Turning a chess set, take 2

As some of you will remember, the first set I made was out of maple and sapele, and it was promised to a friend. However, I still meant to make a set for my son, and I had this opportunity to do so around last Christmas. I kept my original design as I still liked it, but went for a change in wood species. Maple was still designated the choice wood for the pale set, and I gave bocote a try for the dark set.

It was the very first time I worked with bocote. The wood is expensive for sure, and I was afraid of the results for turning. I was not disappointed. It is a very heavy and dense wood, but despite my expectation that it would be hard to drill and have a blunting effect on tools, I found it much easier to drill holes into it than in maple. And the blunting effect on turning tools I would describe as only moderate. But what is most striking about it is the sheen it takes when simply sanded, and its amazing color. It holds detail very well too.

Here is the very first pair of pawns for comparative purposes. It is worth noting that the pieces are not finished yet. No oil, nothing.

Patrick Savard


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