Hi guys, I'm making a chess set and need to decide on wood. Does anyone have a preference for the type of wood used in their sets?
Mahogany, is definitely the way to go.
Thanks! Why is mahogany superior to maple or walnut?
I always think pure white holly for the white pieces is an awesome substitute for bone or ivory. Traditionally you want boxwood and ebony or boxwood and stained boxwood because the close grain (near lack of grain) is good for detail. It depends what kind of set, though; if you're doing something very simple you might want some a wood with some visible grain to add an interesting texture.
I've never even seen a mahogany set. Mahogany and maple boards, sure, that's been the standard for ever, but pieces? Of course I have no advice of my own because I have no idea how you'd go about making your own set so at least you contributed something...
I know little or nothing about wood, but I would suggest finding someone with a knowledge of mahogany and it's tendency to warp or split before investing a lot of time in turning a set from it. There must be a reason that mahogany is not a common wood for pieces.
I have a real old 60's travel set with the white pieces from olive wood & dark brown made from cocobolo wood. at least thats what I think it is. Has stood up very well to this day even though the olive wood has turned slightly darker with age.