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Chess Pieces

I recently discovered that the plywood store down the road also deals in hardwood.  Awesome!  I hadn’t played with a nice chunk of walnut since I took a wood course at RISD during college.  It also so happens that my small lathe can, with some time on a local milling machine, be made to take a block of wood quite nicely.  Commence experimentation.  I started off with some cheap oak dowel from the home depot before I got into the good stuff, and found that oak actually has rather loose grain, producing a rough surface.  Not so good.  Another discovery: simply rubbing a candle onto the smooth, sanded piece as it is spinning there on the lathe, then melting that wax in by holding a sanding sponge to the piece (still while it’s spinning) will produce a beautiful and near-effortless finish.  Yay for easy pretty things!





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