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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 11-12-2019 02:20 AM 1168 views 1 time favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Sungkahan or game board for Sungka, a game played in the Philippines and elsewhere. I had seen some made here on Lumberjocks and I was making some custom spade bits so I thought I’d see if I could make some for this game. It is played with 98 shells, stones or beads and I’ll have to buy some before I put this board up for sale.

I had this piece of 1 1/2” mahogany which would have been perfect except for the end holes. The 14 smaller holes are 2 1/2” wide and 1 1/4” deep but the big holes are 3 1/2” wide and had to be 1 3/4” deep so I glued in two thick mahogany bushings to get the depth without blowing through the bottom.

It is 9 1/4” wide and 29” long and finished with Danish oil and satin poly.

I started out with shallow hoes with forstner bits to get the locations and then i just centered the spade bits on the holes to bore them to depth. I had to do them in the vertical mill with the table locked in both directions because these cutters are wicked! They had to be sharpened often because the only tool steel I had was O1 and torch hardened and it is not the best for cutters. When I got to the big holes I had the shoot water on the wood to cool it.

Below are some shots of the spade bits and the sanding blocks I turned to power sand the holes after cutting.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

37 comments so far

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4772 days

#1 posted 11-12-2019 03:09 AM

Wow! Really creative way to make the recesses and to sand the holes.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1108 posts in 2308 days

#2 posted 11-12-2019 03:09 AM

That’s incredible. It looks like it came out of one of that old American factories from by-gone day when we made quality games.

The spade bits are well made. Your a great tool maker.
Man you have been busy!

I sent you an email for some advice on a clamp handle I’m making. Any help would be appreciated.

-- James E McIntyre

View BusterB's profile


2300 posts in 3025 days

#3 posted 11-12-2019 03:35 AM

The project is nice Jim but the spade bits are freaking AWESOME…well done!!!

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View doubleDD's profile


10167 posts in 3059 days

#4 posted 11-12-2019 04:23 AM

Perfect job on the board game Jim. Most impressed with you bits and sanding balls. Did it sand well with the wooden sanding ball?

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View swirt's profile


6042 posts in 3988 days

#5 posted 11-12-2019 04:36 AM

Beautiful results from some very clever tooling.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BobWemm's profile


2952 posts in 2942 days

#6 posted 11-12-2019 05:28 AM

Great job.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View robscastle's profile


7752 posts in 3220 days

#7 posted 11-12-2019 06:42 AM


You know anthm27 and I have been trying to figure out how to make the recesses like the way you have done.

Just about everything I tried was not what what I wanted or became dangerous so I gave up!

Looks like you mastered it and got the process down pat good Job!!

-- Regards Rob

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile (online now)


2697 posts in 564 days

#8 posted 11-12-2019 06:56 AM

Gotta appreciate good “old” american ingenuity!

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View Woodmaster1's profile


1661 posts in 3603 days

#9 posted 11-12-2019 12:26 PM

Awesome work, you have too much time on your hands.

View RCCinNC's profile


478 posts in 1343 days

#10 posted 11-12-2019 02:21 PM

I am very impressed! I love seeing problem solving and ingenuity when creating something beautiful.
Extremely well presented and executed.
This game seems similar to Mancala (sp?), which I played, and enjoyed as a kid. It involved lots of marbles shifting from bowl to bowl in some fashion with the goal of collecting the most marbles, which were then kept in the largest end bowls.
Thanks for the memory!

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

View recycle1943's profile


5071 posts in 2638 days

#11 posted 11-12-2019 02:26 PM

innovative doesn’t adequately describe this process – great outcome

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View pottz's profile (online now)


15103 posts in 2001 days

#12 posted 11-12-2019 02:32 PM

what more can i say jim youve totally amazed me again,not only in making a beautiful board but in the tools you create to do it.fanatstic.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8311 posts in 1729 days

#13 posted 11-12-2019 02:47 PM

looks like you should have done a project post on the tools before the board as every1 wants to talk about them GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25947 posts in 4122 days

#14 posted 11-12-2019 03:37 PM

Thanks you all for the nice comments. I saw Robcastle and Anthm27 post these and had a dream of a big spade bit to cut out the holes and so I made them to try out. I try anything once.

Hi Dave. The small sanding ball fit the pocket very well and it a a great job. The big one is a bit under-size but I made it work. I did not want to turn another for 2 holes and I’ll never use it again.

Hi Rob, these cutters are extremely dangerous in a drill press. They are hand cut to a scribed line and hand sharpened so they may not be perfectly concentric. The part has to be really secure when cutting. If I ever use them again, I will not go to the depth I did. They cut well in the mill to about 75% of the depth and then it got real hard- especially the 3 1/2” one!!

Cheers, Jim

Hi RCC, this is the same board used in Mancala! I’ll have to play it at least once!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Grumpy's profile


26811 posts in 4867 days

#15 posted 11-12-2019 08:22 PM

A very nice job Jim. They are great tools you used for the hollows.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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