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I've put 2 "normal" sized pieces on the board for size comparison. It's pretty small so it travels well; pieces are easily discernible. Thanks to the magnets, captured pieces can be balled up to keep them together.
There is something humorous about the image you posted, mgx9600. It reminds me of the 1950's rather campy sci-fi film, The Amazing Colossal Man. Are you sure the "giant" pieces weren't exposed to nuclear radiation (ha ha). That was a common theme in 1950s horror and sci-fi films.
After I reviewed that picture, I found it pretty funny too so made it into my avatar. If my son sees it, he'll probably want to play giants vs tiny and smash the tiny pieces with the gints on each capture.
Hi Bob and all
Wow, the thread is still going strong.
I just splurged $2 for a Lowe plastic set -used - the same as in Bob's post #84. Brown plastic case, the pieces are red and white - not the prettiest set in the world. Nor is it the easiest to use. I had to sand about half the pieces so the little pegs fit easily into the holes of the board. I had wondered if I would have to enlarge the holes in the board --- the fit was awful and erratic. I think trying to enlarge the holes would have cracked the board, rendering the set useless, at least to me.
I assume the Lowe sets were just poorly made......... uh, VERY poorly made. Mine had holes of varying sizes, along with pieces with variously sized and shaped pegs. Inserting pieces into the board was sometimes impossible, or would cause a bunch of loose fitting pieces to leap out.......
Surprisingly, after a LOT of TLC, it seems ok. It is very light and pocketable - and I won't be that upset if it got lost - except that now it seems like sort of a convenient set.......... Was the Lowe set about the worst made one out there????????? Oh, opening the case is sort of a PITA - it's cranky, and if you are too abrupt, all the pieces will leap out of their places. But, the good thing is - at least it should not open in my bag or pocket......
I find it strange you're having trouble with a Lowe chess set, which was manufactured in the U.S. They were certainly more well made than most Hong Kong sets, which are also shown in Post #84. Hong Kong sets were the cheapest, but the Lowe was also inexpensive for its day, which was the 1960s and early 1970s.
I find it doubly strange that you had to sand the pegs to fit the holes, which are uniformly consistent on my set. The pegs were always smaller than the holes brand new, perhaps too much smaller because they would tend to fall out if the board was titled vertically. This is due to the thin board relative to the peg's length.
Frankly, I wonder if we are talking about the same set. There was a similar set made in the United Kingdom about the same time. It was the same color and had the same shaped case, but the pieces were made of a softer plastic that fit snugly into a soft plastic board. It was made by Merit, and you can view a couple of photos below.
Merit with Retail Box (UK, 1960s-70s)
Closeup of Merit (UK, 1960s-70s)
The trouble is, the Merit is a better set than the Lowe. Perhaps you should post some photos so we can all have a look.
Here is a photo which shows the board very clearly. The cover has ES Lowe on the inside -- it didn't seem that important so I didn't include it, but I'd be happy to include it or any other photos. The board looks identical to your post in #84... What do you think? I got the set at a used stuff sale. I could tell it would be a project - the pieces fit horribly in the holes. The pegs of hte pieces were of various widths, and some were slightly squarish. the holes in the board were of various sizes - that is, pieces would fit easily in one hole, but the same piece horribly in another. I felt that it was poorly made - didn't notice that anyone had messed with the set. I have a couple K & C London sets. THOSE were well made and all the pegs and holes fit uniformly.
I decided to reduce and round the pegs. That worked - to my surprise.
I prefer that the pieces fall out if you hold the board vertically (or upside down). Seems easier to move the pieces around.
Thanks for the photo, Gregor. I would love to know when your Lowe set was manufactured in the multiple year run. I just checked several sets and none of them have the problems you've experienced.
I'm wondering if Lowe used multiple manufacturing facilities or changed facilities over the years and became careless with their quality control. Maybe it became a matter of low bid as inflation became a problem in the 1970s.
I realize all my scenarios are merely speculative, but something must explain the poor fit and squarish pegs. Did you notice "flash" (click here and scroll down for a definition) on the pieces or a highly offset mold line making a round peg appear squarish? If so, that means very poor quality control.
No matter what occurred, you were unlucky enough to get stuck with a lesser set. Of course, the price was right at $2. As a collector, I paid four times that for an unused set in a pristine retail box.
hi bob. if by flash you mean very very thin remnants of plastic squeezed out from the molding process - not an issue. here's a photo of the backside of the board, and some of the pieces. looks like original pieces, from what i see of your photo of #84. i had to sand at least half the pieces (the pegs) to either roundness and/or a smaller diameter. i selected one of the tighter holes in the board, and tried inserting piece after piece and worked on those that needed it. many would not fit in at all - at least to that particular square
some of the pegs had slightly flat aspects, where it should have been a cylinder. i'm amazed my primitive effort resulted in a useable set. um, perhaps this is an early edition of the lowe sets, which they had to remake? or --- a middle or later one --- sounds like a totally different product than what you are describing. i would probably pay the $8 you quoted for an additional (useable) set. i don't find the sets that attractive, but they aren't ugly. i'd hate to play on this set -- the K & C sets are much better, but also still too small.
You're right, Gregor, the K & C Ltd. of London sets are far superior, no doubt about it.
The underside of my board is exactly the same, as are the pieces, but your pegs fit "snuggly" into the holes just as you say. Frankly, I've never seen anything like it. That said, I have a possible scenario for the difference since flash and poor molding are not the problem.
Lowe must have changed the diameter of the holes and the diameter of the pegs over the many years of their manufacturing process. I'd lay money you have pieces with larger diameter pegs from one set and a board with smaller diameter holes from another. It seems like a screw up at the factory, but more likely the previous owner found replacement pieces or a replacement board and put them together for a complete set. You should ask him.
Here's how my pieces and pegs look when the board is tilted vertically.
Loose-Fitting Pieces on Vertical Board
Loose-Fitting White Pieces
Loose-Fitting White Pegs
Loose-Fitting Red Pieces
Loose-Fitting Red Pegs
Not to be funny, but you got stuck with the tight end of the peg.
thanks, bob. at least i know if i get another lowe set, the pieces will fit a lot nicer than mine do...!
Fellow chess set lovers:
There are many posts dedicated to standard sized chess sets, but I collect travel chess sets, mostly of the peg-in variety. Attractive, vintage magnetic travel sets are also interesting. These are predominately pocket style sets of Japanese, German or Russian origin that fold in half and use disk style pieces with figures bonded to the surface. Fitting into the antique category are 19th century pocket sets using flat, celluloid pieces that fit into slots in leather (sometimes cardboard) boards and also fold in half.
Posting any of these is welcome, but please don't be a wiseacre and post a photo of your iPhone, iPad, Android, PDA or other modern electronic device. We want antique or classic travel chess sets, even sets using plastic pieces such as those manufactured by K&C Ltd of London, Lowe or Drueke during W.W. II.
I own one of more of these magnetic and slotted pocket sets, but will not be including them. I wish I could say I had the Drueke pocket set my late father owned during W.W. II, but he tossed it after some of the pieces were lost during his service in the Army Air Corps. It was known as a Drueke Vol. 100 with a wood board and plastic pieces; they were sold at the PX. You can still find them on eBay.
In conclusion, I have limited my photos to attractive, sometimes exotic peg-in style sets from around the world, but I end with eight photos of a Drueke W.W. II set with accompanying material in unused, mint condition.
8-inch Whittington-Pattern Bone-Wood Chess Set (UK, 1890s-1900s)
6-inch Whittington-Pattern Bone-Wood Chess Set (UK, 1890s-1900s)
7 x 5.625-inch Unicorn Brand Lathed Metal-Wood Chess Set (UK, 1940s)
7.5 x 5-inch Ivory-Wood Chess Set (Japan, 1960s-1970s)
7.25 x 5.75-inch Wood-Wood Chess Set (Switzerland, 1960s-1970s)
9.75 x 7.0625-inch Wood-Cardboard Chess Set (France, 1960s-70s)
8.0625 x 6.1875-inch Wood-Wood Chess Set (USSR, 1970s-1980s)
8) 5.75x5.75-inch Wood-Wood Chess Set (West Germany, date?)
6 x 6-inch Sterling Silver-Wood Chess Set in Leather Case (UK, date?)