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Custom wooden piece manufacturers

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lucasAB
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I am looking for a manufacturer(in the US, or in another country) that can create for our company a custom wooden piece, and produce large quantities of it. I was wondering if any of you have worked with/know of any manufacturers that could help us with our production. Thank you!

gameprinter
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Lorenz?

http://www.lorenz-spiele.de/

That's the last domain used when I got an email from Lorenz Contimba. Supposedly, the splash page has an English option, but it shoots by so fast that you end up in the German site (with no English option). Also, the Lorenz part of the site looks unfinished.

Best I can do for now!

lucasAB
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Just contacted them

I just contacted them in German. I was able to translate their site, so I was able to e-mail them. I would rather use a company based in the US, or possibily China. Germany seems pretty far away, and prices are expensive. Although with expensive prices come good quality, especially from Germany. I should get a reply in a couple days, and will let you know what they say. If any of you have any company suggestions, please let me know!

Lucas

gameprinter
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US Wood

Short answer: Fat chance! :) I've found a ton of places that do wood knobs and such, but no one who can do wood game parts like in Euro games. Even here in West Michigan, wood working capital of the universe (Herman Miller, Hon, and 2 other major office furniture companies are here because of the long tradition of wood working), it's impossible to find someone who can do colored game pieces. I've talked to a couple of companies about doing custom runs and the problem has been that their paint sprayers will knock the small pieces off of the rack.

We've sourced wood from China (well, Taiwan) before and had decent luck. I didn't like their coloring as much, but quality wise, it was good. It was before my tenure here though, so I'm not sure what the company was that did it.

bluesea
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gameprinter wrote:Short

gameprinter wrote:
Short answer: Fat chance! :) I've found a ton of places that do wood knobs and such, but no one who can do wood game parts like in Euro games. Even here in West Michigan, wood working capital of the universe (Herman Miller, Hon, and 2 other major office furniture companies are here because of the long tradition of wood working), it's impossible to find someone who can do colored game pieces. I've talked to a couple of companies about doing custom runs and the problem has been that their paint sprayers will knock the small pieces off of the rack.

We've sourced wood from China (well, Taiwan) before and had decent luck. I didn't like their coloring as much, but quality wise, it was good. It was before my tenure here though, so I'm not sure what the company was that did it.

Have you looked into manufacturers of golf tees? Are there any still in the US or Canada? I would think that they have the needed technology. The tees are colored in spinning drums, not sprayed on a rack. Kinda like big mortar mixers, in fact I've always thought that a mortar mixer would work just fine for this purpose of mass production. Pour in the cubes, spin 'em around for a bit to soften the edges. Take them out, sift and then put them in a dedicated mixer for the appropriate color. Golf tees can even be stamped, so maybe there could be some application of that technology as well.

There was a "How It's Made" episode on golf tees that you can probably find on you tube.

gameprinter
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Interesting.

I'll have a whack at it the next time the subject comes up, but my guess is that golf tee stampers are set up to make golf tees only - by the zillions. If I call and ask for 1000 to 5000 sets of bagged game pieces, they're likely to come back with a price that's so high I might was well go to Germany or wait 4 months for parts from China.

Still... one of my competitive advantages is that I can get the games done faster than overseas, so it's well worth looking into. Thanks for the tip!

bluesea
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FYI, here is the episode I

FYI, here is the episode I was referring to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nucdgtSvWYY

Even if you can get a company to cut the cubes or turn the paws, the golf tee company might be willing to batch paint the pieces for you in between runs. They might see that this could be a market well worth tapping into. There really isn't a need for additional infrastructure investment; it's very much an allied production. And just think about it: Neon green and bright orange cubes! Great for a game about nuclear waste! ;)

Zzzzz
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(No subject)

tony5518
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Ningbo Lijia Industry

Wooden pieces need be produced by professional wooden piece factory. Wood furniture factory can not well produce wood game tokens becasue different facilities, organization, technic, and cost control.
Wooden pieces need be made of solid wood such as oad wood, beech wood. It's normal forming technic should be wood turning, wood miling cut, and more, different shape will be a little different forming process.

Ningbo Lijia Industry Co., Ltd.
www.cnlijia.com.cn
sales1 (at) cnlijia.com.cn

Thank you

SiddGames
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Blue Panther?

http://www.bluepantherllc.com/Prototypes.htm

IIRC, someone from Blue Panther used to hang around BGDF -- not sure if I've seen him/her post here since the site migration. I think they do all sorts of stuff with wooden bits.

gameprinter
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Blue Panther

Someone from BP has posted before, but my impression from their site was that they specialized in laser cutting/engraving. They seem to have some colored dice cubes, but dice size (15mm+) is probably too big for a lot of purposes. Lasers can cut thin wood very well, but don't do as well with thick Euro-style pieces. Also, lasers (in my limited experience) don't scale well because, although there is very little set up, they're generally fairly slow to produce a piece.

Caveat: Nothing against laser cutting! We use a laser company to do custom plastic/wood/paper parts for us. I love their work, but the technology has limits.

bluepantherllc
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Custom Wooden Pieces

Since the site migration, the site protection is better than my eyes can handle :-)

We do make wooden bits, we do have a laser engraver, we also have a few other woodworking tools and sources, so there are many possibilities. As for wooden cubes - we can make them, but the painting process is not 100% repeatable - you could order 100 red cubes and the cubes would all be red, but would not look 100% the same on each piece on each face - the underlying material is the main culprit. We can also do dice of almost any size - just finished up a very challenging train game with high detail and multicolor dice.

However, we are located in the US, and almost all of our sources are US, so we can turnaround projects pretty quickly.

Steve Jones
Blue Panther LLC
We would be

bluepantherllc
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Specialties

It's true we make games that are primarily laser engraved wood bits. However, a fair amount of custom prototyping has been coming our way of late.

We have developed a process that allows us to make gameboards - on plywood, such as Nepal. This method should also be available for chipboard shortly, and likely with even better registration.

I'm interested in the comment on scaling up. It's true that when it comes to high volume, a laser would not be cost-competitive. But at lower volumes for game bits or complete games, the unit cost is pretty decent. On gamebits that are unique shapes, the cost of a mold or printer setup is always going to make us look good until you amortize the tooling.

Steve Jones
Blue Panther LLC

coco
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Chipboard

bluepantherllc wrote:
This method should also be available for chipboard shortly, and likely with even better registration.

Really??? Keep me informed, Steve! :-)

Néstor

gameprinter
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bluepantherllc wrote:On

bluepantherllc wrote:
On gamebits that are unique shapes, the cost of a mold or printer setup is always going to make us look good until you amortize the tooling.

Steve-
Thanks for all the info! As I wrote, I don't have a ton of experience with lasers. I'll have to give you a call in the near future to discuss some work. Right now I have to track down someone who can do low volume 3D resin casting on the cheap!

I definitely agree with your statement about tooling. On large runs, you can amortize the mold/tool costs over enough units to make a custom mold/tool worthwhile. We see this all the time with Monopoly game pieces. Pewter has a low mold cost, but a high unit price. Zinc, on the other hand has a high mold cost, but a low unit price. Somewhere between 10 and 15 thousand games worth of Monopoly pieces, zinc gets cheaper than pewter despite the higher mold cost. Now that pewter has soared to over $12/lb I may have to revisit that equation, but the principal truth is that low setup cost with higher unit price is usually the best deal on smaller runs.

coco
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Me too!

gameprinter wrote:
Right now I have to track down someone who can do low volume 3D resin casting on the cheap!

Me too! Keep us informed, please! :-))

Néstor

gameprinter
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coco wrote:gameprinter

coco wrote:
gameprinter wrote:
Right now I have to track down someone who can do low volume 3D resin casting on the cheap!

Me too! Keep us informed, please! :-))

Néstor

Result: Inconclusive. The customer told me not to worry about it.

bluesea
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This was posted to the Geek

This was posted to the Geek today. It is relevant to this thread so I'll cross link it:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/2665565#2665565

geremy
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I am interested in this kind

I am interested in this kind of work, I am making real efforts to build unique office tables, I have an unique design in mind and I could use some help with this. Can you recommend me a manufacturer for what I need?

---
Edit: Removed suspect link. This member has only posted twice, and both posts looked suspiciously like spam attempts. -seo

johannabartley (not verified)
You are right about these

You are right about these office furniture companies and the quality of their work and if these companies don't get specialized in building small parts like pieces for board games, there's not even one chance in a million to get them done in a furniture factory. My grandfather likes to play with wood and carves all sort of weird enjoyable figures but that's just a hobby. We need some sort of factory specialized on doing this. I'm tired of little plastic houses and cones. I'd prefer wood as well.

edit: removed suspicious link. User seems to be a spammer. I didn't delete the post just in case anyone posted a reply to this post -seo

gameprinter
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Wood bits from non-wood bits wood companies

Being located in West Michigan, I tried several times to get one of the MANY wood companies around here to do something like 10mm wood cubes. The problem was that they couldn't paint the pieces. Their sprayers would blow the cubes around, so they couldn't do them. You can get unpainted wood pretty darn cheap, but painted wood is going to be China or Germany as far as I can tell. (That said, I think boardgamebits.com has them in small qtys).

lucasAB
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Really? 10mm unpainted wooden cubes for cheap?

Where could I get unpainted 10mm wooden cubes? I've looked, and have been unable to find them. If you can get them darn cheap, I would like to get some. I'm working on a project for a conference coming up in June and might be able to use 1000+ wooden cubes for self-publishing a game. Thanks!

maydaygames
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If you are looking to get 10

If you are looking to get 10 mm wooden cubes in large quantities or custom tokens in large quantities we can certainly help. Email to maydaygames@gmail.com. We do a lot of those, check them out at www.maydaygames.com.

Seth

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maydaygames wrote:If you are

maydaygames wrote:
If you are looking to get 10 mm wooden cubes in large quantities or custom tokens in large quantities we can certainly help. Email to maydaygames@gmail.com. We do a lot of those, check them out at www.maydaygames.com.

Seth


We now have a links section sort of going in my how-to, want this up there?

maydaygames
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Yes please do put it up

Yes please do put it up there! Thanks.

We are doing some 10 MM cubes now and will have them available in about a month. Anyone wanting some please email to maydaygames.com. Thanks!

maydaygames
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Our 10 MM wooden cubes came

Our 10 MM wooden cubes came in today, we have about 5,000 of them left. We can also do custom wooden token components for those who are interested.

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