Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".

Making A Vinyl Display Box

In this video I make a vinyl / records display box using some salvaged oak veneered MDF which came from some bookshelves reclaimed from an old library.

I used mahogany to trim the edges of the box.

Images: 

Making A Bandsaw Box Desk Tidy

 Recently one of my YouTube viewers got in touch about a commission.  He was looking for a desk tidy to hold some bottles of ink, and some pens with a drawer where he could put his phone, wallet and keys.
 
He mentioned that he liked the wedding box and chess set that I'd made and said he was happy to let me design something.
 
So here's what I came up with as a concept.  And my idea was to build the bottom drawer section first as a bandsaw box, and then mount some pieces on top to form the pen tray and ink bottle holders.
 
The client was happy with the design, and he sent me one of his ink bottles for reference to get the sizing right, and also this beautifully handwritten letter.
 
For materials I'd use these offcuts of mahogany left over from the wedding box build, and some pieces of 18mm spruce ply.
 
I started by cutting the plywood to roughly the size of the mahogany pieces - these pieces of ply will be stacked up and laminated together get the box to the required depth.  I used the tablesaw for the rip cuts and the mitre saw for the cross cuts.
 
The pieces of mahogany would form the front and the back of the box. I cleaned up the faces with a handplane to get them nice and smooth. 
 
And then I could glue up the pieces using wood glue and some bar clamps
 
I let that dry overnight and then I could remove the clamps
 
I scraped off as much of the glue as possible using a cabinet scraped and then cleaned up one face of the block with my hand plane. That gave me a flat surface to reference against my tablesaw fence so I could clean up the opposite side on the tablesaw.  I did this in multiple passes, raising the blade each time.  The blade didn't quite reach the centre, so I finished off flattening that part with the hand plane, checking with a ruler to make sure it was flat.
 
And then I cleaned up the front and back faces of the block and marked up the shape I wanted the box to be using a bevel guage to mark up a taper.  I also rounded over the corners using a cap from a bottle.
 
So now I had the block prepared for the bandsaw box.  And this is only the second bandsaw box I've ever attempted, the first one was a couple of years ago and that one didn't go so well.  But since then I got a new bandsaw and I also learned a lot more about how to set them up correctly.  I normally tend to use 12mm wide 3 or 4 tpi blade on my bandsaw as I find that's good for most bandsaw jobs.   But as this bandsaw box was going to be quite small and with some quite tight curves to cut, I ordered a new narrower 6mm 3 tpi blade.  I thought that would be narrow enough to cut the curves I wanted, but a low enough tpi to handle cutting through a block as big as this. 
 
Last time I made a bandsaw box I got a lot of blade drift - and I've since learned that was due to me using a higher tpi blade - I'm not going to explain why in detail in this video, but I will include a link in the description box to an excellent video by Matthias Wandell which will explain that better than I ever could.
 
So after swapping out my 12mm 4 tpi blade for a 6mm 3 tpi blade, and setting up the guide bearings, I was then ready to start cutting out the shape of the box.
 
Here you can see that the low tpi blade doesn't leave a very clean cut, but the main thing was I didn't get any drift, so I was happy so far.
I used my handplane to refine the shape of the box, rounding over the corners to match the markings I'd made.
 
Next I did a rip cut on the bandsaw to create the back panel of the box.
 
And then I could mark up the shape of the drawer on to the front panel which I set in about 8mm from the edges
 
I started to make that cut on the bandsaw, and this is where I had a problem.  I had planned to make two exit cuts, one on each side of the box which I could glue together later, but when I got here, I realised that the blade was not going to let me cut as tight a curve as I needed.  So I ended up making an exit cut here.
 
Then I cut the rest of the shape out and fortunately this time I managed to cut the curve on the other side of the box without any issues..
 
So here's what I had now for the carcass: the left panel,  the right and bottom panel as one piece, a top panel, the back panel.  And the piece the block will later form the drawer.
 
Before working on the drawer I decided to put the carcass together just to make sure it would work out OK, as I was a bit worried that I might have ruined it at this point.
 
I cleaned up the bandsaw blade marks on the belt sander, and also flattened where the glue joints would be. THen I glued together the exit cut that wasn't meant to happen, I used tape and some clamps to hold it while the glue dried.
 
And once the glue had set I then glued on the top panel, and applied a couple of bricks to get a tight glue joint.
 
Next I started working on the drawer, first cleaning off the bandsaw blade marks.
 
Then I ripped the front and back panel of the drawer at the bandsaw.
 
And then after cleaning up the drawer front I then marked up the shape of the drawer.
 
And I cut that on the bandsaw, and this time the cuts went really well.
 
I sanded the inside of the drawer using my random orbit sander and also an electric file for the curves.
 
Then I glued on the front and back panel to form the drawer.
 
There were a few voids in the plywood pieces that made up the drawer, so I mixed up some epoxy and applied some masking tape to the inside of the drawer and then filled them on the outside of the drawer. The tape was there on the inside just to stop it possibly leaking through. 
 
Then I did some sanding to clean up the carcass, and glued on the back panel.  And more sanding,.  I sanded up to 240 grit, first with power sanders through the lower grits and 240 grit by hand.  I also eased over any sharp edges to make it more comfortable to touch.
 
I decided to make some feet for the box using some more mahogany.  I cut some small pieces to the same size as the depth of the box, and then I used my hand plane to put a bevel on each side to give the legs a tapered look.
 
And the position of the legs also meant that the exit cut I made on the bandsaw earlier that wasn't meant to be there would be hidden - which was a nice bonus
 
I fired in a couple of brad nails to secure the legs, making sure to choose a nail size that wouldn't break through to the inside of the box.
 
And I also stamped on my makers mark to the bottom.
 
I wanted the drawer front to be flush with the front of the carcass, so I used a combination of a handplane with the grain of the wood, and a chisel to clean up the cross grain at the sides of the box until it was flush.
 
Next I started working on the top part of the box and again I used some offcuts of mahogany.  I first squared up the edges at the table saw and mitresaw, and then used a hand plane to clean up the faces.  First I made the trays for the ink bottles to sit in.
 
The bottles measured just over 55mm wide, I marked up a centre point and then working from that centre point outwardse I marked up the space for three of the ink bottles
 
The plan here was to cut out the waste where the bottles would be, and then re-assemble it with wood glue so that the wood grain matches nicely.
 
So ripped the first piece.  Then I realised I hadn't accounted for the kerf of the blade so I needed to extend the markings I'd made by about 3mm and then I cut the centre piece. 
 
And I tested the width of that centre piece and the measurement was 56mm which was perfect.
 
So then I could cut out the tray dividers using my cross cut sled.
 
And after cutting another horizontal piece, I could then reassemble it using wood glue and masking tape.
 
Then I cleaned it up on the belt sander.
 
I applied glue and positioned it where I wanted it. 
 
Next I'd make the pen tray, and this would be assembled with mitre joints.   I first ripped three  thin strips of mahogany at the table saw and 1 45 degree on one end of each piece. 
 
Then I offered up what would be the front piece to the ink tray to mark it up at the same length and then cut it to length and I checked that was ok.
 
Then I measured the depth they needed to be, marked them up and cut them to length 
 
And then I could glue the pieces in place.  I used a scrap of plywood to distribute the weight from my brick. Then I cleaned up the joints
with my block plane.  I also rounded over the front pieces of both the pen and the ink trays.  
 
After blowing away the dust, I then applied some boiled linseed oil.  I tried not to get the oil on the bottom of the inside of the trays as this is where the felt would be glued later and I wasn't sure it would stick so well to oiled wood.
 
I got some of this red felt and cut it with a knife to fit inside the trays.
 
I used epoxy to glue the felt in place.
 
And I used a block of wood to push it down and then applied some weight.
 
For the ink trays I could use the offcuts from when I cut the pieces for the ink trays to clamp down the felt.
 
Finally I applied some clear Briwax to the drawer - I thought this might help it slide better and it did seem to help, but I later added a bit of candle wax and that worked even better.
 
I wanted to find a small brass handle, and this was the smallest I could find at 20mm.  I found this in a shop called WIlkinsons in the UK.
 
The bolt was a little long, so I cut it down to length with a hacksaw.
 
Then I marked up a centre point, drilled a hole and fitted the handle.
 
After a final buffing of the wax, I could package up the box and send it to the client.
 
Images: 

Rustic Coat Racks With Shelves

A couple of years ago I salvaged some hat and coat stands, and I used them to make loads of things like this table top, a neck for an electric guitar, this table frame and this chopping board.
I saved all the coat hooks from them so I decided to make some coat racks.
I found a few pallets recently so I decided to use pallet wood.
So I broke them all down in to pieces, and removed the nails.
And I decided to use some of these wider pallet slats from one of the pallets.
I started by chopping off the ends where the nails holes were.
And I kept hold of the offcuts, and marked up a line across them diagonally, and made cuts following the line on the bandsaw. These pieces would be brackets to hold a top shelf for the coat rack.
 
I applied glue to the back, and nailed them in place with brads to hold them temporarily and then re-enforced them with some screws.
 
Then I added another piece of the wood on top of those brackets, which was glued and nailed in place, and then I added some F clamps to get nice tight glue joints
 
And I decided to paint the rack with some of this green paint I found in my shed, this colour is called sea moss.  And basically I painted quite badly, deliberately, as I wanted these to look rustic.  So I painted it lightly without trying to get it evenly covered.
 
Then went the paint was dry I used my random orbit sander with a 40 grit disc to remove some of that paint to get it to look worn and weathered, and also to smooth over this rough sawn wood and remove any splinters.
 
Then I applied a coat of spray varnish just to seal the paint and also to bring out the wood grain.
 
Next I added the coat hooks, I first found the centre and added one hook there. And then I could position the others and 5 hooks looked like the right amount.  I measured in about 5cm from both sides and added those.  And then I found the centre in between the hooks that had been fitted and added hooks there too.
 
I then did some final sanding by hand just with 120 grit paper, and added a final coat of spray varnish, Just to the shelf and the sides where I had sanded by hand.
 
Next I sanded a spot on the back of the rack in the centre so that I could add my makers mark.
 
And then I sealed that with spray varnish too.
 
And that was the first rack done, and I had enough of this wood to make two racks, so I finished the second rack with Rustic Pine Briwax just for a different look.
Images: 

Girlfriend Makes A Wedding Gift Box

In this video my girlfriend and I make a wedding gift box to hold some gin and tonic.

Images: 

Rustic Pine Dovetail Bench Seat

In this video I make a rustic pine dovetailed bench seat from an old pine dining table top

Images: 

Repairing A Vintage Display Cabinet (Part 2 of 2)

In this video I repair and restore a vintage display cabinet. I sand and re-finish the top, re-finish the legs and make new shelves for it.

In the last video - part 1 - I repaired the legs on the display unit.  I made new wings for one of the legs and after sanding the leg I needed to try to match the colour of the other legs on to this one.

I first applied some of this dark teak stain, and that did a pretty good job of blending in the colour of the new wood with the old. I I applied two coats.
And because the other legs had a slight red coloured tint to them, I thought I'd try some of this mahogany varnish, which also has a red tint to it, and that helped to blend the colours even more and by this point there was really no discernable difference between the colours of the repaired leg and the old ones, so after letting the varnish dry I applied some spray varnish.  
And when that was dry I sanded at 400 grit, to get the finish smooth, and then wiped away the dust and applied a second coat. And I was happy with how it looked - it was a prety good match so I left it there.
Next I did some sanding to the side of the unit which had had some damage to it, and I then I started work sanding down the top.  The top was solid wood so I didn't need to worry about sanding through any veneers.  I sanded at 80 with my random orbit sander and the old finish clogged up the paper quite a lot so I went through a few discs. Then I sanded at 120 and then 240 by hand. 
And I also sanded the veneered back panel by hand.  For some reason it hadn't occurred to me to look and see if I could remove the back panel first - which was a bit stupid of me - and more on that later.
Then I wiped the surface clean with some mineral spirits.
And then I hand sanded at 400 grit. 
And then I applied boiled linseed oil to nourish the wood.
When the oil had dried I applied spray varnish.  I chose it as a top coat because I knew it would be hardwearing which I think is required for a top like this as it's bound to have drinks and things put on top of it at some point in it's life.
Then I wet sanded with mineral spirits at 400 grit to smooth over the finish. 
Now before I got to applying a second coat of the spray varnish, I noticed that the back panel was simply screwed to the top from underneath.
So at this point I created more work for myself, and decided it'd be better to remove it, as that would give me access to the whole top, and better access to the veneer on the back panel too, but ofcourse that meant that I needed to start again with the re-finishing process.
So I used a cabinet scraper to remove as much of the top coat that I could, and then sanded back to bear wood once again.  It was quite annoying having to do this again, but it was my own fault for not thinking it through before jumping straight in to it - and I thought it would be worth it to do this again and do it properly.  
So after sanding again, and wiping away the dust again I applied spray varnish again, then I wet sanded again at 400 grit, and applied a second coat. Then I wet sanded again at 600 grit and applied a third coat. 
I used an 80 grit paper on the belt sander to remove the veneer.
I sanded at 80, 120 and then 240 grit with my random orbit sander to remove any marks left by the belt sander.  And then I used the dark teak stain again to better match the colour of the top.  After staining I sanded by hand at 400 grit and then applied some more of the mahogany varnish to give it more of a red tint.
And when that was dry I finished with spray varnish, sanding between coats again using the same method as I had for the top.
And it turned out pretty good.
So then I added the old screws again but the panel still fitted quite loose so I drilled some new pilot holes using a right angle drill attachment, and then added new screws and it was nice and solid after that.
The next job was to make new shelves for the unit, so I first measured up the internal dimensions. 
For the shelves I'd use some of these oak veneered pieces of MDF that I salvaged some time ago from a book case.  I wanted to use what I had rather than buying something else.
I first needed to remove the solid oak trim, these were joined with glue and biscuits but a mallet loosened them up.
Then I cut them to length at the mitre saw.
And then I drew one half of the semi circle just freehand, and cut that out on the bandsaw. I used a handsaw to finish off the cut at the halfway mark
And I could use the offcut flipped over to mark up the other half of the shelf, and cut that on the bandsaw too.
I also cut off the protruding biscuits from the back edge at the bandsaw too.
Next I could scrape off the old finish with a cabinet scraper and sand back to bear wood.
I could then used the solid oak pieces of trim to make a new edge banding for the shelves to hide the MDF edges.
So I ripped some very thin  slithers of oak, probably about 1-2 mm thick.
and then I could glue them on, holding them in place with an F clamp in the middle and plenty of masking tape.
After a few house I removed the tape and then used a blockplane to flush trim the edge banding to the shelf.
I didn't have enough of the dark teak stain left to do these shelves so to get them to better match the rest of the unit I used some walnut coloured Briwax instead.  I wasn't really trying for a perfect match here, just a better match.
With one shelf finished, I could then mark up the next piece and I made the second shelf in the same way.
Next it was time to fit the shelves, and I found to get them in through the doors and on to the pins needed to be done in a certain order, otherwise they wouldn't fit.
Finally I just needed to give the unit a good clean, I used glass cleaner on the glass and hoovered the inside.
----
That's the display cabinet finished and I'm really glad I managed to salvage this - as soon as I saw a picture of it I really wanted to fix it up and give it a new lease of life.
I don't have space for this in my home unfortunately, but after posting a photo of it on social media, I do have a buyer lined up for it - and I'm really happy that it's going to a good home.
This project took me around 15 hours to complete, and it's difficult to make a financial profit on this kind of project, mainly because display cabinets like this one aren't particularly fashionable at the moment so they can be bought secondhand for not a lot of money, but they are usually in really bad shape - whereas this one is now probably stronger than it's ever been, and I think it looks fantastic, I really like the style of this particular one.   
If the unit had been a more valuable piece of furniture, an antique for example, then I definitely would have done more of a sympathetic restoration - for example I would have used modern screws - so this was more about fixing it up and making it a useable piece of furniture rather than restoring it as such. The reasons I'm pointing this out is because I usually get some criticism in the comments on these videos from one of two extremes - I either get people telling me a piece of furniture like this is not worth wasting my time on, or from the other side saying that I've not done the restoration sypathetically enough. But what's important to me is that I've saved this piece of furniture from being thrown away, and it's now in a condition where it should be a useful piece of furniture for many years to come.
One thing that I didn't manage to fix on this project was to find a key for the lock.  There is a lock number on the lock, but after doing some research, unsurprisingly it doesn't seem like these are available to buy anymore.
So what I'll probably do before the buyer collects it is to buy and fit a brass handle for the door, just to make it easy to open and close.
Thanks for watching as always. Please subscribe for mre weekly videos from me if you haven't already, and if you'd like to support this channel and what I do, please consider becoming a Patron over at my patreon page.
 
Images: 

Repairing A Vintage Display Cabinet (Part 1 of 2)

In this video I repair and restore a vintage display cabinet. I sand and re-finish the top, re-finish the legs and make new shelves for it.

Recently a friend of mine sent me this photo of a display cabinet that he'd spotted by a skip on an industrial estate.  Unfortunately at the time I was hundreds of miles away at a wedding so I couldn't go and check it out, but I really liked the look of it and after speaking to my brother - he was kind enough to go and look at it for me - he got in touch with the company where the skip was - a company called Carpets Plus here in Norwich and the manager there was really helpful and said that he could come and take it away.  So a big thank you to Carpets Plus!

I started by removing the two back legs and the one loose front leg as they all needed some repair.
I used the belt sander to flatten the top of the leg.
I wedged an awl in to the crack to open it up and got as much glue in there as I could.
And then I could glue on the other piece.
I sanded the bottom of the cabinet ready for the leg to be re-attached
Then I glued and nailed the leg support piece to the back of the leg.
Then I could add glue, drill pilot holes, countersink and screw the legs to the bottom of the unit.
I used the bandsaw to cut away the woodworm damage to the wings of the leg, and then I removed the rest with the hand plane
I cut two pieces on the bandsaw, one for each wing to form the new leg. 
I used the electric file to smooth over the curves.
then I applied glue and added the wing
So I marked up the second wing , cut it out and refined the shape as I had for the first wing.
And then I could glue and nail it in place, and shape it to match the curvature of the left using my electric file.
I then added new support blocks to the back, securing in place with some brad nails before adding screws.
The leg came off without too much effort.
I used the disc sander to remove the old glue and get a nice joint, and then re-glued it with pin nails and a squeeze clamp.
I used a chisel and some sandpaper to remove any old glue from the surface and get back to bare wood.
After drilling some pilot holes I then flattened the top of the leg.  I did a dry fit and it wasn't sitting very well so I made a few more refinements befor adding glue and then securing it with screws. 
I added kind of a pocket hole by drilling at an angle through the leg supports and in to the leg itself to add some more strength.
 
Images: 

Hifi And Vinyl Unit Commission

In this video I make a commission hifi and vinyl unit from some plywood.

I started by designing what the client wanted in SketchUp.

I ripped the pieces of ply in to more manageable pieces using my circular saw and a straight edge, and then I could make the finer more accurate cuts on the tablesaw.

I cut mitre joints at each corner of the unit on the tablesaw using my panel cutting sled.

I also cut housing joints for the shelves.

I also used the biscuit jointer to install the front panel, just to get it perfectly aligned.

Dowels were added through the side panels to help support and strengthen the shelves and top and bottom panel - I simply drilled holes for them and glued them in place, cutting off the excess with a flush trim saw and sanding.  The dowels would be visible but I like how they look.

After sanding all the panels, I then routed out a rebate joint around the back of the unit to accommodate a back panel which was a 5mm hardwood plywood.

For finish I used boiled linseed oil followed by a walnut stain Briwax at the customer's request.

Images: 

THE CHESS SET (PART 3 OF 3) - THE BOX

So in part 1 of this video series I made the chess board, and in part 2 I made the chess pieces, and in this video I'm going to be making a box to hold both the pieces and the board.
 
I'd mainly use mahogany for the box, this was an offcut from a wardrobe panel that I used to make this mahogany box recently.
 
I started by ripping it to the height that I wanted the sides of the box to be and then I cleaned up the pieces using my thickness planer.
 
The mahogany was quite thick, so to get more out of the material I re-sawed it at the bandsaw, and then thickness planed again to remove the bandsaw blade marks and ensure they were all the same thickness.
 
Then I cut 45 degree mitres at the corners with the pieces sized to fit around the chess board.  I used a stop block to get consistent cuts
 
I marked  up for some housing joints which I would cut to accommodate some pieces which would split the box in to sections where all the chess pieces would be stored.
 
I lowered my tablesaw blade to half the thickness of the mahogany.  Then I cut the housing joints wide enough to accomodate the pieces which were around 6mm.  My blade kerf is 3mm so I could make the cut in two passes.  I used my cross cut sled and a stop block again to ensure my cuts were consistent on each piece.
 
I cleaned up those cuts with a square file.
 
And then I could assemble the sides of the box. I used masking tape to hold the pieces at each joint together and also to prevent glue squeezeout on to the wood.  I applied wood glue and added some elastic bands to apply pressure to get nice tight joints.
 
Then I checked the box for size, and the chessboard fitted in nicely with about 1mm of play around the perimeter which I was happy about.
 
Next I could mark up the length of the partitions and cut them to length at the mitre saw.
 
There were five partitions to add, one which I wanted to be almost the same height as the sides but about 10mm less that the chessboard would sit on, and four half height ones that would later hold the chess pieces. So I ripped some of the pieces at the tablesaw for the ones that would hold the piecse.
 
I applied some tape again to keep the glue up clean.  
 
And here I'm ripped the centre partition to 10mm less than the sides. I then glued that in place.
 
Here I'm cutting some more plywood for the bottom of the box, this is the same plywood that I used in part 1 for the base of the chess board.
 
I glued that to the bottom of the box. And once it was dry I planed the edges flush with the sides. And the end grain of the ply will later be hidden by some trim pieces.
 
I did a bit of sanding to the sides of the box with my random orbit sander at 120 grit/
 
For the half height partitions I could then figure out the spacings to get the pawn chess pieces equally spaced. I'm useless at maths so I rely on a calculator for everything   .
 
 I first marked up where the centre of each piece would be, and then centre the pawn by eye to the marks, and marked up the width of the pawn.  I'm not going for precise accuracy here, just that the pieces look equally spaced by eye.
 
I set my tablesaw blade to about 10mm in height and made the cuts to remove material based on the markings I'd made.
Then I could check the fit, and one or two slots needed to be cut a fraction wider.
 
I cleaned up the slots with my electric file.  This is such a useful tool and I use it far more than I ever expected to.
 
I could then make the cuts to the rest of the partitions and then glue them in place
 
With the glue dry I could then remove the tape.
 
Next I set up a stop block on the cross cut sled for cutting some slots in to the back of each chess piece so that the chess pieces would slot neatly in to the box.
 
I moved the fence by 3mm, and then made another pass to widen the slot.
 
And then I cleaned up the cuts with a file.
 
I used the calipers to figure out how high I wanted the sides of the box to be and then set my fence and made the cuts.
 
I used the hand plane to get the central partition flush with the sides of the box.
 
And then I used a couple of sacrificial scrap pieces of wood in order to balance the router with a straight bit installed, on top of the box and I used that to cut away the material and lower the height of the partition.  I took two passes to get it to the right height.
 
I could then do a bit of clean up with a chisel and some sand paper.
 
Next I ripped some more pieces of beech to create a trim for the box.  I mitred the trim at the mitresaw and then applied glue and clamped it in place with elastic bands and small F clamps.
 
I did a bit more clean up with a hand plane and sanding and the mitre joints looked really nice.
And I added another mitred trim at the bottom to hide the plywood endgrain.
 
I ripped a piece of mahogany at a 45 degree angle on the tablesaw and then cut them to length at the bandsaw.
 
I pushed the corner supports in place until the hot glue set.
 
Next I applied some teak oil finish to the box, and in one or two places you can see there was some dried up glue, so I scraped that off with a chisel and applied oil again.
 
Unfortunately the board didn't sit level on the corner supports at first so I needed to chisel away some material to remove the wobble.
 
Then I applied oil to the inside of the box.
 
And finally I made a few finishing touches, I added these adhesive rubber feet to the bottom of the box, I cut some more felt and used epoxy to glue them to the corners of the chess board so that the board won't damage any surfaces, and the felt would also cushion  wouldn't scratch or damage any surfaces and also it's a soft layer in between the board and the corner supports of the box.
 
I also added some of this gold ribbon to either side of the bottom of the chess board, which I attached with a drawing pin after making a small hole with an awl.  These would be used to lift the board out of the box.
 
Then the box got a spray varnish finish to give it some protection. 
 
And finally, I added my branding to the bottom of the box using a rubber stamp and sealed it with some more spray varnish
 
Images: 

The Chess Set (Part 2 of 3) - The Chess Pieces

To make the chess pieces I'd use this offcut of sapele for the black pieces and some beech for the white pieces, so I started by ripping the beech to the same size as the sapele which was 27mm square.
 
This beech came from an old table frame that I found by some bins.  I also have the table top from the table which I haven't got round to using for anything yet.
 
Next I started cutting the pieces to length at the mitre saw. I started with the longest pieces which would be the king and the queen, and gradually made the pieces shorter and shorter until I got to the pawns which would be the smallest.  I used a stop block to ensure that all of the pieces of the same type would be the same height.
 
I didn't have much of a vision for what each of the chess pieces would look like at this point, but I had a few ideas and I wanted them to be quite minimal and sculptural in design 
 
I'd start with making the pawns and I had the idea to make a tapering jig so that I could add a taper to the left and right hand side of each piece.  I used a scrap piece of wood which I stuck to the bandsaw table using hot glue as an attempt to get consistent cuts to each piece.
 
This method didn't work too well because as I pushed the pieces through the blade with a slight sideways force, the blade was deflecting a bit so I wasn't getting the best cuts.  But I perservered with it anyway just to finish all the pawn pieces in the same way, but as soon as those were done I wouldn't use that method again for the others.
 
Once all the tapers were cut, I used a large washer to mark up a rounded edge at the top. It would have made more sense to do this before I cut the tapers, but this is what happens when you're making stuff up as you go along!
 
I cut off the corners crudely on the bandsaw, and then did the more refined shaping at the disc and belt sander.
 
At this point I put them on the board and then decided that they would look better with a taper on the back too, so that they would appear to be leaning forward slightly.   So I made a mark about 5mm in on each piece and then drew a line from that mark to the bottom corner.
 
And then I made those cuts freehand at the bandsaw and cleaned up the cuts on the belt sander.
 
That was the pawns done, and next I moved on to the rooks
 
First I marked up a taper to th e sides and backs again as I had for the pawns but this time I made the cuts freehand at the bandsaw which worked much better than using a jig as I had previously.
 
I cleaned them up on the bandsaw and then marked up a design for the top, the shaded areas would be the waste material.  I made the cuts on the bandsaw, and then did some filing to the top to clean up the bandsaw cuts.
 
Next I could make the knights, and I knew this one was likely to be the biggest challenge out of all of the pieces
 
I decided to make a cardboard template for this, so started by marking up a taper and then sketching the outline of a horse shape.  I am not good at drawing, but just did the best I could.  I cut out the template with a knife and then used this to mark up the shape on to each of the four pieces of wood
 
I then cut out the profile on the bandsaw
 
Then I marked up a taper for the sides and cut those too
 
And then I cleaned the tapered cuts at the belt sander.
 
Next I marked up the shape of the ears and cut those out on the bandsaw too.
 
And then I did some shaping of the horses head using back strokes on the blade to carve away material.  And I recognise that this isn't the safest of methods, so please don't try this at home and also don't feel the need to point this out in the comments.
 
Next with my electric file held securely in the vise, I did some more shaping
 
And then I did some final work with a chisel and some sand paper to clean them up.
 
And they ended up looking a bit like a moomin. 
 
Next I made the bishops. I cut a taper at the back the same way as I had on the others.
 
Then I marked up a shape for the heads 
 
I made the cuts on the bandsaw
 
And then I did some more shaping with a chisel. 
 
And I wasn't keen on how they looked at this point so I decided to add a bevel to the top of the pieces too which I did on the disc sander.
 
And after some more cleaning up with a chisel I was happy with them.
 
Next I made the King pieces. 
 
And for these after cutting another taper on the back to match the other pieces,  I marked up a shape on top that would look kind of like a crown, and made the cuts on the bandsaw again.
 
And finally the Queen, once again cut a taper on the back, and then marked up a point for the top of the piece which was again cut at the bandsaw. 
 
I did some sanding by hand just to break over any sharp edges so that they'd be nice in the hand.
 
I applied a teak oil finish to the chess pieces which brought out the grain really nicely.
 
And the most observant of you may spot that the chess pieces now have a groove cut in the back of them.  I'll explain the reasons behind that later in the project - in part 3
 
The final job to finish the chess pieces was to add felt to the bottom so that the pieces won't damage the chess board.  I picked up this green felt from a shop called hobbycraft - it was only 55p for a sheet this size.   I used pound world epoxy to glue the felt to the bottom of the pieces, this stuff has always worked really well for me. It smells a bit, but no big deal.  
 
Then I just used scissors to trim off any excess felt
Images: 

Pages