How Chess Sets and Pieces are Made

Among the type of chess sets that are available now-a-days, majority of the sets are made of wood. Further the first among the minority is plastic. Other chess sets are also made of alloys, camel bone, glass, marble etc.

Looking at the manufacturing process of wooden chess sets, one finds the intricacies involved to be astounding. The wooden pieces are carved out of slightly bigger pieces of wood than their actual size. Craftsmanship on the wooden chess pieces is done by experienced artisans. The knight is the most beautiful piece in the set, and so carries enormous importance. First of all the top of all the pieces is carved. There are a lot of techniques involved, for example, the depth and width of the mouth of the bishop, the design of the cross and crown on the king, the coronet of the queen, the top of the rook etc. The design of the Knight has a lot of technicalities, such as the ears, eyes, nostrils, mane, teeth etc.

After the basic carving is done, weights are filled to make the pieces single, double or triple weighted. Basically metal discs are placed at the bottom hollow of the pieces for weight. To give smooth movement to the chess pieces, the bases are lathed. The manufacturing of plastic chess sets are done by preparing the moulds as per the requisite design. The quality of plastic is predetermined and pieces are prepared accordingly by heating the plastic and putting the semi liquid plastic in the moulds.

The metallic pieces are made of alloys like bronze, brass etc. The main process of manufacture is same as the plastic sets. Marble and glass pieces are usually hand carved.