Odin Makes: Tri Dimensional Chess from Star Trek

Odin Makes: Tri Dimensional Chess from Star Trek


Hello, I’m Odin and today I’m gonna make a tri-dimensional chess
set from Star Trek, the original series. I’m gonna use the very first
Star Trek technical manual. This is the 1975 Franz Joseph manual and it has one of the best drawings of the tri-dimensional
chess set near the back. I enlarged the artwork so the squares will two and a quarter inches, which is tournament size for chess. It may end up being a little big, but you know, what the hell? I use my foam roller that I had made for Hellboy’s right hand of doom to measure how long the
curves needed to be. And then I cut some pieces of
5/8 inch aluminum square stock to use for the upright supports. I need to bend the aluminum, so I picked up a compact
bender from Harbor Freight Tools. Now, this is meant to
be mounted to the floor, but that was not an option at this place so I mounted it to a
large piece of plywood. Now this worked really well when I tested it on some rebar, but the 5/8 inch aluminum was not really interested in getting bent. It took some odd stretching
to hold the tool in place, brace opposite corners of a plywood base, and then actually bend the bar my hip. Then I need to trim the
ends of each of the curves. Now my bandsaw only has a
wood blade so I used a hacksaw and then finally a reciprocating
saw to make all the cuts. I needed the ends to be smooth
and level to each other. So I did fine tuning of
each cut on the belt sander and rounded off the square end
of the middle board support. (buzzing) Now in the show, you can see the screws that
hold the curves together. So I was not worried about hiding mine. I clamped my pieces into a vice and lined them up as they needed to be. And then I could drill out the pilot holes with my drill press. And I used a 1/4-20 tap to add threads so I could
screw them together. And I took my time and
I cleared the shavings as I tapped the holes, because it’s very easy to
add too much torque on a tap and break it off inside the piece that you’re working on. Which is a real pain in the ass to fix. (snap) Oh, dammit. I knew I was gonna do that. Oh, I’m really (bleep) now. After the two supports were attached, I drilled out the support ends and tap them as well to hold
the three main boards in place. Lastly, I ground out that
broken tap piece with the Dremel. And then I drilled a hole large enough to fit a carriage bolt so I could mount the upright to a base. So I got the stand done. What I need is a base. What I found that I think will look really good for a base was not
what I was expecting to find, because I looked at lamps and I looked at different stands for holding things in the bathroom and brush holders and what not. What I found was a shower head. And my thought is if I can pull this part here off and get this set flat, I can then use that as my base. But it still kinda
looks like a shower head and I wanna hide that and I lucked out. In the plumbing department they had what’s called a deep flange. This sits directly over
my shower head parts and then I can put this on top of it, put a running bolt through all this and put some tension on it, my hope is it’ll actually stay in place. First, I have to
disassemble the shower head. Getting the plastic face of
the shower head off was easy, but the guts of the shower head were not interested in coming out. So I did the sensible thing
and hit it with a hammer. I ran the carriage bolt
through the aluminum, added a washer and a nut, and then cut a piece of pex
pipe that fit over the nut and it fit just inside the flange. Then I needed the biggest
fender washer I had and one more nut to attach the base. Now because the hole in the shower head attachment is bigger than a pex pipe, I actually had some wiggle
room to move the upright so the board supports would be level. I’m gonna start working
on the chess boards. What I have are three pieces
cut for the main boards and four pieces cut for the attack boards. Now these are all cut from 3/16 inch thick
acrylic plastic sheets. And the sheets come with a
protective film on both sides so you don’t scratch them up
while you’re working with it. I’m gonna leave that on for right now, because the first thing I wanna do is actually round off the corners just a little bit on the belt sander just to make it a little bit nicer. (buzzing) I just carefully rounded off each corner on the belt sander, being careful not to sand the whole edge. Then I sanded each edge by hand to remove as much of the
marks left by the table saw when the pieces were first cut. My plan is to polish the edges. Now I do need to remove
the protective plastic and wipe off the crud from sanding and you use a torch to flame polish all of the edges of the plastic. You have to be careful not to
burn the edges of the plastic, just heat it enough so it starts melting. And it really doesn’t
take that long to do. And the results are worth the effort. With all seven boards polished, I started to wrap them in tape so could paint on the checkerboards. I covered all the sides to protect them from both scratches and overspray. I just made cuts every two and
a quarter inches in the tape and the act of cutting actually
does scratch the plastic, but it’s right on the
edge where I want my paint so you won’t be able to see it. With every other tape square removed, I painted the exposed plastic with a candy apple red spray paint that I got from an automotive store. So all the boards are painted, plus I’ve done a clear
coat over all the pieces to try and help protect
the paint a little more and keep it from being scratched. I really wanna peel all the
blue tape off at this point and see how they look, but not yet. First I gotta drill holes in all these and I don’t wanna scratch
it up with a drill press. Now to drill the centers is easy because with the checkerboards
I’ve got them already marked. To get the corners to all look the same, I’m gonna make a quick jig out of wood and set it up in the drill press. I just clamped the jig to the drill press and drill out the corners. (whirring) Then I can move it back in order to hit the attack board centers. And then I move it back again to drill out the three main boards. I’m using a stepped bit, or a uni bit, to drill the plastic
because a regular wood drill can break the edges of plastic when it drills all the way through. Now you can buy a special drill bits just to be used on plastics, but where I was they were sold out of quarter inch drill bits. So I had to improvise and
use a step bit instead. Now I can remove all the painters tape and I can actually see the squares. I was careful to keep all the edges of the masking tape down flat, which avoided having paint run
underneath the masking tape. And as I uncovered each board I stacked them between paper towels, because plastic is really
good at scratching plastic. To make the stems for the attack board I’m gonna use an acrylic
tube and an acrylic rod. The tube is cut to be
just under four inches and the rods are cut to be just under four and a half inches. The rods are a quarter inch in diameter and they are a snug fit in
the hole in the attack boards. And the tubes have a
quarter inch inside diameter so these slip right over the rods. I glue all the parts in place with some Weld-On Four, which is a water thin solvent glue and it’ll seep in between
the seams of the plastics. The extra bit of rod that
sticks out the bottom will fit into any corner
hole on the main boards. And I tapered the end of the rod on the disk sander so it’s easier to move it into the different holes while actually playing the game. Before I put all the playing boards on, I wanna go ahead and use acetone to erase all the marks
that are on the aluminum. And I wanna keep the acetone
clear of the plastic, because if I spill acetone on the plastic it’ll actually melt it
and mar up the surface, which I don’t wanna have happen. I just screw on the main boards with a quarter twenty screw, but not too tight, it’s easy to over tighten plastic which will crack it. Then place on the attack boards
and set your playing pieces. (bright music) The 1975 technical manual shows the starting positions
of the king and queen as actually up on the attack boards, but I like this starting
position much better. It’s the classic one
and it’s more familiar. In fact, there’s never been official rules written for tri-dimensional chess. Now there’s been fan-rules
written since the 70’s, but nothing official’s been put out. And there are lots of different ways that you can make tri-dimensional chess. In fact, Star Trek the Next Generation made one completely out of clear acrylic, but I like the aluminum and acrylic look of the original series. And this is how Odin Makes. I have a Patreon page where I give away props that I’ve made
right here in the show. And September’s winner is Paul White. Paul won the Matrix of Leadership for Transformers the movie. If you liked the video or have ideas for something for me to make, please leave them in the comments below. And if you make any of these projects, you can send me a picture. So these pieces are from the Franklin Mint set. They’re just a little bit smaller. Just a little.

100 thoughts on “Odin Makes: Tri Dimensional Chess from Star Trek

  1. EXCELLENT JOB!….i dont have tools where i live….but i made one out of copper piping that i can 'snap' together….
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153271544584716&set=a.10153271539294716.1073741834.597359715&type=3&theater

  2. That is awesome! I have a disabled friend who loves Trek. I might "try" to make this for him.
    Thanks for another great video!

  3. I am a huge Trekkie, and i watched your video of the 3d chess from Star Trek. Now it makes me want one! Good work on building it! It looks so authentic,that it looks like like it actually came from the show!

  4. If you want to not break your taps it's half a turn forward quarter back for aluminium and full turn forward quarter back for steel that and less Forse and you should be covered

  5. Great job, I love all things classic trek!!!!!, Hey Odin, can you build that strange storage box that Capt. Kirk always had in his quarters, it looked to be silver with white sides and black vertical striping, the top was a lip that opened, that box was seen in so many episodes (:->)

  6. all these woodworking and making videos i watch, and i still don't grasp the function of a step bit. i also did not know how 3d chess was played (the small boards move?)

  7. I don't know how you don't injure yourself every time you do a project. Sanding the edge of the aluminum in the opposite direction at 1:22 is a great way to get injured. Also, using acetone with a glove, but holding the aluminum right below it without a glove at 7:34 seems really careless. Working with acetone should mean both gloves. If you are going to show these projects, please practice safe procedures.

  8. Someone needs to come up with a definitive set of rules for Tri-D chess. For example, what rules define when you can move the attack boards? Can you only move them if you have pieces on them? Can you only move them if only YOUR pieces are on them? Presumably moving an attack board is your move for your turn, so you can't move a piece AND an attack board on the same turn.

  9. You sir are the man. You are very creative, & ingenious. With how you make stuff. You take things I can buy. From a simple shower 🚿 head. Turn them into a work of art 🖼. You sir have a new subscriber. Just one question for you. Have you ever made an *{Arc Reactor}. Just like Tony Stark has. I have a *{Real PaceMaker}. I’m looking at making my own. MARVEL – Tony Stark Arc Reactor. That can Change my Cell Phone ☎️. Thank you very much.

  10. The demonic Sword Alastor from Playstation 2´s Devil May Cry 1 could interesting! Nobody build it or craft this electrical Masterpiece… Only that can Odin make 😉

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