Introduction: DIY Chess Set With Fasteners

Picture of DIY Chess Set With Fasteners

Albany County Fasteners loves having fun! And what's more fun than playing games? Well we didn't have any games so we decided to set out and make one. After some browsing we saw some pretty awesome chess sets and decided to make a set of our own. For each set, we placed the pieces in order so you can very easily make your own by following along.

We made two sets out of the parts we had available. One of stainless steel, nickel plated steel and zinc and one of Brass, Grade 8 Zinc and Silicon Bronze. Each set has multiple colors and are mostly unique in design. Come along with us as we teach you how to build your very own DIY chess pieces out of fasteners!

Step 1: The Pawn

Picture of The Pawn

Our First DIY Chess Piece piece is the simplest: The Pawn. The pawn is the front line against your opponent. He can usually move only forward unless it is his first move. Then he can move two.

Pawn - Zinc and Nickel Plated Steel

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3/4" Zinc Hex Cap Screw
  2. 1 3/8"-16 Nickel Plated Steel Cap Nut

Pawn - Grade 8 Zinc and Brass

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3/4" Grade 8 Hex Cap Screw
  2. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Cap Nut

We simply took our hex cap screws with the head as the base and screwed on the cap screw. These pawns are stable and the most simple piece to make in out sets.

*8 of each will need to be made.

Step 2: The Rook

Picture of The Rook

The Rook moves in a straight line as far as they want. For our build we decided to make the sets slightly different and fun.

Rook - Zinc and Stainless Steel

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 1" Zinc Hex Cap Screw
  2. 1 3/8" Zinc Hex Serrated Flange Nut
  3. 1 3/8" Stainless Steel External Tooth Lock Washer
  4. 1 3/8"-16 Stainless Steel Castle Nut

Rook - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 1" Silicon Bronze Hex Cap Screw
  2. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Knurled Head Thumb Nut
  3. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Castle Nut

Our silver Rook has a base of a hex cap screw with a serrated flange nut screwed on upside down. Then a external tooth lock washer being held on by its head, the stainless steel castle nut.

The Gold Rook also has a hex cap base but with a knurled thumb nut next followed by the castle nut for a similar but distinguishable look from its opponent.

*2 of each will need to be made.

Step 3: The Knight

Picture of The Knight

The Knight moves three spaces in an L Shape either forward or backward or side to side, no diagonal moves can be made.

Knight - Zinc

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 1" Zinc Hex Cap Screw
  2. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Wing Nut
  3. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Nylon Insert Lock Nut

Knight - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 1" Silicon Bronze Hex Cap Screw
  2. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Wing Nut
  3. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Nylon Insert Lock Nut

The Knights took us a while to decide that we had the piece right and once we did, we wanted to keep them uniform. So both are made the same way. Using a hex cap screw as the base and adding a wing nut about half way down. We then put a Nylon lock nut on top to finish it off.

*2 of each will need to be made.

Step 4: The Bishop

Picture of The Bishop

The Bishop can move only diagonally in any direction as long as no other piece blocks his path.

Bishop - Zinc

  1. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc T Nut
  2. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Hex Serrated Flange Nut
  3. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Coupling Nut
  4. 1 3/8"-16 x 1-1/2" Zinc Carriage Bolt

Bishop - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 1-1/2" Silicon Bronze Hex Cap Screw
  2. 3 3/8"-16 Silicon Bronze Jam Nuts
  3. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Flat Washer (Large)
  4. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Threaded Insert

Our Silver Bishop starts with a T nut base. We then added a serrated flange nut and coupling nut. This piece is easier to assemble upside down due to the head of the carriage bolt not being the base of the piece.

The Gold Bishop starts with a hex cap screw, then a jam nut is screwed on towards the bottom. Next a washer is added and held on by another jam nut. We added another jam nut and topped it off with a threaded insert for a head.

*2 of each will need to be made.

Step 5: The Queen

Picture of The Queen

The Queen by far the most powerful player in the game. She can move in any direction for as many tiles as long as it is a straight line.

Queen - Zinc and Stainless Steel

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3" Zinc Flat Head Plow Bolt
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Jam Nuts
  3. 1 3/8"-16 Stainless Steel External Tooth Lock Washer
  4. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Wing Nut
  5. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Keps K Lock Nut

Queen - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3" Silicon Bronze Flat Head Slotted Screw
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Silicon Bronze Jam Nuts
  3. 1 3/8" Brass Flat Washer
  4. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Wing Nut
  5. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Knurled Head Thumb Nut

To make a silver queen, first take the plow bolt and place it flat head down. Then screw a jam nut on about half way. Add an external tooth lock washer and another jam nut on top of that. Then screw on a wing nut (upside down) and a Keps K lock nut on last (also upside down) to make the head.

Now onto the gold queen. First we placed the screw flat head down, then following the same format as the silver queen added a jam nut then a washer and held it with another jam nut. Now install a wing nut (upside down) and finish it off with a knurled head thumb screw.

*Only one of each of these needs to be made.

Step 6: The King

Picture of The King

The king is the most important piece on the board to pay attention to. If the king gets caught you will be put into checkmate and lose. He can move one space in any direction around him.

King - Zinc

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3" Zinc Flat Head Plow Bolt
  2. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Hex Serrated Flange Nut
  3. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Jam Nuts
  4. 1 3/8" Stainless Steel External Tooth Lock Washer
  5. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Wing Nut
  6. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Keps K Lock Nut

King - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3" Silicon Bronze Flat Head Slotted Machine Screw
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Silicon Bronze Jam Nuts
  3. 1 3/8" Brass Flat Washer
  4. 2 3/8"-16 Brass Knurled Head Thumb Nuts
  5. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Wing Nut

The silver king starts with a serrated flange nut being screwed onto the plow bolt. Then a Jam Nut-External Tooth Lock Washer-Jam Nut Combination (same as the queen) is added. Finally, we screwed on a wing nut the right way and added a Keps K nut upside down for the crown.

The gold king begins with a Jam Nut-Washer-Jam Nut combo being screwed onto the Slotted Flat Head Screw. Then screw on a knurled thumb nut followed by a wing nut and finished off, again, with another knurled thumb nut.

*Only one of each need to be made.

Step 7: Our Finished DIY Chess Set Made of Fasteners

Picture of Our Finished DIY Chess Set Made of Fasteners

Now that you've made all the parts and understand the basics of how chess pieces move all you need is a board and you'll be ready to start playing! But we think that's a project for another time.

Step 8: The Full Product List | Tips

Picture of The Full Product List | Tips

TIP

After making this we realized a couple of things.

  • Make sure you have a board ready to play with XD - After you first make these pieces your going to want to sit down for a game and without a board it's going to be very hard to play.
  • Use Threadlocker to keep your pieces in place - Since we used pieces that hand screw easily onto bolts and have no tension to hold them in place, its a good idea to lock them in place. Simply get everything where you want it and apply a thin layer of this high strength threadlocker solution to all the pieces. Then screw them back on and let it cure. This will make sure your pieces don't shift around and feel cheap.

PRODUCT LIST

Pawn - Zinc and Nickel Plated Steel

  1. 8 3/8"-16 x 3/4" Zinc Hex Cap Screws
  2. 8 3/8"-16 Nickel Plated Steel Cap Nuts

Pawn - Grade 8 Zinc and Brass

  1. 8 3/8"-16 x 3/4" Grade 8 Hex Cap Screws
  2. 8 3/8"-16 Brass Cap Nuts

Rook - Zinc and Stainless Steel

  1. 2 3/8"-16 x 1" Zinc Hex Cap Screws
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Hex Serrated Flange Nuts
  3. 2 3/8" Stainless Steel External Tooth Lock Washers
  4. 2 3/8"-16 Stainless Steel Castle Nuts

Rook - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 2 3/8"-16 x 1" Silicon Bronze Hex Tap Bolts
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Brass Knurled Head Thumb Nuts
  3. 2 3/8"-16 Brass Castle Nuts

Knight - Zinc

  1. 2 3/8"-16 x 1-1/2" Zinc Hex Cap Screws
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Wing Nuts
  3. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Nylon Insert Lock Nuts

Knight - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 2 3/8"-16 x 1" Silicon Bronze Hex Tap Bolts
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Brass Wing Nuts
  3. 2 3/8"-16 Brass Nylon Insert Lock Nuts

Bishop - Zinc

  1. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc T Nuts
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Hex Serrated Flange Nuts
  3. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Coupling Nuts
  4. 2 3/8"-16 x 1-1/2" Zinc Carriage Bolts

Bishop - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 2 3/8"-16 x 1-1/2" Silicon Bronze Hex Cap Screws
  2. 6 3/8"-16 Silicon Bronze Jam Nuts
  3. 2 3/8" Brass Flat Washers (Large)
  4. 2 3/8"-16 Brass Threaded Inserts

Queen - Zinc and Stainless Steel

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3" Zinc Flat Head Plow Bolt
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Jam Nuts
  3. 1 3/8"-16 Stainless Steel External Tooth Lock Washer
  4. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Wing Nut
  5. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Keps K Lock Nut

Queen - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3" Silicon Bronze Flat Head Slotted Screw
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Silicon Bronze Jam Nuts
  3. 1 3/8" Brass Flat Washer
  4. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Wing Nut
  5. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Knurled Head Thumb Nut

King - Zinc

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3" Zinc Flat Head Plow Bolt
  2. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Hex Serrated Flange Nut
  3. 2 3/8"-16 Zinc Jam Nuts
  4. 1 3/8" Stainless Steel External Tooth Lock Washer
  5. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Wing Nut
  6. 1 3/8"-16 Zinc Keps K Lock Nut

King - Silicon Bronze and Brass

  1. 1 3/8"-16 x 3" Silicon Bronze Flat Head Slotted Machine Screw
  2. 2 3/8"-16 Silicon Bronze Jam Nuts
  3. 1 3/8" Brass Flat Washer
  4. 2 3/8"-16 Brass Knurled Head Thumb Nuts
  5. 1 3/8"-16 Brass Wing Nut

Comments

kgklinkel made it! (author)2017-12-12

Mine turned out great! I couldn't get all the same pieces, so I had to take a few creative liberties

ScottaBlanchat (author)2017-11-30

The base seems insufficient to maintain a vertical status.

They can be a little wobbly if not on a sturdy surface but they do stand on their own. Its always an option to buy washers and use an adhesive to create a wider base as well.

hammer9876 (author)2017-12-02

I love the looks of this, but I am feeling very Scrooge-like. What is the price range for the parts? Aha! You should have a "kit" on your "Holiday Gift Bundles" page.

https://www.albanycountyfasteners.com/holiday-hardware-and-tool-bundles.htm

MichaelP263 (author)2017-12-01

Very cute! Great idea.

ArthurJ5 (author)2017-11-30

This is great, very clever. There are an almost infinite number of sets that can be made. Thanks for the inspiration!

Time_and_Turning (author)2017-11-30

Fascinating. Have you considered offering this in kit form?

In one of the comments you mention using the right sort of paint for the non-brass option. What sort of paint would that be?

relbatto (author)2017-11-30

Chess is the single game i see to it all my grandchildren can play. it is important to understand the machinations you will face in the world. something simple and obvious starts out the same way as the chess attack on your hidden pieces does. you have to learn to see that what is happening in the current encounter is leading inexorably to a second result. when you can play against others and win consistently, you have prepared your brain for the concepts of winning in the realities of the universe.this is a well designed and useful group buildable by anyone....................................................................it i a real gift to persons everywhere. thank you.

acalapai (author)2017-11-28

This looks great!

Any idea for a chess board that would fit the style?

jimofoz (author)acalapai2017-11-30

Many, many years ago (late 60s?) I made something like this and used a masonite board with a glossy finish and cut squares of aluminum tape. It fit the overall design pretty nicely.

Working on it over the next few weeks stay tuned :)

LeslieGeee (author)2017-11-30

GREAT imagination and very well done!!!!

cirbuck1 (author)2017-11-30

That is very cool! I was just thinking that you could take it a step further by getting some of that rubberized magnet material you sometimes see advertisements come on for sticking on the side of a refrigerator. Cut a bunch of little bases out of that low magnetic material to fit the bottoms of all these pieces and super glue on. Then you could make a metal chess board of some creative design and the pieces would not be easy to topple over when moved from place to place or someone bumps the table going for the next coffee. It wouldn't be so magnetic that it would be hard to pick up the pieces for moves but just enough to keep it topple free. I would also spray all the pieces when still new and shiny with a light coat of clear acrylic to keep finger acids and oils from turning the bronze or brass dark and corroding. Great gift for engineers and machine oriented folks.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2017-11-22

Love this! Unique cheese sets like this are really fun :)

and you can eat the cheese while you play chess.

lynnekz (author)2017-11-26

What is the approximate cost for all the materials?

The Approx cost for the materials was: $76.01.

This price is steep due to the cost of the Brass and Silicon Bronze. However, if you decide to make two sets of the Stainless Steel, Zinc and Nickel sets, the cost will be less than half: $33.42. You can then paint the sets as a much cheaper and more customized option. Just be careful which paint you use.

inconceivable1 (author)2017-11-23

sweet

mrsmerwin (author)2017-11-22

I have often thought it would be fun to go to home depot and just rummage through the nuts and bolts aisle just to see if I could do this. It looks really great.

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Bio: With humble beginnings as a family business based in a two car garage in New York, Albany County Fasteners has grown into a fastener distributor ... More »
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