Chess Knights: Preparation

I like the look of the chess set I made.  I really like it; but something wasn’t quite right. I thought I had got away with turning the knights rather carving them, but it is hard to play chess when a piece’s form is unfamiliar.

So the plan is to re-make the knights. Nothing super ornate but definitely more horse-like. I read an online article about carving a large horse head at woodworkersinstitute.com which gave me a good sense of where to begin. I am not going to fool myself into thinking I can create something super-detailed. The idea here is to make a stylised horse head that fits the aesthetics of the chess set as a whole.

The design is simple (to match my skills…) and is somewhat faithful to the hourglass shape that unifies all the chessmen together.

The first step was to draw out the knight outline full scale on squared paper. This was based on the prototype I made out of pine. I prepared the blank for three knights for each colour. The extras are insurance.

I used a parting tool to define the top and bottom of each knight before I turned the blank to the base diameter; any tear-out would be removed by the roughing gouge. I used measurements from the sketch to determine the extent of the base and the wide part where the horse’s nose sticks out. The hourglass shaped was spindle-gouged between these two points of reference.

At this point, we move away from the treadle lathe to the workbench. I’ve already begun carving and will show the process soon when it is all done.

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Related posts:
To carve a chess knight
Chess knight: carving
ALL POSTS in the chess set series

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3 thoughts on “Chess Knights: Preparation

  1. Unbelivable… your lathe is amazing, yours chess pieces too…!
    I’m really impressed
    (excuse my english, so bad, but i’m really appreciative about your work)
    best regards

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