I bought this as a gift for my daughter. It's a nice box with two, strong magnets to keep it shut. I got the zebra wood. I don't think there's any stain/finish on it so I rubbed it with the oil used for cutting boards and butcher blocks. That made the purty box even purtier. :)
This dice vault is substantial in construction and the magnetic close helps it snap into the right place each time. Since it was purchased as a gift, it is one I'm sure will be well received. The recipient has several sets of special dice (i.e., real stone, metal, etc.) that need this kind of protection to keep them looking good.
Overall, I'm satisfied given what I paid; it works as advertised. But, as a wood-worker who strives for perfection, there are glaring issues.
Now, for the money, I wasn't expecting Elderwood Academy quality, and neither should you. But, there is significant room for improvement.
- After the wood CNC / router, there is no extra sanding of the routed surfaces (the dice holes or the recessed lid flange or lip). This is fine with your bits are extra sharp, but they aren't always. There is minor tearing out in a few spots along the flange. If you look at Elderwood stuff, it is baby smooth. This is not.
- Too much epoxy is applied into the holes before the magnets are inserted, resulting in overspill. The overspill wasn't properly wiped, leaving a white ring around the magnets sitting on the finished surface.
- Somehow a few drops of epoxy made it onto the perimeter of the flange, which now can't be removed without sanding which will also affect the varnish finish.
- The top piece was routed with the crown facing up, yet the bottom is crown facing down. This is the *exact* *opposite* of how you should build something like this! The crowns should be facing each other, ideally, or at most, in the same direction. By having them face away, you virtually guarantee a gap over time along the long edges. In fact, this is already happening. Due to the opposing crowns, the top is curved upward slightly, so it "rocks" in place. If it had been facing the other direction, the bow would be concave on the bottom, with the small gap showing on the short ends, instead of the long sides.
Again, this is being nit-picky for sure. Overall, it looks very nice. But as a woodworker, it's a shame to see such fine hardwood used incorrectly like this. Yes, wood means imperfections. However, as woodworkers we have the knowledge to how to work with the crown so as to mitigate the impact of the natural tendencies of wood over time. We understand that care must be taken when working with epoxy. We see the value in taking 2-3m of sanding when the CNC / router is done. We change the bits on our CNC / routers frequently to sharpen them to limit tear-out and the amount of sanding needed.
It appears that none of this was done in this case, of it it was, it was done poorly.
I would have much rather spent $5 more, and had these things been done correctly.
You can mass produce *and* have the highest of quality. The Elderwood products you carry prove that.
Again, I'm not complaining. For the price, this isn't terrible. It just could have been so much better with just a modicum of care.