Portable Shogi Board

Here is how to make a portable shogi board!

Shogi is very similar to Chess. Chinese Chess, Western Chess, Shogi, and several other chesslike games most likely came from an original version of Chess in India. Since then, a version of the Indian Chess traveled from India to Han-Dynasty China, to Japan, and this game, Shogi, is the result. Like Chess, you try to checkmate the opponent's king. The things that makes Shogi so great though, are drops and promotions. In Shogi, instead of killing pieces, they are captured, and you can place them back on the board to work for you. It is believed this is because in 16th century Japan, mercenary groups would be captured, and could switch loyalties to avoid execution. In addition, promotion is vaguely similar to that of chess. When a piece reaches the back third of the board, it can promote.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Here Are the Materials:

Materials Required:

Two wooden 12in x 10in boards. Can be any thickness, I used 1/2in, but 1/4in to 3/4in should work splendid.

Two wooden 12in x 1in x 1in dowels.

Two wooden 8in x 1in x 1in dowels.

4 small blocks of scrap wood under 1in thick thickness.

Wood Glue

Materials Optional:

Screws: If you really want it extra secure. I felt like I just needed wood glue, but if you want nails, go ahead.

Magnets: I plan on sinking some small magnets into the sides, to make a magnetic clamp for the board, so the pieces and stuff don't fall out.




Clamps: I suppose you can use books... I used to use a stack of textbooks, but ever since I got the C-clamps, my projects seemed stronger and better...

Sandpaper: Sometimes things don't fit right, and other times you might get splinters...

Step 2: Step 1: Attach the Sides

Attach the sides to 1 wood board.

Start with 12 inch long side, then go to the other one. Afterward, fit in the 8 inch ones between. Make sure they are flush to the board. If the 8 inch ones do not fit, sand them down, or add wood glue/wood filler.

Step 3: Step 2: Attach the Scrap

Attach the scrap blocks 1 inch offset from the corners. That way, when the lid is put on, the lid won't move. It will jiggle, depending on how well you do it.

Step 4: Step 3: Finish

In whichever logical order, add the grid, the varnish, the markings, the woodstain, or whatever you want to the board. Remember, the shogi board is 9x9, but the surface is 12in x 10in. I offset mine by 1/2in, and I made my rectangles 1in x 1.22in. If you want to, you can also carve in the lines. I am pretty new to woodworking, so I chose not to. A varnish would also be a good idea at the end.

Step 5: Optional Stuff and Extras

I am planning to sink some mini circular magnets into the lid and the base, so I can make a magnetic board.

For you shogi pieces, in America, it is probably a good idea to have a set of westernized pieces. This can be from making symbols, to just putting letter abbreviations. I admit, part of the reason for doing this would be laziness, but I also didn't want my opponents to spend forever trying to memorize the pieces.

Also, I don't know how to make wedge-shaped wood, and I am not really patient enough to make my pieces out of wood, seeing as how an x-acto knife and a pocket knife would take forever, a hacksaw would be overkill, and I don't have a bandsaw...

Step 6: Step 4: Play Shogi!

Play it!

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest
    • Maps Challenge

      Maps Challenge

    15 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    In order to keep track of which troops are whose you can drill a hole in the front to put a cock-tail flag through. Make sure that you can remove the flag to switch sides.

    6 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I may make an 'ibl about customizing your pieces, making little flags in them to identify them just for fun.. I plan to make the flags in a design like the flags that Samurai Cavalry were depicted to have.. Anyone think that would be a nice idea?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    and it's been done! And entered into the Epilog Contest xD



    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Well, when you play it, you realize which pieces you have based on the orientation, all people I have played against keep it facing their forward, even if it is their first time.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I made an 'ible about creating a Shogi board cheap and easy, if anyone wants to try the game before making this awesome board..



    8 years ago on Step 5

    what did you make your pieces out of?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    there is an amazing tutorial on youtube just type in shogi he teaches you a lot of moves and strategies too


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work, i suggest adding a short description of what the game is about in the intro, just for people that have no idea. (like me)

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Request granted, I was up late when making this instructable anyways.