I managed to make 5 pawns on the same blank! This was great as I originally thought I’d be making two at a time like with the larger pieces. The only downside was that I had to be careful parting the separate pieces just in case their tops got damaged. Also, I had to be careful when turning the pieces in the middle of the blank as the wood was flexing a lot (it was down to a 1″ diameter).
I sawed off the pieces away from the lathe and used a carving knife and sand paper to tidy the tops.
Though I got in some good turning experience making this set, I didn’t fulfil my aim of consistency/repeatability. The pawns are the best example of this because there are 16 of them. Some have slightly thicker necks than the others highlighting my inexperience. To put some positive spin on this I have two redeeming excuses. (1) The set cannot be confused for a mass- or machine-produced item and (2) the variance gives each piece character. In this sense we can see pawns as unique individuals rather than faceless soldiers.