I am going to go out on a limb and assume you enjoy Magic the Gathering, or perhaps Pokemon, or maybe one of the ones not cursed to the shadow realm for enjoying Yu-gi-oh. Or you may be made of money and happen to partake in all 3 games. One thing that is true of all of these games are their shared expense in enjoying them.
MTG is extremely expensive and people willing shell out cash for play mats, sleeves, inner sleeves, custom dice and the alike. There are different grades of quality for all of these products and yet, the number of sturdy, tough, yet elegant deck boxes is limited. And frankly, I got a little frustrated looking at some of the products available for that.
I had a dream! A dream that one day all my brothers and sisters would have the ability to play and transport their decks properly.
Okay, jokes aside, I started playing and felt it was just due time. I don't like the plastic boxes, acrylic cases, or faux leather. It felt cheap. Considering the cost of the average commander deck is somewhere around 200 bucks to 500, well dammit I'm a barbarian! Give me some wood! Get me some glue! Some damn able tools and watch me transform it into a box worthy of a deck of ultimate evil sleeved in pink!
Where did this start:
All of this started at one point a few months back. One of my coworkers happen to be big into Magic, and I commented in a offhand way that I could make him a deck box. He showed me a couple of the nicer ones out there and I kinda scoffed at the price, and told him, "Nah, give me a a couple of weeks and the right tools and I can do it."
Of course, I had parted with all of my tools and equipment about 8 months ago (at that point,) and had to start over from scratch. It took about 8 or so different iterations and then I was able to design a box that was solid, pretty, and met the requirements that he and I had for a proper deck box.
I took the prototypes along with me to Commander Sundays and just gauged what people had to say. Sure enough, people were interested and liked the idea of it. With the small pool of other creators out there for products like this, I figured it would be worth it to throw myself out there. And thus, a barbaric concept started its existence.
Why we need a kickstart?
Honestly, the tools are expensive. I have the basics needed to start making and forming boxes at the moment and will continue to grow this project with my own funds. I love being able to design with my hands, my sweat, and to see my idea become something physical. Unsurprising, it is a fantastic experience.
We would like to start also going to Craft shows, GP's, Game Days, Pokemon Tourney's. With permission we would even attend local FNM's and play while selling. We want to help with delivering something the community will use.
What can you do?
The simple answer is to place an order for a box. I'm not a believer in giving people things that won't help them out. I would much rather deliver a product that is useful. In the past, I have made shirts (custom screen printing,) last year I made custom journals and sketchbooks, and this year I want to produce deck boxes. I want to provide a product that fellow members of the Magic the Gathering community could enjoy and that starts here with the deck boxes.
Each box will be from wood you select. They are handmade, taken from raw wood, cut, sanded, glued, and sanded yet again into the final boxes you see. The finish will be done with a boiled Linseed oil that produces a superior natural finish to each box. The oil cures into the pores of the wood and helps act as a humidor. Then the outside is buffed with a natural wax and oil combo that helps protect the wood further while allowing it to age. Our logo, my signature, and the box number will be placed on the base of the box lid so then it doesn't take away from the overall look of the box.
This is the following chart based on the woods and the size of the box. Please go based off the list for which wood you would like. The price next to the title is the amount to add to the reward when you place it for what you want. If the reward lists multiple boxes except for those that say otherwise, add that amount for each at the tier you want. And please send me a message to make sure I can record the right woods. Thank you.
Tier 1 Wood: +$15 for Standard/Commander, +$30 for Vault
- Padauk: is a hard wood. Bright reddish orange in color when finished. It can age to brownish red if exposed to direct sunlight for quite a while.
- Tiger-Flame Maple: is wood with a unique wavy, curly figure to the grain. The ripples in the grain pattern create a three dimensional effect that looks like the wood has 'curled' along the length of the board. The figure is most noticeable after a finish is applied. This is a medium figured wood, and some boards may be brown in color. This type is called Flame maple or Tiger-Flame maple due to the iridescence in the wood looking like flames or tiger stripes. Each piece is extremely unique due to this.
- Purple heart: is a hard wood. Purple in color when finished. It can age brown in some portions overtime, however it retains it purple color quite well. It is a very heavy, dense wood. In fact, it is one of the densest woods I happen to use
Tier 2 Woods: +$10 for Standard/Commander, +$20 for Vault
- Walnut: is a dark colored wood.Honestly, it is a very beautiful, rich looking wood. The deep brownish, black tones in it are striking against lighter backgrounds or surfaces. It is hardy, durable, and the standard of more than a few wood projects.
Tier 3 Woods: +$5 for Standard/Commander, +$10 for Vault
- Butternut: Sometimes called White Walnut, Butternut is indeed closely related to Black Walnut. While the difference is not black and white, the wood of Butternut is considerably lighter-colored than Black Walnut, as well as being very soft and lightweight. It also tends to have some iridescence to it.
- Cherry: is a hard wood which finishes to a nice reddish color that deepens with age. There is a slight pink tone to it sometimes and it tends to feature tight swirls in the grain similar to Bird's Eye Maple. Yet it is far less evident.
Tier 4 Woods: No change in base price
- Aromatic Cedar: has a straight grain, usually with knots present. Has a very fine texture with closed pores. Also called Eastern Red Cedar, or simply Red Cedar. It is a great go to wood with an amazing smell. The knots and patterning is beautiful. Chances are some of my Aromatic Cedar may show signs of it being Edge Glued. So there may be some very striking lines across the wood and grain. Sap wood, which is pale white, is strewn with the purple/reddish wood.
- Poplar: It is often seen as a relatively simple wood. Yet, it has a lot of complexity. I have seen sheets with iridescence to them as well as sheets with sap wood blending into old growth. Some of the wood tends to look almost green due to the mixing of sap wood and heartwood.
- Alder: is soft wood sometimes with knots present. Alder darkens a good bit when a finish is applied and looks similar to Cherry. Yet it can stand out on its own due to the gnarls of the knots present.The grain also seems chaotic versus Cherry's fine lines.
Deck Vault Versus Deck Box
So we have 3 sizes of boxes as of the moment. I can take custom requests for larger or smaller vaults, however that would all be handled as a custom commission which is available on my Etsy. However, if you just want a box to hit the ground running with, the 3 sizes are pretty easy.
- This is our flagship box. What I got started making. The Commander deck vault will hold 115 cards. That's 100 cards double sleeved with additional room for a small divider and tokens. It is a tight fit, but a better one for the deck. These will slide easily into a bag and my bag can hold 10 of these with room for a bike chain, play mat, and dice bag.
- The Standard is a smaller version of the Commander box. It seems a little odd at first due to the stubby sides, however it too is designed for double sleeve. It holds 80 cards inside of it quite well. Perfect for hitting up an FNM or GP. I honestly can say they are small enough to slide into a pocket if you don't have to worry about your phone.
The Deck Vaults:
- These are fully custom made. Each one features expanded sides for toughness, a smooth sliding lid that won't out during transport, beveled edges to make sure it doesn't catch along things in your bag. Inside, they feature wooden dividers that are slotted to keep your decks separate. There is also a small area at the back of the box for dice and counters. You can slide the lid forward enough to expose it and dump out the contents of just that section.
- They can be stored vertically or horizontally. They are about a foot long can hold easily 3 double sleeved commander decks or if you prefer it could hold up to 4 if you were to remove the divider and opt for single sleeve.
- If you want a cube, or custom cut so that it can hold standard decks, just contact me and we can discuss the additional work needed to make yourself a petite cube or standard/modern arsenal. For over sized deck vaults, feel free to contact me on my Etsy for custom works which will be done via commissions.
Update #2: Stretch goals!
$1800 - Dividers
Okay, we broke $1800 so I have opened up for people to get custom inserts for the small deck boxes for commander or standard. These will give you a nice divide between the mainboard and side board in standard decks. Or a split between the commander and tokens versus the 99. These are an additional $4 dollars a piece with each tier of wood above it costing an additional dollar. Feel free to add on the difference to your reward if you would like this for the box you have backed.
Also, these are very thin. They are about 1/16th of an inch thick. That means they are a little flexible and could break if mishandled. Inside the box, they should be just fine. I just don't recommend flicking them into the guy who may have just cracked the worst pun you have ever heard. He will receive his proper punishment in time.
$3000 - Custom engravings.
If we manage to raise $3000 or close enough to it, I will allow for people to adjust and request custom CNC work on the boxes. This will range from names, tags, and simple art work. We will also be designing a set of the mana symbols and clan insignia from Magic The Gathering. This does mean there may be a small delay as to when everything will ship if you request custom CNC work just to allow for us to get everything perfect prior to shipping. Currently we are not offering custom inlay or resin filling for the designs but are considering the best way to potentially do that.
The pricing will go based off of the designs desired. They will start at $15 and go up to $50. Hopefully we manage to break $3000 and we can offer this to everyone as soon as possible.
Okay! So we finally hit $3000 and I am proud to be able to offer custom engravings on the boxes from here out. They will be CNC milled into the wood and then cleaned up by hand. Each one will be done custom to each backer's liking (for those who want the engravings done.) Now, you can have your name or favorite commander name milled directly into the box or vault if you would like.
A lot of the fine tuning on what can be done and how will be determined once I have the CNC machine. Then we can determine the amount of error in it, the potential give needed, and the sizes we can offer on each product. For the moment, it is quite variable upon that. However, I can guarantee the following.
First, if you want your name engraved or any type of basic phrase engraved into the box, we should be able to go ahead and fulfill that. We will be offering about 6 different fonts in a couple of basic sizes. We wont fill end to end and can mill any side you would like. That includes the base or top of the box. We will restrict some of what is engraved (sorry, I know how people can be. Its for everyone's good.)
Symbols and Art
Second, we will be offering custom symbols, logos, and art. Now everything engraved has to be relatively simplified due to the fact that it is being etched and engraved into the wood. That means we wont be carving perfect reliefs of Shadowmoore demi-gods into the surfaces of the boxes, however we should be able to do mana/energy symbols. We will be offering insignia, clan, guild, shard, or gym symbols into the boxes. There may be some minor alterations made to accommodate the physical path the router must take, but it shouldn't be noticeable.
Also, we can look at doing custom art work on a limited basis and each piece will require communications to ensure our needs are met. The artwork may need extensive work inorder to ensure it will work inside the confines of what the CNC can do. I recommend basic black/white or positive/negative relief work for this. I will work with each backer for this every step of the way.
Finally, we will be offering to fill in the engraved area with resin that will create a more visible distinction between the wood and CNC milled areas. This can look quite dramatic or be blended enough to give just the slight pop needed. We will engrave, fill, cure, then plane each piece ensuring a perfectly smooth and level look to it. We will be offering the resin in a set of basic colors as well as clear. We can also discuss mixing it with sawdust of other woods to give it the same 2 tone look.
The more dramatic end is the fact that we will be offering swirls and photoluminescent versions. The swirl can consist of a few different colors. You get to choose which colors and then we will do a very quick set of passes and swirls in the resin to give it a marbled look. This will look best on logos or artwork. Where as photoluminescent is a glowing resin. This resin may look slightly normal under daylight conditions or at first, but given a little light and taken inside... It will glow and shine. We will be offering this in a few different colors and can be quite a standout from the norm. This is a perfect fit for any infect player hoping to show the table exactly what will be dooming them in due time. (Warning, we are not responsible for any hate you get for playing infect nor do we encourage you. We just want the infection in you to be reflected.)
- +$15 - basic text
- +$20 - custom font/writing (may be altered for CNC pathing)
- +$25 - basic symbols or insignia
- +$30 - custom symbol or insignia
- +$35 - custom logo (may be altered for CNC pathing)
- +$40 - custom art (may be altered for CNC pathing,) or symbol and text.
- +$10 for basic colored resin inlay
- +$15 for swirled or photoluminescent (glowing)
Risks and challenges
As far as tools, wood sourcing, or much of the details of how we will accomplish this, it has been set in stone. There aren't that many risks that are being undertaken. If anything, the largest challenge that may come up, is in regards to how much we may sell. The boxes are relatively easy to make and is scales well. The question is if we sell 100 boxes or if we manage to sell more than 250. Or possibly a 1000. If that happens, the most that will change is the delivery date. As we sell more boxes, I will have to adjust the shipping date. The goal is to hopefully ship everything during April. Absolute worst case scenario would be having to ship product out past that, however that would require selling far more than we had ever planned upon.
Also, the resident cat may try to fit herself into every single box... But that should be easy to take care of. She is easily distracted.
- (34 days)