making gaming pieces

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Established Member
7 Sep 2014
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southam, warwickshire
gentles all, I plan to make a board game - often referred to as Viking chess. The board is easy enough, and I could make some really simple pieces easy enough, but I like something a little more in complex for the men. Id like to copy the pieces shown in this 'how to'
or better still the ones in the attached image.

The 'how to' says that the faces were done on the wood using an etching tool; What sort of tool do I need?
would this one from screwfix do the job? Or do I need something better?
would the Screwix dremel be able to deliver the 'carved' look of the pieces in teh b&w image?

Grateful for any guidance that can be offered


  • tafl 2 piece.jpg
    tafl 2 piece.jpg
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The originals referenced show clear tool marks, facets and clean cuts - not something you'd get from a mythical 'etching tool'. A rotary tool, like a dremel, will certainly provide a way of carving or engraving, but the nature of the tool will give different character to the marks. Sloyd knife, carving chisels, and gravers will be more likely to render that more whittled, hand tooled result.
I did one a couple of years ago but decided to keep the pieces simple without faces. I did put eyes on the king but that was it.
Some I saw in Norway were very simple the pieces just being river pebbels or bits of bone. Quite a few the board was just a bit of leather or cloth with the grid drawn on and that doubled as the bag to hold the pieces. To me the thing just said go rustic. Of course there would have also been some very fancy sets in olden times and what better than a bit of carving to wile away those winter days.
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