Chessman

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Jim Wilson wrote:

Dang... The details are escaping me, but I read about just that very thing. They (someone, somewhere) did something to the wood (vacuum or pressure, I don't remember) to make it draw epoxy into itself, yielding something that was as much a wood/plastic hybrid as any natural material.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Tom Watson wrote:

Molten lead *will* char the wood, but probably not enough to matter. That's what I do to weight my son's Jummywood Derby cars. It works fine. I made a little crucible out of some scrap copper, with a pointy pouring spout on one end. It's a bit of work to juggle everything so you don't pour molten lead on yourself. That smarts. DAMHIKT.
It flows at a relatively low temperature though, and if you get the amount of drop just right, it will still be liquid, but will have cooled almost to the point of being solid again by the time it hits the wood. The trick is to pour a little, let it cool, pour a little more... If you fill it to the top in one shot, the lump of lead will stay hot longer, and have more time to char the wood fibers.

True. Something with closed pores and tight grain would be in order, I suppose. Maple would probably work. Walnut might be iffy. I guess a cheating man could make the whole set out of maple, and then "ebonize" the black pieces. Lots of those $BIGNUM House of Staunton sets at the cheaper end of the extremely expensive spectrum are ebonized in that fashion. I seem to recall that you don't get better until you're in for a grand or so.

Yours are a little bigger and a little nicer than mine, but they're both really quite extraordinarly excellent, I must say. Damn good looking for plastic.
Thanks for turning me onto them back when. I've since purchased three sets.

Spiffy. I don't have any pictures of mine yet. Never did get around to taking any. The board didn't come out quite right, but it's close enough to play on. I'm going to do it all again, and get it right this time, applying lessons learned. Probably once more in walnut/soft maple with a walnut frame.
I'm thinking about playing with my scroll saw too. I haven't tried this on a large scale yet, but I've done some neat stuff by clamping two pieces together and cutting curvy stuff through the middle, then swapping pieces and gluing back together. I'm planning to do that for my box. I guess it will pretty much demand mitered corners to look right, so I have to think about doing splines or something to reinforce them. Good project when spring finally gets around to showing up.

I do too, but wood doesn't come in black and white unless you paint it. :) Even ebony (all the ebony I've seen anyway) isn't really quite black. White is easier. Lots of woods are pretty close to white. I guess holly is *really* close to white, but I think my grandpa would get pissed off at me if I went down and cut down his holly trees. ;)
Ever work with holly? I never have. It might be worth going down there and lopping off a few fat branches toward the back. He'd never notice. ;)

Mine just flat sucks. I get what you're saying about breaking it down into smaller objectives, but my problem is when something chips off and I have to start the damn thing all over again. That's why I like working in clay better.

Yeah, if only these were wood, I wouldn't even think about trying to make my own. I'll bet their more exotic wood sets look this good too. Some of the detail is astonishing. Then again, so are the prices.
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Silvan wrote...

Me too, exactly the same thing. I haven't had a problem with charring, though, just a little at the edges of the hole (and inside it, of course). But as long as the thickness of the piece is reasonable, it doesn't char through.

Silvan's technique is more cautious than mine. I complete the pour in one go, but I do fill the hole at just a trickle, and I pour with the lead cool enough that it solidifies within a few seconds after the pour is finished.
BTW, the lump of lead always shrinks a bit, and the wood does, too, owing to the moisture lost from the heat. It's a good idea to drip in a thin glue around the lead after it cools to fill the gap.
Jim
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Jim Wilson wrote:

I haven't had anything come close to charring through, even with a really too hot pour.

I avoid this problem by scooping out a few random spots inside the hole, so the plug is too wide to come out the bottom. I've never needed it to last very long for a Jummycar, so I've never really thought about how it might get wiggly over time. I suppose if the thing started to rattle, I could shoot some epoxy or even hot glue into the hole to keep that from happening.
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Tom Watson wrote (in part)...

<snip>
Interesting, these two points. The best playing set around, especially for fast time controls, is the plastic triple-weighted "Ultimate" set:
http://www.wholesalechess.com/chess_p/Ultimate+Chess+Pieces
The third micro-thumbnail at the left links to a nice image of the set. (No affiliation with that site, BTW; I just DAGS to find an image of the set.)
If you want, I can get you the weights of all the pieces.

http://www.shopuschess.org/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/scstore/p-S759B.html?L+scstore+ikhd9548+1073169214 Yours is prettier. I had mentioned about the pawn collars breaking if you did your pieces in ebony, but I don't think they will with this design. (I should have followed the link the first time.) The queen's crown would be a problem, though, as will the knights nose and mouth, and possibly the tops of the rooks. If you're willing to alter the design a bit you might be able to avoid those thin cross sections.

Ha, ha, ha! I should have followed this link before posting about the Ultimate set! Oh, well, I'll leave that part in for the humor of it. Jeez.
Jim
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I poured molten lead into the hollowed-out bottoms of teak clock weights with no charring problems.
Ken Muldrew snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 22:51:52 -0500 (EST), snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (T.) wrote:

I bought a set that is the size I want to make. That scaling stuff is too sophisticated for me.
I was going to cobble up a simple copying device for the lathe that should let me copy pretty fine detail. My old duplicator is OK for bigger stuff but not for these little things.
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret) Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet Website: http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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I knew this guy Norm and he liked big chests on guys and would get wood when he saw them shirtless.
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<PLONK>
web TV.....who knew?
Rob
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I knew this guy Norm and he liked big chests on guys and would get wood when he saw them shirtless.
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