I bought a sparkly, pretty travel chess board from the markets of Khan el-Khalili in Egypt (pre-revolution) a few years ago. It only came with little plastic, crappy chess pieces, and I wanted something a little better so I made these simple wooden chess pieces.
There are already ALOT of nice instructables detailing some beautiful chess pieces made with lathes, but I wanted something simple (and unfortunately I do not have a lathe).
I made these pieces out of a single wooden dowel and a dremmel in a few hours (and so can you!)
Step 1: Supplies and Materials
You might have to take out a loan for this instructable; you will need:
Step 2: Step 1: Cut the Dowel
The first step is to decide how tall you want your pieces. for my board, I decided to have the smallest pieces (pawn) about 1cm tall, and have the tallest pieces (King and Queen) about 2.5 cm tall. The remaining pieces were sized in-between 1-2.5cm, and I'll give the details in the following steps.
You will need:
Step 3: Step 2: Craft the Pieces
This is the fun part. Get creative with your designs. You can carve them by hand without a dremmel if you want- that would even more OG.
After you make them, you can make one set a different color by using varnish or wood sealant. The darker pieces in the pictures were coated with sanding sealant.
I'll detail how I made each piece step by step as a guide.
Step 4: The Pawn
This one is the easiest by far. The pawn is about 1cm tall.
Step 5: The Rook
The rook is about 1.5cm tall.
Step 6: The Knight
The knight is the same size as the rook: about 1.5cm tall.
This one is a little more detail oriented.
Step 7: The Bishop
The bishop was a little taller than the knight and rook, approximately 2cm tall.
Step 8: The Queen
This one was fun to make. The queen was about 2.5cm tall.
Step 9: The King
Big Daddy. The king was the same size as the Queen-2.5cm tall.
Step 10: Color the Pieces and Hone Your Skills!
As I mentioned before, you can use a wood varnish or oil to make one set a different color.
I hope you found this helpful, and I'd like to see what variations you come up with. Post your pics in the comment section.
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I use a simple Dremmel tool to do most of my wood cutting and etching, but If I win, I'd use the Hurricane Laser Cutter to make a boat load of more ibles.