The Samurai Chess Table by Jim Arnold

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Project by JimArnoldChess posted 177 days ago 1630 views 5 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I did a regular board model of this theme several years ago and had a reuest to make a full table version which allowed me to incorporate some special features like the ‘gate’ on the drawer pull, flared leges (which aren’t very visible in these pics), and curved bottoms on the tables sides.

It s was a bear to photograph. The table itself measures 43” wide ny 30” across by about 28” tall. The Kings are about 8” tall…and the pawns about 3” tall. The table is made from solid Walnut and Maple. I put white sheets of paper where the sand will be. The lanterns on the corners will also be fitted with working lights. There is also a soapstone inlay in the middle of the board. The photos are staged with fake Bonsai, but there will be ‘live’ ones there eventually. Still the only chessboard I know of that was to be watered every third day. Pieces are also solid Walnut and Maple as well, and there is a walking path and bridge on the right side sand garden area.

I like this one, and hope I never have to make another. Thanks everybody. Lumberjocks rule!


23 comments so far

View Dale 's profile (online now)


406 posts in 1811 days

#1 posted 177 days ago

Absolutely beautiful, amazing work.

-- Dale West Central Pa. Do it all, before last call.

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1047 posts in 241 days

#2 posted 177 days ago

what that is amazing, very nice choice of wood, great work

-- steve, simple and effective woodworking---

View eugenie's profile


101 posts in 505 days

#3 posted 177 days ago

Beautiful, and you have a great immagination.

-- Eugenie Woodcraft

View Spoontaneous's profile


1304 posts in 1961 days

#4 posted 177 days ago

Jim ~ I have always loved your work…. but this one is special. I imagine the owner is proud as a peacock. And I am pretty sure this is the first chess board I have ever seen (or heard of) that requires watering.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View RogerBean's profile


1124 posts in 1584 days

#5 posted 177 days ago

Gorgeous. Superb work.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View BigDan2's profile


39 posts in 386 days

#6 posted 177 days ago

Wow so magnifique table , the great woodworker you are ! I really appreciate this project. give some more projects here for my eye hi hi hi

-- BigDan

View deon's profile


2171 posts in 1656 days

#7 posted 177 days ago

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View HillbillyShooter's profile (online now)


4505 posts in 923 days

#8 posted 177 days ago


-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View helluvawreck's profile


15613 posts in 1497 days

#9 posted 177 days ago

This is so outstanding. It’s a fine piece e of craftsmanship.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View JimArnoldChess's profile


196 posts in 1625 days

#10 posted 177 days ago

Thanks everybody…got another one coming out in a week or so that’s even better I think…my submission for the 2014 Calgary Stampede Art auction…


View woodchuckerNJ's profile


875 posts in 265 days

#11 posted 177 days ago

Wow that’s so beautiful.
So beautiful, that I worry about the watering. I hope it takes it well.

The carvings are superb, and your photos from behind the corner “finial?” are very nice.

Well done.

-- Jeff NJ

View Roger's profile


14367 posts in 1435 days

#12 posted 177 days ago

Way kool.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Dave's profile


115 posts in 1828 days

#13 posted 177 days ago

That’s awesome!

-- "I'm not afraid of heights. I'm afraid of widths." - Steven Wright

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


1252 posts in 1040 days

#14 posted 177 days ago

Fantastic work!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View rdlaurance's profile


361 posts in 1978 days

#15 posted 177 days ago

Absolutely breathtaking work, Jim. I love the entire table design concept; bonsais, arched bridge, serene walkway, zen garden ( I assume that is the sandy area). You’ll also need to include a small (to scale) comb rake for raking spirals, waves, etc. into the sand, between N-QN6 check and …...

Having spent 20+ years developing, pruning, nurturing and contemplating bonsai trees (hobby), I really appreciate the full contemplative design of this table. The inclusion of the miniature vignette of nature is certainly a wonderful, harmonious addition to the cerebral aspect of the game.

A really big thumbs up on this one! It’s a table in which the added chore of tending to the trees on a daily basis would be something I would personally look forward to.

-- Rick, south Sweden

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