piece is still mounted off-center, sand the neck smooth. 

Move the Knight back on-center and finish turning the head, stopping just before cutting the piece free (see Figure 4). Now, sand the rest of the piece.

Step 3: Once you’ve finished with the turning, a little hand sawing and “carving” will be needed for the King’s cross, Queen’s crown, Bishop’s mitre and Rook’s parapet.
For weighting, we suggest that you drill a 1/2-inch diameter hole, 3/4-inch deep in the bottom of each Chess Piece. Fill these holes to within 1/4-inch of the surface with small lead shot (from a sporting goods store or gun shop).  Then, using a 1/2-inch Plug Cutter, make a 1/4-inch thick plug for each Chess Piece.

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