Chess Restoration

Restoration to all types of antique and modern sets in bone, wood and ivory sets. Ivory sets will be repaired with hippo ivory for non-Florida residents. Many major collectors and dealers in the USA and UK use my services. I have repaired  many thousands of chess pieces. I have an excellent faux ivory material that carves and polishes like the real thing and is very hard to distinguish from real ivory. It is a perfect material for repair or restoration where real ivory cannot be used.

Repairs and restoration would include:
Damaged pieces  or missing parts
Ears on knights
Missing snouts on knights
Base rims
Fabrication of missing parts
Lathe turning and hand carving
Some dyeing services
Complete set restoration and polishing
Clear coating -satin or glossy
Repair of chess boards
Repair of wood and carton pierre boxes
Repair to travel sets
Fabrication of missing travel set brass pins
Replacement of worn or missing base pads with correct 100% wool baize cloth. See below about base pads.

A brief discussion about base pads on chessmen

Many antique and modern chess pieces have some form of cloth or felt glued to the underside of each piece. Often, after many decades of use, the base pads becomeworn, soiled and often torn. These pads on antique chessmen were normally affixed to wooden chessmen, which often used lead disks for ballast. Bone and ivory chessmen did not have base pads. There are three materials normally used to make base pads for antique chessmen mentioned. Leather, baize and felt. Leather is seen very infrequently on antique sets. Baize is a woven relatively coarse cloth. It is usually 100% wool and has a visible simple weave. Baize is mostly found in green, blue green and light green shades. It can look different from it's original color due to aging. Most high quality sets from the 19th and 20th century used 100% wool baize base pads. Baize is also used as a lining for quality chess boxes. Baize was also used to line custom fitted pistol cases back in the 18th and 19th century. Having worked on thousands of antique chess pieces, baize is the correct original material. The material used on modern pool and snooker tables is NOT the material used on chess pieces. It is much too thick and has a fuzzy nap to it. It is also not a simple weave. The other material often encountered on chess sets is felt. Felt is not woven material and is often seen on inexpensive sets or newer commercial sets. Felt found on the underside of a quality antique set is most likely an incorrect replacement material.

Real 100% wool baize material is very hard to find and much more costly than felt. The terms “baize” and “felt” are frequently misused to describe a base pad material.

I have a good supply of 100% green wool baize material in two shades . They are green and a lighter shade of green, almost a gray-green. I have also custom dyed the lighter gray green material to match the most common shades of green most often seen on old Jaques pieces. I am offering the service of replacing the base pads on antique and new chess pieces. This includes the removal of old cloth or felt, cleaning the bottom of the piece of debris and old glue. New baize is then attached using a water based glue like the original. The baize is then trimmed by hand to conform to the shape of the base that is often out of round from years of drying. I will do this for single pieces or a full set. Cost will be $2.25 per piece. No sanding will be done to the pieces which I feel could alter or damage the piece. The new baize can be removed if necessary without doing any damage if necessary. A high quality set deserves matching quality base pads made the same way as the original.