This is the fifth book in Mike’s woodturning series. There is an identical American edition is called Woodturning Chessmen. Its 168 pages have 40 diagrams and 280 photographs and historical engravings. Its chapters are as follows:
1. A history of chessmen, 56 pages. Details the history of chess and chessmen from the invention of chess in India in about AD 550 to the present.
2. Gallery, 12 pages. Sets by six of today’s makers.
3. Piece symbols, 16 pages. Discusses the origin, history and designs of the piece symbols used to signify the six chess pieces. Examples of piece signatures are the bishop’s mitre and the rook’s castle tower.
4. Designing chess sets, 30 pages. After analysing the designs of some extant sets, this chapter discusses how the design of each man in a set can clearly communicate that it belongs to that set, belongs to the black or the white side, and is a particular piece.
5. Drawings for chess sets, 10 pages. Provides fully detailed drawings for ten sets which turners can copy or modify to make their own sets.
6. Making chess sets, 36 pages. Details all the techniques used to make turned chess sets, and explains the processes through sequences of photographs and diagrams.
Bibliographies, 2 pages.
Index, 5 pages.