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Subject: Making wood pieces look old rss

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Scott Muir
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I figure this forum is as good as any for asking this:

I recently picked up at a yard sale a really cool looking OLD wooden box style fold out Chess board. This thing has a LOT of character. It looks weathered and used to the point that it looks like it was used and played on the deck of a 1700's naval vessel. It's really weathered. scratched up, and interesting looking. Naturally I wanted some cool looking pieces to go with it that would have the same feel. I found a full set of nice cheap crap wood Chess and Checker pieces at my local consignment shop. The only problem is, these wood pieces look all brand new.

My question is... What's the best way to take these wood pieces and get them as close to weathered and beaten on looking as I can so they match the board and look like they go with it ? Are there any secrets other than leaving them out on my back deck in the sun, rain, and snow for a few years ?
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Bruce Murphy
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Try searching for "weathering wood" on Google. Several helpful miniatures and furniture links come up.

B>
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Scott Muir
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I was thinking. Some metal or stone pieces may do well on this thing too. The only issue I've found is that the metal pieces I've seen out there look more at home in one of those new age glass houses with angular walls and monochrome color schemes that you see all the rich architect people on TV owning. gulp
Some of the stone stuff looks okay and would probably be a fine fit for this board... but the stone pieces I've seen have all cost the EARTH and comes with a shiny stone board that I don't need.

Where's the cheapest place to look for Chess pieces ?

Hmmm... Maybe I should make my own somehow. Maybe I'll go to the craft store and look around.
 
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lotus dweller
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They tumble stones in a small drum with some sand inside?
Tumbling the pieces with some small nuts (as in nuts and bolts) with sharp corners on them?
If you know someone with a sandblaster a light blast?

If you do anything like this, do protect the base of the pieces with Gaffa tape or similar - you want the piece to still have a working base when you are done.

The above idea to Google "to age wood" works wonders to.
edit: interesting topic. http://www.ehow.com/how_4867228_new-wood-look-old.html offers some good ideas in detail.

If the pieces are sturdy then putting a feww into a tin with a lid on with the sharp nuts and shaking it will get you exercise and get the pieces scratched and maybe worn.
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Goldyn Gryphon
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My first thought was a good old fashion run through the washer and dryer.
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lotus dweller
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Goldyn Gryphon wrote:
My first thought was a good old fashion run through the washer and dryer.

I like this idea - it should get some cracks in the wood happening as long as the pieces are not covered in paint or varnish.
edit: I like your original idea of trying to weather the wood ones.
 
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Scott Muir
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These things have a varnish on them. They're shiny. They're cheap Japanese made wood pieces. It looks like the white pieces are natural colored and the "black" pieces were stained and then varnished. I'm going to try to lightly sand off the varnish as best I can and then maybe give them a tumble in a can with bolts in it to dink them up and see what I get. Hehe.. I bet I'm the first person in the world who wants to get Chess pieces that look half destroyed into his set.

Anyway, being so cheap, the wood is really light and soft so they should dink up good.

They're so light actually that I may drill into them and put some weights in them. I think a strong breeze would blow these things over.

On another note, I just discovered that part of this box folds out and there's an old beat up Backgammon board underneath the Chess board. Looks like I'm going to have to make some home made beat up looking wooden checkers too.
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lotus dweller
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I'd love to see photos of your work.

If the wood is cheap and nasty then "washer and dryer" could be very effective and then you'd have to glue the piece back together or twitch it together with copper wire and fill in the gaps with colored wax or tree resin.

If I ever get another motorbike I'll have to weather it too.
 
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Scott Muir
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Quote:
If I ever get another motorbike I'll have to weather it too.


ROFL ! That sounds like a good plan !!! Let me borrow it and I'll help you with that !
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Celina
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When I was little the antique dealers near us would bury things in compost/dung heaps to "age" things quickly. Wouldn't stand up to carbon dating, but they sure looked right.
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Walt
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You might go to your local bome store and ask them about wood distressing products. They do actually make products to give a distressed look.

As a guess, what you most want is a patina: junk in the cracks of the pieces. As a trial, I'd make some mud, get them dirty, and wipe them off with my fingers and no water or rag. If that looks good, rinse and repeat with dark wood stain. If it doesn't, just rinse.
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lotus dweller
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Tall_Walt wrote:
You might go to your local bome store and ask them about wood distressing products. They do actually make products to give a distressed look.

As a guess, what you most want is a patina: junk in the cracks of the pieces. As a trial, I'd make some mud, get them dirty, and wipe them off with my fingers and no water or rag. If that looks good, rinse and repeat with dark wood stain. If it doesn't, just rinse.


If Scott is after patina my next suggestion of using a shotgun at a non-annihilating distance would be mis-placed.ninja
 
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Gary Sonnenberg
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Pinook wrote:
I'd love to see photos of your work.


Before, during, and after, please. (If it's not too late.)
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Alex Treacher
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Pinook wrote:
If I ever get another motorbike I'll have to weather it too.

Mine is. Significantly. It comes of living and biking in England...!
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Scott Muir
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Quote:
Pinook wrote:
I'd love to see photos of your work.


Before, during, and after, please. (If it's not too late.)


I tried using steel wool on them and it did a great job. The pieces are no longer all shiny and are all scratched to hell. Unfortunately, you can't really tell the differences in the pieces between the before and after pics. The difference is subtle, but it fits the board's look a little better.

I'll upload a pic of the chess set when I get a chance to photographi it.

Next step is to locate some old wooden checkers or new ones I can scuff up.
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