The Samurai Chess Set

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Project by JimArnoldChess posted 1618 days ago 120880 views 54 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Started out with the theme and made the pieces, then designed the board to go underneath them. When I can, I like to get the chessboards involved as much as possible with the theme as the pieces are.

The pieces are carved from Walnut and Poplar. Kings about 7” tall. Pawns about 3.5” tall. The board measures about 40” wide by about 27” across to your opponent. On either side of the playing surface there are 7” by 27” sand gardens. The walking path is about 2.5” wide and can hold a number of captured pieces. Those are three ‘live’ bonsai as well making it one of the few chessboards that needs to be watered every other day. A fun set to play with.


44 comments so far

View sras's profile


3813 posts in 1755 days

#1 posted 1618 days ago

Wow! Very creative! What is the meaning of the symbol in the center of the board?

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View JimArnoldChess's profile


196 posts in 1620 days

#2 posted 1618 days ago

Hey Steve,

That is the Kenji for Samurai. Painted it in with ink after the first coat of lacquer was applied. Thanks for the kind words.



View hardwoodman's profile


82 posts in 1852 days

#3 posted 1618 days ago

WOW! I can’t believe it. It’s so wonderful.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 2216 days

#4 posted 1618 days ago

This is very cool. I’ve seen some inspiring chess boards, including this one. I think I have to do the inevitable and make one.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 1929 days

#5 posted 1618 days ago

Well done!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View JuniorJoiner's profile


444 posts in 2066 days

#6 posted 1618 days ago

this is obviously a very involved piece, and your craftsmanship and carving are brilliant. I have to ask why you didn’t match the riftsawn grain of the front and back rails, on the sides. at this level of craftsmanship I don’t think it is by chance, so is there some reason for it?

A very inspiring project

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View deucefour's profile


285 posts in 1879 days

#7 posted 1618 days ago

Wow, that is awesome. Did you design the pieces?

-- "I gotta have more cowbell"--------Bruce Dickinson

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


11908 posts in 1782 days

#8 posted 1618 days ago

wow, this piece is absolutely stunning… very nicely crafted…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View 1oldsarge's profile


3 posts in 1618 days

#9 posted 1618 days ago

I’d be afraid to play on that. It’s so gorgeous I’d probably get the shakes and knock over a bonsai or something. Well done, that man!

-- Holland's .375: One Planet, One Rifle!

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1585 posts in 1877 days

#10 posted 1618 days ago

I love your work, you did an awesome job.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View webwood's profile


618 posts in 1876 days

#11 posted 1617 days ago

very , very, cool

-- -erik & christy-

View mortontony1's profile


4 posts in 1627 days

#12 posted 1617 days ago

How do you get all the pieces the same?

View deon's profile


2171 posts in 1651 days

#13 posted 1617 days ago

great work

-- Dreaming patterns

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 2243 days

#14 posted 1617 days ago

Love the board the trees however would have to be replaced if it were mine.

Bonsai trees dont live long in my house….

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 2008 days

#15 posted 1617 days ago

Wow, each pieces are so beautiful!
But for me as a Japanese, Chess and Japanese culture here (Samurai, Bonsai and so on) can’t be mixed, meaning, it’s very unique sense of mixing them together. I mean you really have your own taste. Good job!

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

showing 1 through 15 of 44 comments

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