Chess Pieces Made on a Lathe and Milling Machine

knightI made these chess pieces years ago on a lathe and milling machine.  They were both cut out of steel with machine tools.  After they were cut, each was put through a black-oxide process to produce the finish you see on them.

The only thing that could be a challenge making these is the order of operations with a mill or lathe.  My thinking on this (and what I did if I remember correctly) is that the cylindrical cuts should be done first and then the others.  So for the castle, the basic shape would be cut out on a lathe, then a “+” would be milled across the top to make the rampart look right.  The knight was a bit more complicated, but the same basic concept.

The question that is always asked is, “are you going to make the rest of the set?”  The answer is probably no.  I just did this as a bit of an experiment and don’t have access to the right tools for this anymore.  Although bit-by-bit I seem to be getting closer, so who knows (see my CNC router).  For now they make nice paperweights, not that anyone uses paperweights anymore.


knight and castle
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  1. Those are nice chess pieces. What did you make the other pieces out of, I mean the white ones.