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Machining a Giant Chess Set

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  • Machining a Giant Chess Set

    Has anyone played with a decent giant chess set? Where the king stands anywhere between 12" and 3 feet tall? I've seen some of the plastic crap they make (just online, not in person). I've been wanting to make a ~16" tall chess set out of wood but have been recently thinking how this could be done with alum plate and round stock. Even if cost wasn't an issue, I don't think machining all of the pieces out of solid billet or bar stock would be good as I'd like each piece to weight no more than 5-10 pounds but maybe that's really the best/easiest way?

    How would you guys go about building 12-16" tall chess pieces out of aluminum? Casting it is probably the easiest, but I'd rather try and either machine from solid material, or machine plate and tig weld then machine/buff joints, etc.

    I think the pawns can be made many different ways without too much trouble, but the king/queen/bishop/knight/rook in this style out of aluminum without changing much from this style seems like a challenge. Actually, it seems like all of the pieces could be turned with only minor CNC work done to the rook, bishop, king and queen, but that damn knight would be almost 100% CNC on a large scale.


  • #2
    3 feet tall!!! don't know why - maybe it's the wallpaper but you just reminded me of a Tom Petty vid lol


    https://youtu.be/h0JvF9vpqx8

    let us know when you get it all done and we'll be over to play a game, i'll bring the acid lol

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    • #3
      I wanted to make a normal-size set using only the lathe so I designed my own style of modernistic pieces. You can see how it turned out here...

      http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/m...hess-set-55396

      Perhaps it will give you some ideas.
      Regards, Marv

      Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
      http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

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      • #4
        I love the giant set here. Maybe wood/teak would be better than alum. I was just thinking I could also 3D print large pieces which I should probably do instead.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mklotz View Post
          I wanted to make a normal-size set using only the lathe so I designed my own style of modernistic pieces. You can see how it turned out here...

          http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/m...hess-set-55396

          Perhaps it will give you some ideas.
          Very nice... How difficult would it have been to machine them from 4" round stock? I assume with 4" round stock, you could get 6-8" tall pieces? I really like stout looking pieces like yours. I'm not a fan of the "huge" sets that have long slender pieces.

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          • #6
            I don't think that machining from solid is economically viable for those of us with average incomes. Using your king for an example, rough measurement shows the base is almost 1/2 the height. That gives us 6 inch x12 inch solid at about $270 each. The pawns are the smallest, but they are still around 6 inches tall and 4 inches across. Pawns would be around $80 a piece for 4 inch x 8 inch solid round.


            I'd construct the rough shape from sub assemblies of various sizes of round tube. It will be likely to exceed your weight limit if you don't make the walls fairly thin. That's a lot of work.

            But consistency is your biggest concern. Side by side it's really easy to see minor differences in construction. Some sort of tracer or duplicator is called for.
            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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            • #7
              Damn, these giant teak pieces are going to make me cry they are so beautiful...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by danlb View Post
                That gives us 6 inch x12 inch solid at about $270 each.
                Yea, If I went that route I probably would not build an extra set of queens for promotions

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                • #9
                  I bet there's some chainsaw guys that could make some pretty neat looking pieces for the price (a fraction of the price I should say.)

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                  • #10
                    Here's more info about chess sets than you probably want to know

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                    • #11
                      Another approach might be to find 31 friends who like to play dress up and don't mind standing very still for long periods of time. They do it in Italy...

                      http://www.italoamericano.org/story/...hess-marostica
                      Regards, Marv

                      Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
                      http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A couple of styles I like that I believe would lend themselves to being machined relatively easily are this one



                        and this set of tubular pieces which I think could be scaled up to a giant size relatively economically.

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                        • #13
                          bah humbug. if the cost of the stock isn't an issue for giant chess pieces......pay someone else to do it. It would be extremely dull turning all that, imo. designing is fun, solving the puzzle on set up and sequence is fun and admiring the finished piece is fun......week upon week of repetitive chip making on large pieces of stock....not so much so.
                          Last edited by Mcgyver; 11-27-2017, 06:14 PM.
                          .

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                          • #14
                            You could use aluminum sheet or plate and cut them out in silhouette then use a weighted base. Easy enough to make them look 3-D with a few curved lines. Might even make them out of wood. Remember, it's only a game.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arcane View Post



                              [/img]
                              I like this set except the king actually looks like a bishop and the bishops look like platypuses

                              im all for injection molded plastic - really nothing like the feel and quality of plastic chess pieces and you'll be saving a small forest in the process... seen at the end of the block someone's already got one of those 6 foot tall santa's on display, total plastic and you can even put a light inside of him to make him glow, same could be done with chess pieces even the little ones could have LED's --- except for the pawns - pawns are just pawns and expendable and need to be kept as simple as possible so you don't get too attached to them when you have to throw one under the proverbial bus...

                              used to play allot of chess with my bro - he had a real plastic set was very nice...

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