How to Carve Chess Pieces

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Things You'll Need

  • Pencil and paper

  • Chess piece designs

  • Bench knife

  • V-gouge knife

  • 32 four-and-one-fourth inch by two inch by two inch blocks of wood

  • Coarse grit sandpaper

  • Fine grit sandpaper

  • Hand saw (optional)

  • Wood stain (optional)

How to Carve Chess Pieces. Carving your own chess pieces can be rewarding. After all, what can be better than playing the game you love with the pieces you've made? Most chess sets sold today use a wood turner to make the symbolic pieces. Yet, other chess sets are made up of pieces that resemble the people they represent. If you're up for the task, here's how you can carve chess pieces.


Always begin by trying to carve your king. If you make a mistake, you can always carve down to a smaller piece. Once all of your pieces are carved, consider staining one set. This way, you will have one light-colored set and one dark-colored set. That's enough for a match.