Over the years, Make: has written about dozens of chess sets made from found objects, science fiction and fantasy figures, hardware pieces, labware, you name it. Here are just a few of our favorite sets that we’ve covered here on the site.
Have you ever made your own chess set? Tell us about it in the comments.
Hardware Store Chess Set
There are so many great variations on this idea of using hardware store parts — nuts, bolts, screws, washers, etc. — to construct chess pieces.
I bet you never thought of turning labware beakers and flasks into chess pieces, but hey, why not?
Nixie Tube Chess
Who isn’t fascinated by Nixie tubes? This project turns the vintage tube tech into a gorgeous chess board and set.
Alien vs. Predator Chess
I love chess sets that use known characters from sci-fi and fantasy universes. Here, the infamous AVP rivalry is chessified.
Improvised Battlefield Chess
When they’re on a battlefield, soldiers will use anything around them to improvise games, create art (so-called “trench art”), and basically do what they need to do to distract themselves from their grim business. Here, shells, rounds, and bottle caps are used to fashion a very serviceable chess set.
Hardware Chess Roundup
In this piece from 2009, Sean Ragan features some of his favorite hardware sets that were floating through our transom at the time.
Star Wars Holochess
OK, everyone knows that Dejarik isn’t actual chess, but it’s chess-like and it’s extremely cool, especially as brought to life in this impressive Dejarik table project by maker Ian Martin.