Steampunk-Inspired Hardware Chess Set

Introduction: Steampunk-Inspired Hardware Chess Set

About: The Future Sports Academy is a San Francsico-based STEM education wonderland. Our community initiative offers ongoing educational programs, workshops and after school leagues focused on engineering, design, ...

Make a cool, retro, steampunk-inspired chess set from assorted hardware, a found table and some common chemicals. This project is fast, easy and looks great.



    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest

    26 Discussions

    Not trying to troll, but it's surprising how many chessboards are not set up properly. Please google and show us the right way.

    OMGOMGOMG This is awesome! (Insert number higher than five here)/5! I'll be making one right away!
    Win Guy

    I finally got around to making this for my husband for Christmas 2009. I spray painted one of the sets of chess pieces gold instead of using chemicals and left the other one natural. I think I spent about 90 minutes at the hardware store figuring out the chess pieces themselves. It cost about $55 for all the nuts and bolts, I had the end table on hand already, and I bought a mis-mixed quart of paint for the base color of the table as well as a contrasting spray paint for the board and a high-gloss spray paint sealer to finish it off.

    He was super impressed with it (a carpenter, by trade), and now we keep a game going in our den all the time. He's beat me every time. ;)

    chess 1.jpgchess 2.jpg

    This is awesome, I plan to make my dad a set for his birthday next month, just a note, Michaels sells the "patina chemical" as "antiquing solution".

    1 reply

    A mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and salt will work similarly to the "patina solution" albeit slower, but you can make a quart for 2 or 3 dollars.

    What is the patina chemical that you used called? I've been looking around in hardware stores and I can't find anything that advertises that it rusts metal.

    1 reply

    Really well done, folks... looking forward to more of your instructables submissions. 5-stars.

    My boyfriend just opened a new bar in SF and it's got some steampunk elements in the design. I've been wanting to put chess tables in the lounge area upstairs, so how perfect is this idea? SO useful, thanks :)

    4 replies

    I'm heading over to SF for Spring Break Thankfully our delightful Mechanical Engineering professor did not assign too much homework over break, so my buddies and I would be delighted to drop by. Where in North Beach are you guys located? Side note: For anybody dropping by the ASU Polytechnic Campus in Tempe, AZ - a great brewery/restaurant is Gordon Biersch. The greatest beer one will ever taste, brewed in-house, for only $2.50 for a pint!

    Oh fun! ChurchKey is located on Grant & Green in North Beach. When are you planning on coming by? We had to postpone some of our grander ideas of decor to deal with some electrical stuff (it's a REALLY old building and it got to the point where we couldn't turn the oven and the dishwasher on at the same time without blowing a fuse 50 times throughout the night). It's still pretty gorgeous inside, just very "Victorian Minimalist" if that's possible, haha.

    Well, I'm hoping to go next week, (if my buddy can get the car, that is). If not, I guess we'll just postpone it until June, which would make me very sad indeed. But if I have to, I'll just satisfy myself with bar hopping all over Tempe until June comes rolling around.