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Our Materials

Many of the products you can find at The Shipshape Gamer can come in a variety of materials. Of course, not all products are available in all materials... if there is a material option, you will see it on the product listing. Below is a brief description of each of the materials we use along with the pros & cons of each!

If there is a product that interests you, and you don't see a particular material as an option, please feel free to reach out to us. If there is enough requests, I would be consider creating a version of the organizer in the requested material.

Draftboard Engineered Wood

Our draftboard is one of our budget options and most of our organizers and products have this as an option. It is an engineered wood material that has an external feel of paper, but is very strong and durable.

Pros

  • Stable and sturdy. Very consistent.
  • Engraves really well... images look super-sharp!
  • Taped on both sides before laser cutting. This protects the surface from smoke damage.

Cons

  • Its about 40% heavier than Birch Plywood
  • It is not a sealed material... meaning there is no finish on it. As a result, over time and with a lot of handling, it can pick up oils from your fingers or other marks. You can eliminate this issue by spraying a light sealer coat before or after assembly.
  • The protective tape needs to be peeled off prior to assembly.

Birch Plywood

This is also a budget option. It is a natural wood plywood made of 1/8" birch and is the same material you see in organizer products from other companies. It is not protected during lasering so it may have a minor amount of smoke damage around cut lines. It is sanded before and after lasering.

Pros

  • Natural wood grain.
  • Can be stained if desired.
  • Strong and light.

Cons

  • Not protected during laser cutting process, so may have minor smoke marks around cut lines.
  • Like any natural wood product, its color and appearance can vary from piece to piece.
  • Image engraves tend to not be as crisp and clear as other materials due to the loose grain nature of birch.
  • It is also not sealed (no finish coat applied) so it can pick up marks over time. If you stain or paint it yourself, you can reduce or eliminate this issue of course.

Basswood Plywood

Basswood Plywood is one of our premium materials. It is sanded and sealed, so it will be durable and keep its good looks for a long time. It is a lighter colored wood, with only light grain showing which makes it nicer for engraved images. This material also has a protective tape on it during the lasering process that protects it from smoke damage.

Pros

  • Light-Honey-colored natural wood grain.
  • Sealed and Finished with a light clearcoat.
  • Light weight.

Cons

  • Costs more.

Walnut Plywood

Our Walnut Plywood is also one of our premium materials. It too is sanded and has a beautiful semi-gloss sealer coat that will keep it beautiful for many years of gaming enjoyment. Natural grain means that no two pieces will look the same! Walnut is generally dark, but there may be light colored portions running through it as shown in the image. This material has a protective tape on it during the lasering process that protects it from smoke damage. Detailed score lines look dark and beautiful, but engraved pictures can in some circumstances look a little cloudy due to the nature of the dark walnut and the sealer coat.

Pros

  • Dark-colored natural wood grain.
  • Sealed and Finished with a light clearcoat.
  • Light weight.

Cons

  • Costs even more.

Cherry Plywood

Our Cherry Plywood is also one of our premium materials. It too is sanded and has a beautiful semi-gloss sealer coat. Natural grain means that no two pieces will look the same! Cherry is in between the Basswood and Walnut as far as darkness. It has a beautiful reddish tinge to it and is one of the prettier materials we work with. Like other premium materials, Cherry has a protective tape on it during the lasering process that protects it from smoke damage. Detailed score lines look dark and beautiful, and engraved pictures look great!

Pros

  • Reddish-colored natural wood grain.
  • Sealed and Finished with a light clearcoat.
  • Light weight.

Cons

  • Costs even more.

Maple Plywood

Our Maple Plywood is also one of our premium materials and is sanded and a semi-gloss sealer coat. Grain is more prominent in Maple than it is in Basswood and is quite beautiful. Natural grain of course means that no two pieces will look the same. Maple is similar to the Basswood, is light in color, but has more pronounced grain. Like other premium materials, Maple has a protective tape on it during the lasering process that protects it from smoke damage. Detailed score lines look dark and beautiful, and engraved pictures look fantastic!

Pros

  • Blonde-colored natural wood grain.
  • Grain is prominent and beautiful.
  • Sealed and Finished with a light clearcoat.
  • Light weight.
  • Engraves very well.

Cons

  • Costs more.

Clear and Colored Acrylic

Acrylic is also a premium material but is only offered on some of our products. It scores beautifully, but engraved images can at times lack detail. It is great for lids to boxes so you can see what is inside. Because of the nature of acrylic, care must be taken when separating pieces from its frame as well as during assembly.

Pros

  • See right through! Great for box lids so you can see components inside.
  • Light weight.

Cons

  • Costs more.
  • Delicate portions can crack if handled roughly.

Specialty Materials

We also use a number of specialty materials for specific products. This includes 1/16th inch walnut and cherry plywoods, 1/8th inch "green glass" acrylic, 1/4th inch acrylic, and thin veneers (generally Aspen, Cedar, etc).