Game tokens in various woods

L-R: Yellow Heart, Bloodwood, Orange Osage, Wenge.

Sanded and hit with clear danish oil. All colors natural to the wood.


Very cool to see the colors, thanks for posting. Now I’m even more excited that my Inventables wenge is finally on the way!


The bloodwood is actually much more red in person… and if you love wenge and need more, you might want to check out Green Valley. Far less expensive than Inventables.

Green Valley: 5 * 6 x 24 x 1/8 = 64.99 (free shipping) = $6.49 per square foot

Inventables: 1 * 6 x 12 x 1/8 = 8.49 (plus shipping) = $16.98 per square foot

That’s a little more than 60% off what you pay at Inventables, in a size that really lets you take advantage of the full bed.

I’m seeing similar savings across the board (har har) with Green Valley.


I would pay money for a wood sampler pack that showed small pieces of a wide variety, with a simple finish like this. I have no idea what I am doing with hardwood.


Good representation of the different woods, thank you.

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We haven’t cut any of our hardwoods yet … Still may have to get more on order!

Tl;dr: Definitely do a few test joints in small pieces to be sure you get the fit dead on before trying anything even close to a friction fit with hardwood.

One major hardwood thing I wish I’d known before I started:

Grain is not always your friend when making friction fit. If you’re used to making finger joints with plywood, beware that grain direction will either help you or make you regret your life choices.

Basically, you want your fingers (or any narrow bits in a fit) to go with the grain wherever possible. If you have to cross the grain, thin parts become an instant point of failure. Consider using a really good glue-fit instead of fiction fit in those cases wherever possible, it’ll make your joinery go a lot more smoothly.

Also, a lot of times with plywood and a good friction fit, you can really wedge things together. Hardwood will punish you and split if you try that funny business. The wedging process just splits your nice hardwood right along those grain lines. You want to find that sweet spot of a tight fit that isn’t too tight.

So, I made my box a good glue fit right? Of course not, I have a laser. Friction fit for the win, but at some cost. I had to cleverly disguise some cracked fingers with glue/sawdust amalgam and clamping, and the assembly process took at least ten times as long as it needed to* because I was being so careful not to crack a finger joint** as I hammered the pieces into place.

The end result is a buttery smooth mahogany box (yay) with absurd fit and finish, but it was a struggle (boo). I’d definitely glue it next time – even a very careful glue up would take a fraction of the time that this took. As soon as I realized my mistake, it was too late, I didn’t have enough mahogany on hand to cut a new one with glue fit.

*This is not an exaggeration. An embarrassingly long time, like hours, for what is more or less a pair of standard tabbed finger joint boxes.

**Fingers as in wood tabs, though my digits were also at some measure of risk. As careful as I was, I cracked probably 1 in 30 fingers, about 3 or 4 different spots across the whole project. This is a poor example of “success”.


Thanks for the supplier info — I will definitely check it out!