I like to start a chess set with lumber that is sized at 8/4 (eight quarters or two inches thick). That gives me a chance to dimension it at exactly 1 1/2 inches square by about 16 to 22 inches long.
The next step is to cover the piece with blue painter's tape. It helps when you remove the pattern later, and it also provides a lubricant to the saw blade as you cut the piece.
The pattern goes on next. I cut the pattern out long, and use the guide line down the center of the pattern to place it right on the edge of the piece of wood. I use spray adhesive and glue the pattern to the blank.
Now it's time to cut the piece. I use a jig to hold the piece every time I cut a chesspiece. It provides more grip, more weight and the jig makes it much easier to do the cutting.
Now, it's time to cut the piece. Take your time, be precise and use the tricks I discussed in the first chapter.
Now the it's my favorite time of all, open up the block and see what we made.