Chessellation

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Introduction: Chessellation

When you are a woodworker there are several projects you are required to do. I say "required" because the project idea comes up over and over again, usually with a detailed description the story teller about how their Uncle or Grandfather or some family friend, now long dead, would build them. They try to interest you to buils one and after many times of this you soon realize you have to make one of your own just to be left alone. A chess board is just one of those projects.

So if a have to make a chess set, I'll make the one I want and I want to make one from tessellating turtles. The dxf files for the board and game pieces are included. Also included if the dxf file to make checkers.

Here are some definitions about using the laser.

Engrave
This is when a section of material is etched usually by some sort of rastering. It is used to darken or cut away defines shapes.

Cut
This is where lines, both curves and straight are cut with enough power that it completely cuts through the material.

Etch
This is like a cut but with less power so it doesn't completely pierce the material.

Off
Not doing any of the above operations.

TurtleCheckers.dxf

TurtleChessBoard.dxf

TurtleChessPieces.dxf

Step 1: Cut Board

You will need a board at least 19½" square to make the board. It can be solid wood, MDF, plywood or whatever you want to use. For this example I am using a piece of ⅝" Baltic plywood 19⅞" square. I am making it this size so a can get nine pieces from a 5ft x 5ft sheet. To cut you will need TurtleChess.dxf. Open the file and you will see four different colors. They are:

Green Turtle outline meant to engraved on half of the squares.

Blue Turtle outline meant to be etched all the squares.

Red Turtle details.

Black Board outline.

Load the file into you laser and set the order of cutting and parameters to"

Green Engrave

Blue Etch

Red Etch

Black Off (The wood is cut to the correct size.)

Set the laser to cut from the center of the pattern and steer it to the center of the board. The cutting will take a long time. After you are done you can give a coat of Tung Oil or whatever finish you like.

Step 2: Cut Piece Type Engraved

These pieces are made from ¼" hard maple and use TurtleChessPieces.dxf to cut. The pattern has five colors;

Maple Source

Yellow Used to engrave the chess pieces on the back of the turtles.

Green Used to engrave the shell on the back of the turtles.

Blue Turtle Outline

Red Turtle detail

Black Outline if used to make storage package.

Load the file into you laser and set the order of cutting and parameters to"

Yellow Engrave

Green Etch

Red Etch

Blue Etch

Black Off (I plan to keep the pieces in a leather bag.)

Place wood on the laser bed and start the cutting. Coat with Tung Oil or finish of choice.

Step 3: Cut Pieces Shell Engraved

By varying the order of the colors and the parameter type, you can change to program to engrave the shell.

Load the file into you laser and set the order of cutting and parameters to:

Green Engrave

Yellow Etch

Red Etch

Blue Etch

Black Off (I plan to keep the pieces in a leather bag.)

Place wood on the laser bed and start the cutting. When done finish.

If using the same type of wood for both sides it is necessary to make half from Step 2 and half from step three. Another option is to use two contrasting woods to make the pieces. Use either Step 2 or Step 3 depending you preference.

Step 4: Checkers

These pieces are made from ¼" hard maple and use TurtleCheckers.dxf to cut. The pattern has four colors;

Green Used to engrave the shell on the back of the turtles.

Blue Turtle Outline

Red Turtle detail

Black Outline if used to make storage package.

Load the file into you laser and set the order of cutting and parameters to"

Green Engrave (If you want the ones on the top of the photo)

Off (If you want the ones on the bottom.)

Red Etch

Blue Etch

Black Off (I plan to keep the pieces in a leather bag.)

Place wood on the laser bed and start the cutting. Coat with Tung Oil or finish of choice. Again the Checkers could have been made from woods of contrasting colors.

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4 Comments

I think I might make this. It would be nice, though, if the checkers and chess piece DXFs had the pieces in the same layout, so that I could tape down the material, run one, flip the cut-out pieces, and then run the other without the cut, to make double-sided pieces.

these are neat! i like how you put the piece shapes on the turtles

I started with a 9" square. I turned it 45 degrees so it formed a diamond. I them drew one side of the head (Top of diamond)and the bottom lower part of the fin. (right point of diamond)

I took this curve and rotated it, from the right point 90 degrees CCW. I now have half a turtle.

I then flipped this right side over and made it the left side.

I drew this with MicroSoft Visio.

Oh yeah, This is the piece four times the actual size. I assemble them together and then reduce the size. Easier to assemble at a bigger size.