Etsy - hit or miss

raminux

Thank you all for the feedback. Just a note: for some reasons, the spam filter on this forum detects me as spammer, mutes me and deletes my messages. Then I have to contact the site administrators to have me unmuted. Considering I have only posted messages to this particular threat on the forum  which has been my only activity on chess.com, I am wondering if someone might know why this is happening? (administrators don't know why!).

  The finish on the RCM board is super smooth. There is an explanation about the tone duality: it is possible that the board has been sitting under daylight for a while while its edges were covered with something for protection hence the inner part has turned yellow while the edges have remained pale.

  I have a strong preference for a one piece board so the stack board won't be my choice. Besides, it is way beyond the budget I want to allocate to a chess board. I have contacted some vendors on Etsy to place an order for another one. I have even contacted Brad once again. I wrote him that I am still interested if he has a board without significant misalignment like the one that is being shown here. Let's see who will get back to me first.

loubalch

Here are some pictures of three boards I got from Bill's Woodpile a few years back. Bill had just begun making chessboards back then. These were all made to my specifications -- borderless, with wood grain running horizontally and matched as it flowed across each rank. I'm pleased with all three boards and feel they compare very favorably with my classic Drueke board below.

2" Drueke

2.5" Padauk and Northern Ash

2.125" Bloodwood and Maple

2" Bloodwood and Northern Ash

And the last and definitely the least, the 2.375" board I bought from Brad at the Colorado Woodworker. The problems were many, I asked for a horizontal grain structure, but that side of the board was so bad I had to use the other side. Can you guess the biggest problem from the pics below?

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Needless to say, I didn't go back for seconds! 

Chip

Crack

Burn #1

Burn #2

And the piece de resistance, the WARP.

 

MCH818
loubalch wrote:

Here are some pictures of three boards I got from Bill's Woodpile a few years back. Bill had just begun making chessboards back then. These were all made to my specifications -- borderless, with wood grain running horizontally and matched as it flowed across each rank. I'm pleased with all three boards and feel they compare very favorably with my classic Drueke board below.

2" Drueke

 

2.5" Padauk and Northern Ash

2.125" Bloodwood and Maple

 

2" Bloodwood and Northern Ash

 

And the last and definitely the least, the 2.375" board I bought from Brad at the Colorado Woodworker. The problems were many, I asked for a horizontal grain structure, but that side of the board was so bad I had to use the other side. Can you guess the biggest problem from the pics below?

"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Needless to say, I didn't go back for seconds! 

Chip

Crack

 

Burn #1

 

Burn #2

 

And the piece de resistance, the WARP.

 

 

Ouch... Your CWW board was definitely worse than mine. I don't blame you for not wanting to get another.

I looked into Bill too because I read some good reviews about his work but I think he's on vacation of something. His page says he's on a break.

raminux

loubalch: Those border-less boards are beautiful.

  I went ahead and placed an order on Etsy for another board  (by wildnwoody) who was the first to respond me back. I will report here once I receive the board (but it may take a few weeks). Regarding the board ordered from RCM,  there is another issue too: there is a discrepancy in the thickness of the board: claimed to be 21mm but the board I received is only 18mm thick. I have brought this to their attention as well.

MCH818
raminolta wrote:

loubalch: Those border-less boards are beautiful.

  I went ahead and placed an order on Etsy for another board  (by wildnwoody) who was the first to respond me back. I will report here once I receive the board (but it may take a few weeks). Regarding the board ordered from RCM, here are some more pictures. Hopefully, some wood experts here can give an assessment:

The first two pictures show some edges of the board from close distance:

https://flic.kr/p/2ifSQUS

https://flic.kr/p/2ifPndm

  The next two pictures show the same dark square from either side of the board:

https://flic.kr/p/2ifSQV8

https://flic.kr/p/2ifPndS

The next two pictures show another dark square from either side of the board:

https://flic.kr/p/2ifRNRj

https://flic.kr/p/2ifSQVU

 

As you see the grain pattern isn't the same on both sides of the wood. I still give more chance this is really a hard wood board but I can't be certain about it. That's why, I would like to have opinions on the matter. There is another issue too: there is a discrepancy in the thickness of the board: claimed to be 21mm but the board I received is only 18mm thick.

I am not a wood expert but I normally look at the grain on the top and the compare it to the side. I look to see if the grain on top continues in the same direction down the side. The first picture looks like it does continue. I can't tell from the second picture though but the first one tells me it is real. I could be wrong though.

What bothers me is the fuzziness of the line between the walnut squares in the other photos. It could be the camera but it looks like some of the models I built as a kid where I didn't put the masking tape on right so some of the lines had a fuzzy edge like the paint bleed under the tape. Again that could be the camera that was used and how much was zoom was used. I am not an expert.

raminux

MCH818: The camera is a fine high resolution camera and the lens is a dedicated macro lens. It's not the camera or the lens. The bleeding is there. The bleeding must be due to the dark glue being used. OK, I think I should agree that this is real hard wood not veneer though craftsmanship is somewhat lacking in the finished product for the reason I mentioned above. RCM is supposed to get back to me on the matter.

forked_again

I checked the top and bottom of my CWW board which is definately solid wood top to bottom, and I was surprised to see that the grain pattern on the top side can llok completely different than on the bottom side.  

So, I would say that this RCM board appears to be solid wood, as it would probably be more expensive and time consuming to try and duplicate solid wood than to actually just make it from solid wood. 

I am still curious about the construction technique they used however.  The gaps between blocks and dark filler or glue makes no sense to me,  

MCH818
raminolta wrote:

MCH818: The camera is a fine high resolution camera and the lens is a dedicated macro lens. It's not the camera or the lens. The bleeding is there. The bleeding must be due to the dark glue being used. I have to say two of the pictures (of dark squares) aren't perfectly in focus. When I saw them on the computer's monitor,. I was lazy to go back and retake the photos. I think for the sake of grain pattern comparison, they do the job. OK, I think I should agree that this is real hard wood not veneer though craftsmanship is somewhat lacking in the finished product for the reason I mentioned above. RCM is supposed to get back to me on the matter.

It makes sense about the camera focus and the bleeding glue. Agreed. It is real wood.

MCH818
forked_again wrote:

I checked the top and bottom of my CWW board which is definately solid wood top to bottom, and I was surprised to see that the grain pattern on the top side can llok completely different than on the bottom side.  

So, I would say that this RCM board appears to be solid wood, as it would probably be more expensive and time consuming to try and duplicate solid wood than to actually just make it from solid wood. 

I am still curious about the construction technique they used however.  The gaps between blocks and dark filler or glue makes no sense to me,  

I checked mine before. My 14" cww, 18" Dovetail and the Jk boards all have different grains on top and bottom. The grain lines on the top is sometimes continuous to the side and then follows to the bottom side but it does not not always happen. It is not an exact science.

raminux

Just a head up: following my communication with RCM regarding the defects in the chess board I bought from them, we agreed that RCM grants me a US$50 store credit. I haven't decided what to buy with credit yet.

Haverumwilltravel
raminolta wrote:

Just a head up: following my communication with RCM regarding the defects in the chess board I bought from them, we agreed that RCM grants me a US$50 store credit. I haven't decided what to buy with credit yet.

You should buy all of us here a set for backing you up. 🙂

royalchessmall

@ loubalch 

Hi , This is Sidharth from Royal Chess Mall. We were reading your comments on the above thread regarding some apprehension of ours being a Solid Wood Board.

I can assure you all our products are exactly as advertised, whether it be regards to the type of wood or finish .

This particular chess board was lacquer finished , which is the reason why the surface feels smooth.

If you buy a chess board in Buff Finish, you will be able to feel the grain pattern and the texture better, if that is what you like.

Let me know if you have any other query.  

raminux

Yes, I am now sure the RCM is made of solid wood. On another note, the chess pieces that I ordered from them has been received at home but as I am out of town due to work, I haven't had the chance to open the package. I can't wait to get back home and see them.

raminux

I am back to this thread to report that I did receive the board I ordered from another vendor on Etsy a while ago. I finally got some free time (due to the pandemic) to take some pictures and post here. The vendor's name is Scott Blackwell and his store on Etsy is called wildnwoody. I am quite satisfied with this board. It has no flaws: squares are perfectly aligned, etc.. At 25mm (1"), it's quite thick. I asked him to make one with the specific dimensions I wanted and he had no problem with my requested size: 48cm (19") each side of the board with 60mm (2 3/8") square size. It is made of walnut and ambrosia maple.

I added the protective pads to protect the bottom side of the board.

 

SpanishStallion

My orders from Ukraine always have transit problems and several of them never even arrived. The ones from India always came with a big customs duty bill from fedex sometimes almost half the price of the product.

Eyechess
raminux wrote:

I am back to this thread to report that I did receive the board I ordered from another vendor on Etsy a while ago. I finally got some free time (due to the pandemic) to take some pictures and post here. The vendor's name is Scott Blackwell and his store on Etsy is called wildnwoody. I am quite satisfied with this board. It has no flaws: squares are perfectly aligned, etc. At 25mm (1"), it's quite thick. I asked him to make one with the specific dimensions I wanted and he had no problem with it: 48cm (19") each side of the board with 60mm (2 3/8") square size. It is made of walnut and ambrosia maple.

 

 

 

 

I added the protective pads to protect the bottom side of the board.

 

That’s a very nice board.  With the larger square size it will handle the bigger pieces, nicely.

raminux

SpanishStallion: Canadians want to avoid Fedex and UPS like plague for inter-country shipments. They add they own 'brokery' fees to the list of charges making it almost twice the standard import fees to pay. RCM (vendor in India) states the import fees are covered and if buyers ever get such charges, they will cover the fees (probably through store credit). I didn't occur any import fees on the three packages I received from them.  Here is a picture of the board with the chess pieces I bought from RCM:

Gomer_Pyle

I'm not usually a fan of borderless boards but that wood is beautiful and those pieces look fantastic on it.