I'm new to the lathe (as of last October), and I recently finished my first big project. The board is Australian Blackwood and Western Maple. The light pieces are spalted figure maple (taken from my not-to-burn-firewood stash). The major dark pieces and three pawns are cocobola. Once my face swelled up, I made three pawns with Blackwood. But they didn't excite me, so the last two are Bubinga.
Here's my question: I don't yet have any clamp. I just use the spur drive and a live center. So what's the best way to cut the finished pieces away from the remaining dowel, and get a really flat bottom? I used my mitre saw, but it's stupidly dangerous since the pieces are so small. I'd like to do another chess set (using the same wood for all the pieces in each color), but I have to find a better way.