A few months ago, I stumbled upon Peter Baeten's lovely laser cut chess set. I immediately wanted to make one but there was no vector file available so I took upon myself to redraw all the pieces on my computer.
Since the project is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0, I decided to share this great project with the community.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
This project doesn't require a lot of material. All you need is:
- A piece of 1/8" Baltic birch plywood
- Some leather
- A leather cord
- Some masking tape
- Some dark varnish
- A brush
As for the tools, you will need to have access to a laser cutter.
Step 2: Design
Download the attached SVG file and cut the pieces on a laser cutter.
For the board, you will need to cut the openings all the way through but the lines need to be kiss cut. It will minimise the spread of the varnish to the adjacent square.
I would recommend at that step to cover the board with masking tape in order to facilitate the next step.
Step 3: Paint the Pieces and the Board
Once all the cuts are done, we can stain the dark set of pieces and the dark tiles.
I used some dark walnut danish oil for that step. After 2 coats, you get a nice brown colour. For the board, if you covered it with masking tape at the previous step, you can now peel every other square and apply the danish oil. If you didn't use tape, you will have to add some manually to protect the white squares.
Step 4: Add Leather
Cut a rectangular piece of leather as shown on the picture. It will act as a book cover. You can fold the game and wrap a leather lace around it. It will make the game portable by preventing the pieces from falling out.
Step 5: Set Up the Game
Unlace the game and set it up on a flat surface. Move the 2 boards containing the pieces to each side. You can now see the 2 panels making up the board. Place the pieces in their position by making sure the queen is on a square of its own colour.
Step 6: Play
This is where my part ends. Now it's your turn to appreciate this great design by playing with it.