LumberJocks

Rotating Game Board - A Simple but Unique Solid Wood Chess and Backgammon Table

  • Advertise with us
Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 911 days ago 4044 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK – this piece has been going on for a while and has appeared in various states in my gaming blog series. Finally – HERE is the completed piece!

One solid American black walnut original design gaming table by Artisans of the Valley (Eric M. Saperstein & Michael Pietras) custom built for our client in South Carolina.

The piece is primarily 4/4” black walnut, obviously the gaming board employs more exotic materials. The choice was Swiss Pear & Leopard Wood for the chess board. We maintained the walnut choice for the third wood in the backgammon board. Then we trimmed with a jet black gaboon ebony.

We are very pleased with the Swiss Pear and Leopard Wood combo – just came out a very rich contrast with an antique look. We are planning on doing several more of these soon. The first series had four boards and a fifth as a “mess up.” We’re using that for a creative project we’ll feature later.

(This chess board is of the set of four – showing the finished piece)

The game board is laminated with ¼” thick solid surface over a ¾” 13 layer high quality plywood core. Everything secured with construction adhesive, we figure this board is good for a few generations at least.

This piece is a combination of artists coming together from varies perspectives to assemble a very simple but unique artistic and functional gaming table.

I designed it and built the main assembly, Mike did a lot of the detail work such as the dovetail keys. Mike and I teamed up on doing the gaming boards as they were obviously tedious to properly fit and assemble everything perfectly.

The hardware is hand hammered by Horton Brasses. The custom design for the trunions was a combination of my idea and Horton’s handy work and metal smithing skills. They provided the trunions, decorative bandings, drawer pulls, and the rings.

The CNC work to custom cut the backgammon board pieces was done by Dana Osterman (The Sign Smith & WCForge … he’s also a blacksmith) … We want to go more into the gaming markets so it made sense to have the CNC programming done to setup a backgammon board exactly as we wanted it. Now we can request pieces to assemble in any material we want.

We picked up the solid walnut legs from Osborne Wood Products – after thinking about it for a few minutes it was not cost effective for us to turn legs. The cost was very reasonable and the time involved just put it over the edge for the decision to go with Osborne’s products.

The finish is a hand rubbed Waterlox tung oil – satin, about 8 coats. The surface was hand scraped before finishing and sanded with 220, 320, then steel wool. A final coat of Renaissance wax sealed the deal.

We decided to do a formal marketing photo shoot with this piece as it was very unique. The photo shoot was at the studios of James Lear Photography. The models were Erik Hendrickson, Christian Robinson, April Mancos, and Gina Michalski. Assume the photos that look the best were taken by Jim Lear, the rest was when I got lucky and something came out “ok …”

The gold and pink dresses were provided by Pamela Ptak. Pamela, a former Art Director for Cover Girl, now prospers in her own private design studio focused on developing custom dresses and soon a ready-ware line. Pam has been recently featured on Project Runway. Her philosophy of design matches with how many of us see furniture.

“I think of garments in terms of architecture…clothing as wearable sculpture. Not as a covering for nakedness…but as a statement of high-minded principles and thoughts. That it does in fact provide coverage is a matter of mere practicality.” – Pamela Ptak

The Tuxes were provided by Chazmatazz Formal Ware (Princeton, NJ)

The chess set is an antique Jaques of London set in boxwood and ebony on loan to us from one of our clients.

Wine and champagne for our photo extravaganza was provided by Hopewell Valley Vineyards.

Lumber for this project came from Willard Brothers of Lawrenceville, NJ. Except for the ebony and leopard wood – everything is local harvest.

And one cute extra – the solid silver & turquoise necklace was provided by Jennifer Smith-Righter …

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com





12 comments so far

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6819 posts in 1909 days


#1 posted 911 days ago

eric i really love this piece, you certainly did a great job and the photo shoot sure adds great flair…grizz, ps i made a box the other day, sorta like the one you did awhile back, it turned out great…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View hairy's profile

hairy

1988 posts in 2138 days


#2 posted 911 days ago

Awesome!!

-- the last of Barret's Privateers...

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2079 posts in 1090 days


#3 posted 911 days ago

Pure class, top to bottom. Those beautiful antique chess pieces look right at home.

By the way, did anyone else notice that the ladies swapped dresses?

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - https://www.etsy.com/shop/BigTWW - http://vimeo.com/98821147

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

740 posts in 1853 days


#4 posted 910 days ago

Playing with editing photos – this sharpened up quite a bit I think we have one of the money shots from the shoot!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View atogrf1's profile

atogrf1

43 posts in 969 days


#5 posted 910 days ago

I love the “medieval” look of the whole piece. It is awesome.

View FunkadelicAlex's profile

FunkadelicAlex

146 posts in 1297 days


#6 posted 909 days ago

This is a cool idea & build. I also think its one of the best presentations ever on LJ.

-- Alex -- "I will one day write something intelligent, witty, or humorous here"

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

740 posts in 1853 days


#7 posted 908 days ago

Thanks for the feedback – still working on edits and final photos. The piece arrived on Thursday in time for the client’s Super Bowl party so hopefully that all goes well and it gets some good attention.

The models are itching for another shoot … maybe one that’s a little more risque so this could get interesting!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2182 days


#8 posted 908 days ago

Unique table

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1299 days


#9 posted 851 days ago

Outstanding piece. I’m impressed that you weren’t afraid to outsource portions of the build to skilled craftsmen. The piece would be totally different without the metalwork, totally different without the massive legs. Those rolling cubicle chairs kill me next to that thing! :) I hope the client has some appropriate seating to surround a jewel like that. Very solid work.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

740 posts in 1853 days


#10 posted 851 days ago

HA – Yeah, the chairs were kinda last minute. The “OH #%SH!” ... we forgot people must SIT!???

The problem is that I just have no place to put a fancy poker table with the proper lineup of 8 wood frame black leather with all the tacks and embossing in them. Plus the cost and the freaking cats would destroy them. (anyone want a cat??) I need to get two at least just to have around.

I was going to borrow some from a gaming store but we ran out of time with everything else going on. It’s just impossible sometimes to do everything.

So I ordered two chairs for $59 – nondescript black leather chairs … just got the shoot done. The client said she was pairing it with proper chairs I’ll call again this week and see if she got some photos of it at its final home.

Yeah – the metal work really made the piece interesting, otherwise it’s just a table with a chessboard in it.

Thanks!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

740 posts in 1853 days


#11 posted 851 days ago

Collaborations make the project sometimes … we could do everything in this ourselves even the metal if we really wanted too but WHY? ...

The legs cost I think $168 a piece – geeze there’s $75 worth of wood in the blanks to setup a lathe make that huge mess. Turn for an entire day all the glue-ups, etc?? Eh – not worth it and they do a better job when setup for it anyway.

Same w/ the backgammon board, I could have spent a week trying to get the angles perfect on ONE board – now we have it programmed and we can have them cut in any wood we want any time we want for less than $100 each.

The blacksmith work – we can do it but we’re not setup for it. So we’d hack it out and things would not look as good in the end.

If you’re in this as a business, you’re better to stay in your niche. THAT said, this particular project got a lot more than the actual commission. That happens sometimes, but we wanted a unique marketing tool with it so it worked out.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

740 posts in 1853 days


#12 posted 851 days ago

Collaborations make the project sometimes … we could do everything in this ourselves even the metal if we really wanted too but WHY? ...

The legs cost I think $168 a piece – geeze there’s $75 worth of wood in the blanks to setup a lathe make that huge mess. Turn for an entire day all the glue-ups, etc?? Eh – not worth it and they do a better job when setup for it anyway.

Same w/ the backgammon board, I could have spent a week trying to get the angles perfect on ONE board – now we have it programmed and we can have them cut in any wood we want any time we want for less than $100 each.

The blacksmith work – we can do it but we’re not setup for it. So we’d hack it out and things would not look as good in the end.

If you’re in this as a business, you’re better to stay in your niche. THAT said, this particular project got a lot more than the actual commission. That happens sometimes, but we wanted a unique marketing tool with it so it worked out.

It’s all a balance act …

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase