Making Wooden Chess Sets

I have quite a collection of woodworking books, many being different plans and projects I’m hoping to aspire to create one day. (And yes, there are one or two workbench plans in the collection!)  One book I came across recently which looked interesting was this one:

Wooden Chess Sets You Can Make

The plans are designed for the scrollsaw, and are three-dimensional (also known as compound cut patterns) – the plans are designed to be cut from both the front and side. These can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, depending on the piece.

Tool Chess Set

This is one of the chess sets in the book – a set of woodworking tools (although I’m not sure how the pliers fit the theme so well), and was the main reason I wanted it.  I guess not many people have tried this design (I haven’t….yet), as the only picture I could find of the set on the web was on the website, (who sell the chess sets from this book already made.)

Porter Cable Templates and Triton

Another example of fitting Porter Cable style template guides to the Triton, first discussed here.

Template Guide Adaption

Template Guide Adaption

I happen to have a few spares of the Triton Template Guide Base Plate Aligner & Porter Cable Template Adapter (TGBPA&PCTA) (ok, so I made the name up), so instead of leaving them languishing in the Template Guide storage box, I fitted the most common template guides I have been using – the template for the Mortise Pal, and the Whiteside Inlay Kit.

Being able to mount the router bit before fitting the template guide (particularly given the need for rear access with the Porter Cable Templates for the threaded retaining ring) is a significant advantage.

The Staggertooth Tiger

The lesser-known cousin of the Sabretooth Tiger, the Staggertooth was a widely misunderstood animal until the advent of modern man-made materials, when its real purpose finally became obvious.

The staggertooth router bit is used for fast-routing particularly tough man-made abrasive materials such as MDF, plywood and particle board where speed is paramount and cut quality is secondary.

Whiteside Staggertooth Router Bits

Whiteside Staggertooth Router Bits

These Whiteside Staggertooth bits are sold by Professional Woodworkers Supplies, and come in a range of shaft and working diameters.

Some are straight-cutters, some are angled (creating a spiral-type cutting action – both upcut and downcut), and some have the cutters angled opposite each other, creating a compression type cutting action.  In these orientations, they are equivalent to a solid carbide spiral bit at a fraction of the price.

Hard to see from the photo, but they are 2 fluted, with the first flute starting at the tip of the bit (not seen in the photo), and the second flute starting near the base.  There is an overlapping region in the middle where the material being routed is exposed to both flutes.

Part of the benefit of the staggertooth is for the larger diameter cutters.  Typically, for fast-routing a single cutter router bit (single flute) is used, but when you start exceeding 3/8″ a single flute cutter experiences significant balance issues.  A twin flute cutter requires a slower feed speed.  This is where the staggertooth comes into play- because of the offset of the cutters, it acts as a single-flute cutter as far as cutting performance and feed speeds, but still has 2 flutes so it remains dynamically balanced at the high rotation speeds of a router.

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