backgammon set pieces mod--cont'd!

Sorry, still getting my laptop sea legs back here. Anyhow, I want to turn the pieces down in diameter. Now, these pieces are of course "finished" (albeit pretty rough, it's a cheap Turkish set to be sure, but sooo pretty), each having a sort of neato mosaic type design embedded in the center or each piece, etc. So, it's certainly unfeasible to attach multple pieces on an arbor, as I can't make a hole in the middle without really tearing them up. So, how the heck does one go about turning down a stack of no-center-hole disks like this? About all I can come up with is a) do them individually, by chucking each in a collet (hopefully; they're a little > 1", naturally...) and taking down ~ 1/2 of the disk thickness, and then turning each around and taking the other half down...yuck... b) perhaps double-back taping them together and then a rough end piece on either end of the stack, that can both be center-drilled and mounted between centers, etc.; could "clamp" them between the centers pretty tight this way, and thus help make sure all those double-back tape pieces hang in there while turning the pieces down... c)...?

I work with a lot of optics, and in that world they wax the disks together and melt them apart after turning down...I fear I'd really mess up the mosaic'd faces doing something like that, tho.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated-- Charley Hale

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Take a page from the wind instrument makers book. Since they don't have to be exactly the same diameter, just close, pressure clamp them between a wooden driver in your head stock and a flat wooden fitting on your live tail stock. Make the wooden driver and tail the diameter you want them to end up. Now mount them individually and sand them down using 120

-> 220 ->320 -> 400 -> flannel. Bit fussy to get them each centered but, assuming they are all concentric, shouldn't be too tough to use your fingers as feeler gauges to get them aligned. If they're really rough on the edges, you may want to take a very light facing pass with a tool that's ground for aluminum or plastic. Don't hog or you'll spin the piece against the driver and burn it.

You'll need to refinish the edges after you get them smooth. A good quick finish is superglue and raw (not boiled) linseed oil. Slop some linseed oil on a paper towel, put on a couple drops of superglue and quickly wipe it on the finished edge. Instant clear hard finish. The superglue catalyzes the linseed oil polymerization. Flute makers use it.

I'd be worried about trying to do the stack all at once. If the faces are even slightly out of parallel, you'll end up tapering the stack or having it lash and fly apart.


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Jim McGill

Thanks Jim, I'll think about this approach. Certainly seems reasonable, and somewhat along the lines of my "b" above. BTW, sorry for the likely confusion above, as I thought I'd inadvertently sent another email just prior to this one (that at least is probably pretty obvious...!) The deal in a nutshell is my wife and I just got back from a trip-of-lifetime that included a few days in Istanbul (boy is that a cool, crazy place, pretty much as we hoped/expected), home of backgammon among other things it would seem. I got us one of the myriad cheap, very pretty sets they sell on the street every 20 feet or so, and the pieces turned out to be rather too big in diameter to jibe with the board (i.e. the distance between adjacent "points" on the board), thus my topic here. Sure glad we missed any of the badness in London, tho we now believe we may have had an unusual barrel of laughs at the airport in Frankfurt Germany, related to this unfortunate stuff. Sure would be cool if the world could get along. Likely compromises suggested on all sides...

Anyhow, I'll definitely not try to do the whole stack of pieces at once, for sure. Just looking for some reasonable middle-ground that'll take 3-4-5 times to do the whole set, you know. Thanks--Charley

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