Chess-lover Logan Johnson hand-crafts 3-D board and pieces using new tabletop lathe in CHS Woods class.

    Two months of classroom time and a little extra after school, and Crookston High School senior Logan Johnson has himself a take-home project like no other. Inspired by an online idea and the new tabletop lathe in Travis Oliver’s Woods class, Johnson started out to create his own chess set complete with individually-turned pieces and 3-D board.


    Logan told the Times that he loves chess and has been playing it for fun ever since he was eight years old. He said the set is the only project he has worked on this semester and he’ll be bringing it home in the next week or so after it’s stained and sealed.


    Johnson will also be entering the chess set in a local art competition in February after a chat with CHS Art teacher Gary Stegman.


    “Thankfully I haven’t broken any pieces,” Johnson joked as he proudly moved a couple pawns closer to the camera for a photo.


    Logan used mahogany and walnut wood to create the pieces and 3-D board tiles, and lined the three-level board with cherry wood. His first step was to cut long rectangular strips with the table saw and trim them down with the lathe. Then, he said he grabbed a tape measure and poker to mark each line before making the precise cuts.


    “It was hard to form the knights because I didn’t use the lathe; I used the circular sander,” Johnson explained. “But, overall, it was hardest to make the pawns the same.”


    $40 in wood and a couple months manual labor, and Johnson is excited to finally bring the set home.


    After he graduates this spring, Johnson plans to attend North Dakota State University for Computer Engineering and, just maybe, sit down for a game of chess every once in a while.