Paul Fryer's Vacuum Tube chess board

choobs.jpg Beautiful! Made of wood, glass and choobs, only seven sets exist. [via Make]

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13 Responses to Paul Fryer's Vacuum Tube chess board

  1. Cool! I love unique chess sets.

  2. phisrow says:

    Those tubes have been cut open and resealed, and are lit by LEDs, rather than the original filaments(note the blue ones, in particular.) On the plus side, they should therefore last forever(more or less) and not cause unpleasant burns. On the minus side, they lose about a million authenticity points.

  3. overunger says:

    If the program society of Tron had a history similar to ours – this would have been their chess sets in the 1800s.

  4. Rob Beschizza says:

    Choobs are vacuum tubes being used for chess purposes.

  5. Ron W8RJL says:

    I assume plugging the tube in is the connection that lights the LED (light emmiting diode) and the power is wired to each tube socket that way there are no batteries to run down. The board probably had a light cord to a wall wort for power. Nice job!!!!

  6. urbanspaceman says:

    I’ve always thought of vacuum tubes as kinetic sculpture! And I’ve always thought it was such a shame that a lot of vintage tube gear hide glowing tubes from view. The hi-fi power amp designers of the 1950’s had the right idea, even if the naked tube/cage designs were chosen primarily for cooling purposes.

  7. Halle says:


  8. Elias says:

    Coolest chess set ever!

    wouldn’t the tubes become too hot to touch though?

  9. calabanos says:

    Want…too late to hit the kids up for Father’s Day.

  10. Jewels Vern says:

    So WTF are “choobs”? I checked google and it seems to be only a name used by people, companies, and Java bot programs.

  11. chris says:

    Do these tubes heat up? That would make for an interesting variant of ‘speed chess’. You have to move every piece as much as possible otherwise you will get 2rd degree burns!

  12. William Lee says:

    I love how the tube on it’s side looks like c’thulu… or maybe that’s just me…

  13. dculberson says:

    Phisrow, I dunno, it would be pretty impractical to use if it was really tube based. So they lose a million “museum piece to sit on a shelf and never be used” points but gain a million “able to actually be played” points. At least, imho.

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