Turning Chess Pieces: The Pawn

I decided to start with the pawns due to the repetitive nature of the task. Moreover, the smaller dimension of the turning block allowed me to test the reliability of my homemade chuck,and this was a success.

It took me three pieces to adjust my technique in order to repeat cuts sufficiently accurately while also saving time. One of the time-consuming steps was to change measurements on my vernier caliper for each detail. I decided to use both my vernier and my thickness caliper so I could adjust them both each time I went to my ruler, thereby saving time on the lathe when I started cutting. Owning several vernier calipers would also have worked well.

With my plastic template and its lines indicating all changes in diameter or detail, all I had to do was to round the block first, then trace all detail/diameter lines, use my parting tool to reach required diameters where necessary, and then use my spindle gouge and skew to cut the detail.

I could then sand the piece down to 320 and apply paste wax directly on the lathe with a cloth.

Here are the pictures, first of the maple pieces, and then the sapele ones.


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