Check Out Some Reviews:
Also Seen On:
Shut Up and Sit Down: http://www.shutupandsitdown.com/blog/post/games-news-140915/
Table Top Gaming News: http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/friday-snippets-26/
Dice Tower News http://www.dicetowernews.com/tag/bitcrates
Components (aka Bits) have become a huge part of modern board game play. Each game though pose the same question -- how do you fit all these components on the table? BitCrates were built to answer just that.
BitCrates are a carefully designed, handcrafted set of boxes made from hardwood and aluminum. They are meant to help contain, pass and save space on your gaming table while playing the board game.
My wife and I got into board gaming when we were first married and have been hooked ever since. One of our favorite things to do is to get a couple friends together, make up a buffet of food and just play board game after board game late into the night. We noticed though that the majority of board games have one major flaw, component clutter. You have seen it before…..
Its a real problem for a lot of games. I love components as much as the next guy, they add a lot to game play but piles on the table get old and messy fast. BitCrates make component banks easy
Before BitCrates we tried to the typical solution, cereal bowls….
This worked for awhile until we started encountering games with more components (ahem Caverna), requiring more cereal bowls and soon the gaming table was more crowded than ever. Cereal bowls made the components easy to pass from gamer to gamer but just took up way too much room. BitCrates have a small footprint allowing for large banks for components.
After cereal bowls tried a the next most obvious solution… toddler’s cereal bowls.
They were smaller so it definitely helps the space on the game table and we could also pass components easily but I can’t tell you how many times I clipped the edge of one of those blasted round bowls and little pieces went flying.
Perhaps I am a klutz, but I have to believe I am not the only person out there who has spent time on their hands and knees trying to track down little bit blocks . My klutzy nature aside, I really didn’t like that my trendy looking game now looked like a kids snack table.
There has to be a better way, hence why we created BitCrates
BitCrates were designed with shape and size in mind. There is only so much space on most tables and after placing the game board out and leaving space for each player to use there isn’t a lot left for beefy component banks or player piles.
We created BitCrates to nestle flush next to each other, unlike cereal bowls which flare out at the top and take unnecessary room. BitCrates have straight flat sides, leaving maximum room possible on the gaming table.
The size of a single BitCrate is no accident, it was sized to fit the average component pile into one crate.
Pro Tip: You may find you now have extra room on your table, so one thing we found we like to do with BitCrates are actually split the components in half and create a BitCrate bank for each end of the table. Avoiding the ever annoying passing or arm reaching
Remember when I confessed to you about being a klutz? Well that was no lie and hopefully you won’t hold it over my head if we meet some time but because of it stability was a key design feature.
BitCrates are incredibly stable and short of a side swipe boot off the table very difficult to accidentally tip over.
We wanted something that looked as good as the games we were playing, and made a statement on the gaming table. MDF although cheap just wasn’t a good look and didn’t give us the durability we wanted for years and years of game play. Molded plastic gave us the shape we wanted but couldn’t hold to the stability tests and let’s face it molded plastic doesn’t look great.
We landed on a mix of brushed aluminum and the hardwood Walnut. Not only did it give us a great industrial look but it is durable for continual use and had the weight to stay on the table.
The 4 SET OF BITCRATES is available with the option of a mini storage box and is great for libraries with only light games like Takenoko and Galaxy Trucker. 4 BitCrates will give you enough bins to hold player pieces in most games or create a small component bank.
The APPRENTICE SET comes with 8 BitCrates and a full size storage box, it is definitely the one we got the best feedback on. Not only can 8 service all your light games but with 8 you will find you have enough Crates for almost any game you come across. 8 allows you to have large component banks in games such as Stone Age, Lords of Waterdeep, and Five Tribes. It also allows you to have both player bins and component banks like you would need in Alien Frontiers
The MASTER SET which has 16 BitCrates and an extra large storage box was created for bigger games like Caverna, Le Havre or Scoville. Also you will love having the 16 set at your next game night or tournament where you need BitCrates at multiple tables.
We designed BitCrates to solve a problem we found on our own game table but we are so excited to bring BitCrates to your game table. Just one set of BitCrates can be used with game after game. Back this project by clicking the green button in the top right and get a set of BitCrates to enhance the game play of your board games.
(if you are interested in our manufacturing process read below - and then click the green back this project button)
Each Crate and storage box is handcrafted in our woodworking shop. Our process is hands on from step one
We start by selecting the raw walnut boards from a local lumber yard. We then mill them down in our shop to the right thickness.
From there we take the wood to the CNC machine and cut each end cap to the precise size and shape. The CNC allows us to have controlled and repeatable accuracy making sure each set of bins looks and feels cohesive.
We then cut down an architectural aluminum to form the channel that will hold the bits. Each cut on the aluminum must be cleaned and smoothed in order to fit closely and tightly in the wooden end cap. Once the aluminum is cleaned we put the brushed texture finish inside and out.
Lastly the finish work. Each crate gets put together and then lacquered. The lacquer takes time to do because it has to be done in coats and one side at a time, so drying time is a little tedious but it is definitely worth it. It gives it a great smooth feel and crisp polished look that brings out the unique grain in each piece of walnut. It also protects the wood and the aluminum from scratches.
Finally they are ready to be packaged and shipped out the door to all of our awesome backers!
If you aren't a backer yet what are you waiting for? Click the green button and your game library will thank you
Risks and challenges
There are challenges with any project but we have tried to minimize risk in every way we can. Most of the risk for this project comes from sourcing the materials.
It took us a little while but we finally found a supplier with the right grade and size of aluminum we need. There is always the risk being some what limited in suppliers but we feel confident with the options we found.
Another risk we have found is by using walnut instead of MDF we have a lot of variance from piece to piece. This gives us a great look but we have to avoid knots and cracks, which is definitely do-able but increases our waste which is hard to calculate for. This is a risk we are prepared to eat but it is a risk we have discussed for this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)