Introduction: Chess Set

For the Gear-Head, handyman and tinkerer that has almost everything for his Man Cave/Shop....
All quality used and discarded and now repurposed bits of automobilia used for the playing pieces.
Full size vintage stop sign with etched playing surface

Step 1: Parts & Pieces

Chess consists of a playing board and 32 pieces. Each side has 8 Pawns, 2 Rooks, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights, a Queen and a King. Ideally you want your pieces to be both identically mirrored side to side and easily identifiable as the intended playing piece (ie a knight is a knight a Rook is a Rook) and you can tell your Pawn from your adversaries Pawn in the heat of battle....
The parts list is as follows.....

16 - Air Fittings ( I used 8 - Milton 777 & 8 - Milton 727 )
16 - Lawson 3/8 flat washers

4 - Spark plugs ( I used 2 - Autolite 63 & Bosch Super 468 )
4 - Lawson 7/16 flat washers

16 - 3/8 Spot Weld drill bits ( any drill bit could be used but will need to be cut to proper height, spot weld drill bits happen to be the proper height without cutting & common at auto body shops nation wide )
4 - 7/16 Lawson flat washers

4 - 5/16" or 8 mm Allen Wrench
4 - 3/8" Lawson flat washer
4 - 3/8" Lawson nut
4 - 7/16 Lawson flat washers

2 - 3/4" Castle Nut ( auto parts store or off an axle)
2 - 3/4" or 19 mm Craftsman shallow 3/8" drive socket
2 - 3" long 3/8" drive Craftsman extension
4 - 1/2" Lawson flat washers

2 - 5/8" Metal thread Tap ( Tractor Supply )
2 - 3/4" Castle Nut
2 - 3/4" or 19mm Craftsman shallow 3/8" drive socket
2 - 1/2" Lawson flat washers

Felt for the bottom of the playing pieces... A craft store will have sheets of it with adhesive already applied

The playing board
Aluminum STOP Sign 2'x2' ( DON'T go out and steal it!!! )

Step 2: Chess Board

On the backside of the STOP Sign

The sign I had wasn't in terrible shape with a few dents, no kinks and little corrosion from the years it was bolted to the post

I began by taking the dents out, sandwich the sign between 2 - 2x4's on a vise and strike it firmly repeat as needed... File off any of those stubborn high domes...

Aluminum is a soft light metal that sands fairly fast and easily, Sand the chips scratches and corrosion off the sign... I used a dual action random orbital sander beginning with 80 grit sand paper and successively finer paper. I used 2 sheets each of 80, 180, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1500

Once the board has been sanded sufficiently you will notice that it has a smooth even finish nearly polished, I buffed with an electric buffer and a wool pad and a mild compound...
Clean the board thoroughly to remove any compound
I then covered the entire board with a single sheet of vinyl ( sign shops will have this type of vinyl)

On the vinyl I laid out an 8 square by 8 square grid with 2" squares, making the playing surface 16"x16". Using a razor blade cut out the grid pattern and remove half the squares. I embelished the sides with some engine blocks and wrenches and then cut them out and removed the pattern...

There are several ways to etch the board, you could sand blast the surface in a blasting cabinet or you could acid etch the surface. I chose to acid etch the surface using knowledge that can be found on several instructables and all over the web and I'll leave that to you to explore and take the best course for you.. Be careful and use all the safety precautions.

Once etched I removed the remaining vinyl and re-polished the entire surface with a wool pad and a mild compound then a foam pad with a fine compound followed by a high quality automotive/marine grade wax.