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18th Century Chess Set 1:12 Scale
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ElgaKoster    527
ElgaKoster

They look great, how big are the squares of your chessboard?

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WeekendMiniaturist    213
WeekendMiniaturist

This has been fun to watch your progress!  Congratulations!  I am looking forward to your feedback about dyeing the deer antler....  I really like the translucent quality of these pieces.

The results have been wonderful...and I've learned much about other natural substances to turn, like walrus ivory and deer antler, in addition to the bone discussion that we had when Mr. Robertson was talking about his beautiful bone box...  I'll have to find some hunters within the circle and ask about the deer antlers...

 

 

 

 

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers
13 hours ago, ElgaKoster said:

They look great, how big are the squares of your chessboard?

Hi Elga. The squares are 1/8 inch square.

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers

Hi WeekendMiniaturist,

You can get deer, elk etc... antler on eBay. I don't know any hunters either.

Thank you for the congratulations. I get distracted from projects by new projects. lol. "Finish what I start" is a new mantra. Sometimes I think I'll take a year and do nothing but finish projects. Probably would take more than a year though.

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers

Back to the lathe today. Now that I have some practice, I'm going to try to turn the acrylic rod again. The goal is to make masters (of the chess pieces) for a silicon mold to cast resin pieces. I have to either seal the pieces I've done in antler (nope!) or make new ones. But this time I only need one of each piece.

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WeekendMiniaturist    213
WeekendMiniaturist

I am curious... are you happy with the results of acrylic?  As I was turning on my lathe, the other night, I was wondering if I could get better detail for tiny chess pieces (for casting purposes) from brass.  Metals are new to me, but I wonder what other forum members think of originals from brass vs. acrylic...for purpose of casting.

 

 

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers
On 8/4/2017 at 10:17 PM, WeekendMiniaturist said:

I am curious... are you happy with the results of acrylic?  As I was turning on my lathe, the other night, I was wondering if I could get better detail for tiny chess pieces (for casting purposes) from brass.  Metals are new to me, but I wonder what other forum members think of originals from brass vs. acrylic...for purpose of casting.

 

 

Here is an image of a Queen in the lathe - 1/8 diam. acrylic rod. It has a very pretty frosted glass look. Polished it would look like glass or crystal. It occurred to me that the acrylic would make some very nice lidded jars or perfume bottles. Tried turning aluminum rod but kept getting a lot of striations around the piece.

acrylic.jpg

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MissyBoling    77
MissyBoling

It occurred to me that if you're planning to cast the original turned piece, blue or green jeweler's wax will hold excellent detail and the striations can be polished out with mineral spirits. I've turned almost paper thin plates and bowls out of it, and it's very strong. I haven't tried turning aluminum, but brass can be turned without striations with a bit of practice, and can be polished easily and quickly on the lathe with a flex shaft or Dremel followed by a rouge or polishing paste. Your queen looks spectacular!

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WeekendMiniaturist    213
WeekendMiniaturist

That is a beautiful queen... I have an 8' length of acrylic rod, I wonder how many feet it will take for me to make a chess set...  (ha...)  Don't you love gravers for tiny turning tools? 

 

 

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ElgaKoster    527
ElgaKoster

I have been turning very small items out of corian, it turns beautifully smooth with sharp tools. It comes in many colors, I bought small slabs from a knife makers supply shop that I cut into short square strips on my table saw and then turned it into round rods so that it will fit into collets. 

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers

Hi Elga. Corian sounds interesting. And a very available material. May have to try it. I also have a bit of jeweler's wax I could try.

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers

Used tea to dye a few of the pieces. This is not bad if you want an antique look to the bone or have the set look like ivory. If I were going to do my set this way, I'd also put a clear coat on them.

teachess.jpg

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WeekendMiniaturist    213
WeekendMiniaturist

I am wondering, does turning animal antlers or using animal (legal) ivory produce a smell like burning hair?  If you boil it first does that eliminate the smell?

 

 

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MissyBoling    77
MissyBoling

It does produce a smell, as does bone, but the pieces I've turned have been so small that the odor hasn't been an issue. I can't imagine how boiling it first would make a difference, but I haven't tried it. 

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers

Missy is right. The pieces are so small when turning, odor is not an issue.

You DO get a lot of burnt hair smell from band sawing the blanks though. Fortunately it doesn't take that long to cut them.

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WeekendMiniaturist    213
WeekendMiniaturist

Thanks Missy & Collie Feathers... my husband clued me in that turning deer antler has an odor... glad to know it isn't too offensive.  There is a local auction tomorrow with some goodies that includes some antlers... will see what happens!

 

 

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers

Wrapping up this chess set project. Dyed the black part of the set. The dye technique was to pulverize acorns (just the orange meat part of the acorn) and cover with water. I used 6 acorns for 1/4 cup of water. Clean (Dawn dish washing liquid and water) rinse and dry the pieces to dye and let them soak overnight in the acorn water. In the meantime put a piece of steel wool in lemon juice - a plastic container is OK to use for this - there wasn't any smell or fumes from this. Put the pieces from the acorn water into the steel wool and lemon juice and soak for as long as it takes to get the color you want. It took about 3-4 days for the lemon juice to react with the steel wool and dye the pieces black. The first day and night of soaking I thought it just wasn't working. After 3-4 days the lemon/steel wool mixture would dye the antler material (and my fingers) almost instantly. The color is soaked through the piece and I'm sure very permanent.

chessset12imga.jpg

chessset11imga.jpg

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers
On 8/18/2017 at 10:17 PM, WeekendMiniaturist said:

Thanks Missy & Collie Feathers... my husband clued me in that turning deer antler has an odor... glad to know it isn't too offensive.  There is a local auction tomorrow with some goodies that includes some antlers... will see what happens!

 

 

Did you get your antler?

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WeekendMiniaturist    213
WeekendMiniaturist

Yep, I did get a small portion on an antler... I think it was $7 and NO SHIPPING!  It is very smooth, and I haven't tried turning it... so many unfinished, challenging projects that I have not finished from the last 3 years of Guild School, that I cannot let myself start anything else...  but I'm definitely making a chess set!  

 

 

 

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WeekendMiniaturist    213
WeekendMiniaturist

The chess pieces look lovely... thanks for sharing the experience of dying the antler too! 

So... now that the chess set and table is finished and rocking chairs are assembled with cushions made... what will you turn next? 

 

Halloween is just around the corner... are the witches panels calling you?  you know you might be able to turn a witches hat "roof" on your lathe?  I can't remember the swing on your new lathe, but if you join a turning club, you might be able to borrow someone's lathe to turn a witches hat for a structure, to house the witches panel... perhaps double doors to the house... they need to be showcased!  Double massive doors to the witches castle lair... stained glass window...purple lights and dry ice smoke.... put the structure outdoors and see if you can get a spider to move in and make some real webs for you too.

Isn't it fun to have friends help with the plans?

 

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CollieFeathers    42
CollieFeathers
On 9/6/2017 at 10:11 PM, WeekendMiniaturist said:

Halloween is just around the corner... are the witches panels calling you?  you know you might be able to turn a witches hat "roof" on your lathe?  I can't remember the swing on your new lathe, but if you join a turning club, you might be able to borrow someone's lathe to turn a witches hat for a structure, to house the witches panel... perhaps double doors to the house... they need to be showcased!  Double massive doors to the witches castle lair... stained glass window...purple lights and dry ice smoke.... put the structure outdoors and see if you can get a spider to move in and make some real webs for you too.

Isn't it fun to have friends help with the plans?

 

Yes! This is SO fun. And YES the witches' panels are next up for a project. This one is one of a kind though. And YES the wardrobe will be showcased somehow. Room box most likely with a window open in the room, curtains flying and a black cat on the window sill. Full moon outside.

I LOVE your suggestions. Dry ice, stained glass window, witches hat roof.

I got distracted with a project though. I'm making 1:12 scale working Victorian era Kaleidoscopes.

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