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41: Hardware Chess Set

December 26, 2010

Happy whatever!

Here’s a chess set I made for my dad. It’s made out of hardware. We’re actually opening gifts right now, but it’s OK, because he won’t read this until later.

I’ve seen a set made of hardware before, but the ones I’ve seen are a bit overly ornate, with washers glued to the bottom. I wanted to do something a little more modern, and it was important to me that the pieces all be actually joined together naturally. Each piece is made of only two hardware components: a nut of some sort and a bolt of some sort.

I did use some superglue, but that was just to hold the parts in place. They’re threaded normally. One army is heated with a torch to make it dull gray, and the other is still nice and shiny. As per usual, I have a lot of process photos.

First you buy a lot of hardware. The original idea was to make it brass versus zinc, but brass is expensive, and I couldn’t find enough variety at my local hardware store.

This is a test fitting. That eyelet is the knight, and I intended for it to be a hook. Horses look like hooks, but it was impossible to find a hook that size.

Even the eyelets are too long, and I had to cut them down.

Here are the knights completed. Heat damaged versus new.

… and the pawns. The caps were actually stainless steel (all I could find), and I got a neat gunmetal purple when I heated them up.

Bishops = crosses. Hilarious!

here’s all the pieces together. The king is a thumbscrew, and the queen is a wingbolt, although you could just as easily use a wingnut and an upside-down bolt.

Just a couple more pictures, because chess pieces are fun to photograph.

The board is just an old board I had. All of the pieces to the original set had broken, so I re-purposed it.

Thanks for watching.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Hepworth permalink
    December 27, 2010 6:09 am

    This is a great present. Thank you.

  2. December 27, 2010 3:30 pm

    Muy buen trabajo, y un excelente regalo sin duda.

  3. November 18, 2011 1:15 am

    That is so cool! I bet he loved that – I would, and I can’t even play chess!

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