The Masonic Chess Set, Freemason's Chess by Jim Arnold

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Project by JimArnoldChess posted 01-04-2014 11:39 AM 16436 views 16 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Masonic Chess Set, Freemason’s chess by Jim Arnold. This one was a long time bringing to life. 18 months from the initial concept to having it finished. Just been way to busy. I made it to the top 3 pages in google for ‘chess sets’ along with page one listings a several niche keyword categories and I have been working 7 days a week for nearly three years now. Business is incredibly good, but what has happened is that I make many of the same sets over and over and over, not complaining because this is what I do for a living and I remember the slow times all to well, I just don’t get the chance to make many new designs anymore. I have several in the worlks at the moment and this is one of those.

The idea was to pay tribute to the Freemason’s. There are so many symbols and buildings and ideas on this subject I think I could make a half dozen sets and not repeat any of the pieces in any of them. For this set I used the 32nd degree Scottish rite symbol for the King. Its also the degree attained by the set’s owner. The for the queen the Square and Compass, THE inconic organization symbol for the Freemason’s. the bishops are the column, knights are the Ark of the Covenant, (which you may remember from “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the lost Ark”). On top of the Ark are kneeling praying Angels with their wingtips touching. The rooks are replicas of the Masonic Temple in Washington, DC. For the pawns…the ancient ‘level’.

For the board wanted to do something special, so I made a series of columns along all four sides. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when i finished the set the lineup of pieces looked like a city skyline to me in person, and others have said they get a feeling ‘wings from several of the pieces. I really like this one. When the owner saw this one on Christmas Day, he reeled off a string of obscenities that I can’t publish here…he was very happy with his gift.

Next week, I’ll post another set, the First Nation’s Set, The Great Sioux Tribe versus the Great Crow Tribe which I am finally finishing for the 2014 Calgary Stampede Art auction…taken me three years to finish that one.

Still making custom themed chess sets to match the desires of my customers, but going to try and transition a little bit towards making my own ideas again, I got a ton of them waiting to come out of my head. The Heaven versus Hell set is underway, a Carousel set complete with tent and horses on pole for pawns that move up and down…all kinds of strange ideas, and as always, very playable chess sets. Thanks everybody!



19 comments so far

View jeffswildwood's profile


4717 posts in 2893 days

#1 posted 01-04-2014 12:57 PM

Making my own chess set has always been a dream of mine. This set is well beyond anything I could even imagine. The skill is just amazing. Really like the board, with the columns it just sets this off. Truly amazing.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Spoontaneous's profile


1338 posts in 4245 days

#2 posted 01-04-2014 01:00 PM

Jim ~ I love your creativity…. and workmanship. This particular one has to appeal to all the architects out there….. and well, to us folk that aren’t architects but appreciate structural design.

But I gotta tell you….. there is no surprise that you are overloaded with orders. Your work is so unique and along with your craftsmanship… why wouldn’t there be a line to your door? Also, I know how many hours you have invested in making yourself ‘visible’ Great job! You are an inspiration to me.

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

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 4658 days

#3 posted 01-04-2014 01:23 PM

Bravo Zulu brother!

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Roger's profile


21031 posts in 3720 days

#4 posted 01-04-2014 01:28 PM

Super awesome!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Doe's profile


1437 posts in 3746 days

#5 posted 01-04-2014 01:39 PM

Wow, another amazing set. Congratulations on your booming business, and I hope you get some spare time for what you want to do.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4204 days

#6 posted 01-04-2014 01:53 PM

I see your still up to your old games LOL another nice one for the archives, saweeeeeeeeet.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View hunter71's profile


3538 posts in 4102 days

#7 posted 01-04-2014 01:58 PM

Wow, great set. I am glad my computer isn’t like that though, I think it would take some getting use to.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3208 days

#8 posted 01-04-2014 02:23 PM

Great creativity/design and fabulous constructuion—outstanding in all respects.

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

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3591 days

#9 posted 01-04-2014 03:53 PM


what a cool idea!

”The Heaven versus Hell set is underway”

I hope the great spaghetti monster in the sky will make an appearance. He could look like a giant octopus covering the castle throwing meatballs….or not.

uh oh…mind is wandering

will this be a Christian themed board or a battle of the Gods of the universe theme? Ha!
Jesus would be King, Mother nature would be queen, the new pope would be a bishop, Mohamed would be the Arabian horse, and Jehovah’s Witnesses would be the pawns ….HA! nice dig.

sorry, I got carried away.

View hoss12992's profile


4177 posts in 2808 days

#10 posted 01-04-2014 06:07 PM

Absolutely AMAZING! Your skill, creativity and craftsmanship are 2nd to none! Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3454 days

#11 posted 01-04-2014 07:29 PM

That is amazing! Well done.

-- I never finish anyth

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14187 posts in 4898 days

#12 posted 01-04-2014 11:21 PM

one of my favorites

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4219 days

#13 posted 01-05-2014 01:33 AM

wow, this is so awesome, i can see players and more sitting at the table just waiting for there chance to play on this board , was this a commision or did you make it to tease someone to buy it, i love your carving…its something i want to do.maybe someday..until then ill enjoy seeing your work….

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

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4236 posts in 4024 days

#14 posted 01-05-2014 03:18 AM

This chess set is absolutely amazing! Is this hand carved?

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View clieb91's profile


4083 posts in 4850 days

#15 posted 01-05-2014 03:45 AM

Jim, Another AWESOME looking set. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing some of the new sets.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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