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Sgian Dubh

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It is ... and it isn't. Your linked source is American, and Americans use the term Sycamore maple simply to distinguish Acer pseudoplatanus (European sycamore) from American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), which, as you can see is not a maple (Acer) at all. What the Americans call sycamore has a living appearance similar to maples (such as European sycamore and American maples) but if looked at carefully it's physically more similar to London plane: this isn't a surprise because one half of the genetic background to London plane is thought likely to be American sycamore. The wood of American sycamore isn't really very maple like, and is closer to matching characteristics found in London plane, which isn't really a surprise.

This wood and tree species identification thing, I admit, can get very involved and nit-picky, but it's usually interesting, and sometimes frustrating ha, ha. Slainte.
 

billw

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This wood and tree species identification thing, I admit, can get very involved and nit-picky, but it's usually interesting, and sometimes frustrating ha, ha. Slainte.
I reverted to my UK-origin wood identification book which says Platanus occidentalis is American Plane, which does seem more in line with your comment above!
 

GCS-Creations

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Others may have a different view, but for me there are two issues with encasing wood in resin. Firstly, it will fail in the end. Even the driest wood still contains moisture, and this moisture will react to changing temperatures. Eventually this movement will break through the resin at a point of weakness, and that will be that. Secondly.....it just looks like plastic. A yucky great thick layer of plastic. Woodworkers, understandably, tend to like wood, not plastic with a bit of a view of wood underneath. Resin isn't UV stable, so still requires finishing. You'd end up with a layer of varnish over the top, and a reasonable amount of preparation work to achieve a decent finish.

Beware that PAR timber has been through a planer, and will thus have a rippled surface. You might be fine with yours, but it might not produce the tightest of joints.

Sycamore is in the same family as maple, but maple is maple, and sycamore is sycamore. I don't think sycamore maple is a thing.

A mitred picture frame isn't straightforward. How are you going to cut the mitres?
Thank you for the explanation! Some cool looking things can be made with stabilised wood, but I always felt it was a bit "wrong" to be infusing the wood with plastic. On the other hand I suppose you can salvage bits you couldn't use otherwise (thinking of people making pens out of the most rotten driftwood - okay maybe exaggerated a bit, but you know what I mean. :) )

I was thinking of cutting the mitres with a (new) mitre cutting block. The old one is a bit too out of shape I think.

I quickly cobbled this hat hook board (I have no idea what one would call it) a few weeks ago. This is when I realised that I might want a new block.
I did however simply glue and nail this to a board.
IMG_20200819_003541.jpg



Regarding the Maple/Sycamore: I had a look on the wood database too to try and find a maple that fits the description of what I've ordered and came up with that.
Apparently it's "Native" (Switzerland), how loosely the term is used and how far into Europe that extends I don't know. Learnt something again today! :)

Cheers
 
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billw

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You'll need a shooting board. Eight sawn faces butted up are not going to make a neat and accurate frame.
A very accurate shooting board too. I’m spending the next few days tinkering with mine to try and eradicate the 0.1% in the current 45.1% (or is it 44.9%?)
 

Lons

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Hi Geoffrey and welcome, sounds like a very difficult project for a relative beginner but I applaud you for trying though I think you'll find the planning process much less frustrating than the work.

Nothing wrong with having a go but unless you want to waste valuable hardwood I feel you'll be making a lot of prototypes first, and you'll be disappointed for a while at least if you're looking for a good result so in that respect I agree with Mike.

What I did many years ago was carve the chessmen but made a chunky board from veneered ply, I had made a number of marquetry pictures so found the process of a veneered chess board easy, it's simple using just a metal straightedge and scalpel, very stable and looks good. You could always make another board from solid when you're more proficient. Mine was given to my brother now in Australia and I don't have a photo but I know it's still on display and used.
If you were in the UK I'd offer to post some veneers but post to Switzerland would make it not practical but I'm sure you can get it there or maybe saw up your own on your bandsaw.
 

IanA

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A chess set and a board are a great idea for a present. I've made several chess sets and once you've figured out how to make each piece on the lathe they're not all that difficult to make. Also if you make a mistake with a piece then its not a complete disaster. The board is a different matter. To avoid the disappointment of spending hours creating a board with badly fitting wooden squares with variable rates of expansion why not use stained glass? This was my approach to the first board I made. Glass squares are easy to cut using a fairly inexpensive jig and some incredibly beautiful colours are available. These are laid on a board and covered with a thin sheet of clear toughened glass. All that remains is to make an attractive wooden frame.
IMG_4.JPG
 

IanA

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ProportionMax HeightMin
Height
Mean Height
King10.00
Queen85 – 90% of King9.008.508.75
Bishop70 – 75% of King7.507.007.25
Knight60 – 70% of king7.006.006.50
Castle55 – 60% of King6.005.505.75
Pawn45 – 55% of King5.504.505.00
 
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IanA

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Hello GCS - I might have posted the following in the wrong place yesterday. The intention was to say just get going making the set:

Re. Your original note about your intention to make a chess set and board for a Christmas present. Its a wonderful idea which has stimulated lots of interesting comments but time is ticking by and we'll still be talking long after Christmas 2020 has long gone. I've attached a table specifying sizes of the chess pieces according to the Staunton pattern. I hope this helps you to get going in the workshop! It is based on the height of the king being 10cm. The diameter of the king's base should be 70 - 75% of the length of the sides of the board squares. I use this table as an Excel file which allows you to enter the height you wish the pawn to be and the remaining values change accordingly. (Unfortunately the website doesn't allow the Excel file to be posted) Looking forward to seeing some photos of your work, best of luck!
ProportionMax HeightMin
Height
Mean Height
King10.00
Queen85 – 90% of King9.008.508.75
Bishop70 – 75% of King7.507.007.25
Knight60 – 70% of king7.006.006.50
Castle55 – 60% of King6.005.505.75
Pawn45 – 55% of King5.504.505.00

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