Announcing Dwarf-Made; Completely Modular Tabletop Kits

Level up your tabletop experience with a fully modular, wooden and lovingly crafted all-in-one storage, display and travel kit!

Tidy up that pile of bags, boxes and crates! Sort those notes & tokens, keep those mini’s organized and display those shiny dice! Now we smash it all together into the fanciest modular wooden folder-box-book dwarven ingenuity can muster to bring you an all-in-one solution that we think you might just love!

More than a year of work has gone into the design, prototyping and testing of this new and innovative way to look at tabletop gaming accessories. Dwarf-Made represents our philosophy that everyone plays, organizes and prefers in their own style. What we tried to do is create something that can appeal to this diversity of preferences in one flexible format.

Dwarf-Made represents a range of products, featuring an initial three ‘adventuring books’ in the form of wooden box-like folders that can be filled with a variety of different ‘modules’ that stick to a consistent formfactor but do anything from store items in many different ways to folding out to become dice towers or useful game sets. We set out to create great looking, functional, durable and affordable tabletop accessories the likes of which we certainly haven’t seen before ๐Ÿ˜‰

Origin Story!

The thing that I think sets us apart from what’s already out there is our affinity with digital and mechanical design. While many woodworking shops produce lots of amazing looking dice boxes, dice towers, chests, rolling trays and other tabletop systems, they all involve a lot of manual labor to hone a piece of work into a product with sleek and usable dimensions. The nature of that process I think limits the amount of accuracy and complexity that can be involved at a certain price point.

I wanted to do more with less and use our high tech facilities to increase this price to functionality ratio for a field we love; tabletop games! Using laser cutting,

By using laser cutting we can quickly, consistently and very accurately produce parts for complex products. General shapes for holders and housings can be given flowing and complex forms and we can manufacture wooden parts that otherwise would not be possible for these kinds of projects, like mechanical springs, latching mechanisms, gears and accurately slotting lids and joints.

The second part of production still involves good old handwork when we finish and assemble our components, to give that authentic feel and polish to each and every completed product. That’s how we want to preserve the feel and quality of a handmade product, while building things that get a little more complex than what you would normally get off lathes or cnc production.

By using industrial CAD software to plan out modules and books in extreme detail, we can put in our criteria for a product and kind of knead these as we go into a product that works. We decide what we want to be able to put in a module and measure up all the bits and pieces that need to be in there to make it work, be that a bunch of dice, some mechanical parts or papers and books. Next, we take those measurements and put them into our design environment, where we start the tinkering process with layouts and margins, keeping in mind restrictions for the hand-finishing, assembly and laser cutting process.

Designing modules in CAD allows lots of fine-tuning of relational dimensions!

Then we run some tests, start cutting out real components, put them together and see if it fits, looks good, and most importantly: FEELS good to use. Usually this involves some tweaking over a few iterations until we come to something that we’re properly satisfied with.

This complexity goes into well thought out modules, but also into making tight tolerances and mechanical functionality work together like a charm to deliver what we think are rather unique features in the tabletop woodworking space, like durable living hinge-style spines for our adventuring books and intuitively closing and locking outer covers, to keep the contents of these books safe and secure.

Well-designed alternating cuts make wood as flexible as any hinge, also know as a ‘living hinge’
A look at the ‘latching’ system on one of the adventuring books

We also wanted to make the books feel special and decorative in more than just materials and form-factor, so we set to work on covering the outside edges in highly detailed engravings, depicting a mix of old folkloric artstyles and modern high fantasy concepts. Something we, again, can consistently put on every one of our books owing to some awesome laser machines in our workshop.

Outer engravings after digitalization and contouring from hand-drawn sketches

Our more traditional modules are essentially player boxes with space for things you would often see in tabletop game boxes; a set of dice, some tokens, a mini, some pens. However, we wanted to be able to go just a little further here too and fit every module with a cool transparent lid, easily removed but securely held by powerful rare-earth magnets.

Don’t mind the cloudy corners, we forgot to wipe off some of the dust for these shots

After all, what’s the point of having all this cool stuff in pretty wooden boxes if you can’t prominently display it for friends and family? I think it also just looks cool and helps you keep track of things ๐Ÿ™‚

In the end it all comes together in a set of what we hope is extremely usable and appealing tools for players, DM’s and collectors to enjoy:

A 2 module book opened and on a stand, with a flexible dividable module (G) and a polyhedral protector module (C)

I’m super excited and nervous to share this with the world very soon (or at present/in the past if you’re reading this in the future) and hopefully bring something new and cool to this hobby that is so very dear to my and many of my friends’ and family’s hearts.

See you soon on Kickstarter!