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wooden board games

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Lee
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Has anyone considered making their own game out of wood or someone else making their game out of wood instead of cardboard? I have been considering making my 11" round and possibly my 20" round board games out of wood. The things that I am concerned about is bulkiness, warpage, price difference(compared to cardboard) and whether wood games are as popular as cardboard. Does anyone have any previous experience in dealing with this situation?

Thanks again

Lee

Anonymous
wooden board games

There have been others here who have used wood or other hardware store materials for making their boards with varying degrees of success. A quick search should bring them up.

I haven't used it myself. I personally prefer to work with chipboard or other board types for ease of cutting and finishing. Boards can be cut with an exacto, a metal straight edge and a little patience. Wood requires more machinery, skill and a degree of finishing to make it work.

The end product can be very professional and pleasing either way, though a degree of skill and practice is required in either case.

OrlandoPat
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Joined: 10/16/2008
Sure, I've some experience with wooden board games...

Our best selling game (Siegestones) is a wooden board game. So... I can give you some things to be aware of:

1) Wooden games get a higher price - but not much higher. The materials have to fit the concept. For example, would you pay more for a wooden version of checkers than for a cardboard version? What about Chess?

2) Wood = heavy. I realize that shipping costs seem trivial, but they really will be a drag on your sales.

3) It is much more difficult to find good manufacturers of wooden board. When we did our first run, I had a terrible time finding anyone that could do what I wanted - until I tried a company that makes award plaques. (unfortunately, I can't remember their name right now, but as soon as I do, I'll post it.) In any case, with that one notable exception my experience with producers of wooden game parts was ridiculously negative - missed deadlines, changing prices, incorrect cuts, and so forth.

4) Wood doesn't always look good. Do research before getting going. For example, we had one manufacturer who tried to stain the wood instead of using a clear lacquer. Big mistake. The boards were sticky and rough at the same time.

5) Warpage isn't a huge problem. The wood in our boards actually is layered, with the grain facing a different direction in each layer. This prevents any serious warping and gives you an interesting look when you look at the "edge" of the board.

6) Getting the image on the board (which I thought would be very difficult) is actually trivial for the manufacturers. It's just screened on. I suppose you could burn (or carve) it on the board if you wanted a more rugged look, but I don't know how expensive that would be.

As you can tell, all my experience is from the point of view of working with manufacturers to produce a fairly large number of boards. If you're looking at doing the woodworking yourself... that I can't help you with.

- Pat

Lee
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Joined: 12/31/1969
wooden board games

OrlandoPat

Nice game design! I am considering making my 11" round wood games myself but will probably have someone put the colors on it. Where did you go to have your design screened onto the board?

Thanks for all of the great info.

Lee

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