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Quick Guide to Chess Set Woods

Oct 17, 2007
Comprising the vast majority of chess sets sales across the world; there is no denying the pull of wood as the primary material in chess sets. Wood chess pieces are usually created from two separate woods, representing the white and black side of a chess game. Typically, the "white" men are created from boxwood. The "black" chess men are then crafted from any of three woods: ebony, rosewood and sheesham. This guide will provide the information that you need to decide which option is best for your next wood chess set.

Ebony
Ebony wood is cherished for its deep "blackness" and its total gleam. Ebony wood is a dense and hard wood, and that makes it much more difficult to work. The wood naturally has very fine grains and will accept polish. Because of how difficult it is to work with, ebony chess pieces are going to be one of your more expensive options. All of these factors allow ebony wood to create some of the most beautiful and durable chess pieces available, ones that are definitely considered to be heirloom quality.

Rosewood
Rosewood is chosen for chess sets because its deep coloring that is not easily found in wood. The wood has a deep glowing brown color that is accented with even darker and defines grains running throughout. Rosewood can naturally vary in color from deep rose to dark brown. Regardless of what shade the wood is, the intertwined grains will always be deeper and darker than the wood. Bud Rosewood is more expensive type of rosewood because of the rare type of rosewood. This wood is generally reserved for the more expensive options. Bud rosewood has a wine-red deep color that is interlaced with orange tints.

Sheesham
More popularly known as "shisham" or golden rosewood, sheesham chess pieces are often known as golden rosewood. Sheesham chess pieces are some of the more affordable options available, because the wood is inexpensive and is easily worked by crafters. Despite its relative expense, sheesham still provides excellent and durable chess pieces. Sheesham often comes as a light brown or golden color and is a very popular wood in India and in the cabinet making industry.

Boxwood
The "white" chess pieces in a chess set are typically made from Boxwood. Boxwood is a finely and straight grained wood that is both hard and dense. It is naturally white or even light yellow. Boxwood has become a popular choice because of its uniform coloring and because it is easily turned and carved. Also, boxwood is the first choice for ebonized chess pieces because it can so easily accept the stain needed.

With this knowledge, you can easily choose the chess set that you need. No matter which material is your fancy, you will be able to find the wooden chess set that fits you budget and your playing needs.
About the Author
Bradford Roegner is webmaster for BraRoe Wood Chess Sets . He is available to help provide people with the tools to bring chess into their life. You can contact him Bradford@braroechess.com any time with question.
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