Wooden Chip Racks and Trays

alecnetwoodworks

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It's been brought to my attention that there may be some interest in wooden chip racks now that T_Chan is no longer making them. This is something that I would be interested in taking up if there is sufficient interest. I've got some router bits on order and will start making a few prototypes for 100 chip trays in both 39mm and 44mm sizes, once those arrive. Assuming I can make these efficiently enough, then I will work on a couple designs for larger qty racks. 100 chip trays will be very similar to those that T_Chan was making, but I've got a few other ideas for larger trays brewing. Hope to share those soon.

Stay tuned for some prototype trays hopefully next week.

I'm open to any ideas or suggestions that you'd like to see as well. Feel free to share here.
 

JMC9389

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My bank account weeps in anticipation. Can't wait to see the prototypes. I'm definitely interested.
 

alecnetwoodworks

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Glad to see there is some interest!

I've got the router bits in, so I should be able to throw together a couple prototypes tomorrow.
 

toynoob

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Glad to see there is some interest!

I've got the router bits in, so I should be able to throw together a couple prototypes tomorrow.
I have a sawmill so I love wood what kind of wood were you thinking?

Out of context thread in five four three two one...
 

alecnetwoodworks

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I'm a wood hoarder, myself. Wish I had room for a sawmill, but I pick up random lots everytime i find a good deal. Sitting on a decent amount of white oak, Russian olive, and cottonwood that were all milled up locally.

For the prototypes, I'll use up some cutoffs from recent projects, so likely white oak, mahogany, maple or cherry. Just about finished with an absolutely gorgeous African mahogany bookcase.
 

toynoob

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I'd love to see burled black walnut chip racks. Art holding art...
 

alecnetwoodworks

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I don't have any burled walnut, but do have some quite curly (kind of a flame type figuring) black walnut. That would look pretty sweet too. I've got a decent sized chunk of purpleheart (seriously deep royal purple colored wood) too. That would make for some incredible racks, but also be a royal bitch to machine since that stuff is incredibly dense.
 

toynoob

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I don't have any burled walnut, but do have some quite curly (kind of a flame type figuring) black walnut. That would look pretty sweet too. I've got a decent sized chunk of purpleheart (seriously deep royal purple colored wood) too. That would make for some incredible racks, but also be a royal bitch to machine since that stuff is incredibly dense.
Yes I love purple heart! I used to cut for a guy who wanted all the crotch walnut I could find. He made shotgun stocks out of it. Looked amazing
 

alecnetwoodworks

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That is a perfect use for it. Beautiful stuff.



...Really struggling to not throw out a good crotch joke here...
 

alecnetwoodworks

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What about varnished engraved dealer buttons?
I actually just ordered an inexpensive laser engraver today. Should be able to start playing with that next week. Hoping it works as well for engraving on wood as I've been seeing online. Should be great for customizing chip racks, dealer buttons, and all the other custom stuff I end up making (cutting boards, adding my logo to furniture, etc.)
 

alecnetwoodworks

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I got a couple prototypes made today of 100 chip racks for both 39mm and 43mm chips. I just used some offcuts from previous projects on these, but I think they came out pretty well!

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Here are the 39mm racks in soft maple with an African mahogany border (sorry about the cheap chips... all I had around tonight)
Dimensions: 1" x 8 15/16" x 2 15/16" - 67.7mm barrel length

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And the 43mm in wormy maple and black walnut. I don't have any 43mm chips around to show in the racks, so use your imagination.
Dimensions: 1 1/8" x 9 1/2" x 3" - 69mm barrel length

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These have a few blemishes, so they're not for sale, but I learned a lot making these and have some ideas for improvements when manufacturing, so the next batch will be good to go. I tested cutting both with the grain (38mm) and across the grain (43mm). I was actually surprised at the cut quality across the grain, so I will likely stick with that for future racks, unless requested otherwise (Wood type may affect this considerably too). This also minimizes the amount of cross grain glue area, so should prevent any issues with wood movement. Plus the grain patterns look cool.

-Base price will be $20/rack for maple center and a border in any of the following woods (maple, red/white oak, walnut, cherry, mahogany, ash, hickory) with a clear finish.
-You tell me barrel length.
-Discount for ordering more than 5 racks.
-Price goes up with options (dyes/stains, exotic or figured woods, etc).
-I have a laser engraver arriving early next week, so once I get comfortable with that, I'll be able to provide custom engraving on the racks for an addition charge as well.

Let me know what you think.
 

alecnetwoodworks

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Forgot to mention, shipping is not included at $20/rack, but these are pretty light and should fit into flat-rate boxes, so should be able to keep costs down there.
 

JMC9389

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Would the buyer be able to request staining the inside maple with a different finish to match the outside wood? For example, if I wanted racks with cherry wood finish on the outside, can the maple inside be stained to match it?

I will be interested in 39mm chip racks and the 43mm oversize racks too, but I think that I will have to wait on the chips of the latter size to come from CPC to know exactly what barrel length I'll need.

I may also be interested in something custom as well. I'll PM in the coming days about some ideas I had in mind :)
 

alecnetwoodworks

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I could try to stain the inside to match an outside wood, but it would be best to just make the tray out of the same wood, in my opinion. Especially if it's a non-exotic wood like cherry.

I'm excited to hear about your custom ideas!
 

alecnetwoodworks

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I spent part of today working on shrinking the length of the racks so I can fit them into my existing 1000 chip tray design. I need to get the 39mm racks down to just less than 8 3/8" for that. Had some success today, but didn't get anything completed yet. Should have a compact version to share tomorrow or Sunday.
 

dmoney

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I spent part of today working on shrinking the length of the racks so I can fit them into my existing 1000 chip tray design. I need to get the 39mm racks down to just less than 8 3/8" for that. Had some success today, but didn't get anything completed yet. Should have a compact version to share tomorrow or Sunday.
That sounds awesome. I've had my eye on one of those cabinets with trays, and adding a few of these would be a really great combination.
 

alecnetwoodworks

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I got 4 "compact" 39mm racks built today. These shrink the length from just under 9in down to 8 3/8" so they now fit perfectly in my 1000 chip trays. I also bumped the total height from 1 to 1.125" so the racks would be flush with the top of the tray. This 1/8" was just added to the recess at the bottom, which improves stacking as well.

Here's a few pics.

All 4 racks in a (unfinished) tray.
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Compared to the wider racks.

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With chips and stacked and showing off that beautiful walnut.

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End view

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There are a few more at the end of this post showing measurements and such.

These 4 came out pretty well and are for sale as a set of 4 for $70 plus shipping. Wormy maple and black walnut.
Barrel length is measuring out at a heavy 2.66in with my dial calipers (waiting on batteries for my digital calipers to get a more accurate reading) so right about 67.6-67.7mm. Fits 20 of these cheapo chips nice and snug.
 

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alecnetwoodworks

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Finished up some solid Cherry racks that are getting ready to ship out. Also have enough on hand that I could see what 10 racks looks like in the tray designed for the plastic Spinetti 1000 chip rack. Leaves right at a 1.5in gap. So I could double the thickness of the sides (1/8" ->1/4") on the racks to fill space or make a couple 3/4" spacers for front and back. I think the spacers will make removing the racks easier, so that's probably the route I'd suggest.

Some sexy cherry:
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Full Tray of racks. Cherry up front, maple/walnut in the back.
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Here's what I for my drawer that has 3D printed racks in it. They were sliding around every time I opened the drawer, so I lay down some tool chest drawer liner that I had on hand. I pushed the 3 rows in the rear all the way to the back, then left two gaps between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rows. Just the right amount of space to pick up the 2nd row racks, and once they are out, I can get to any other row. I definitely would not make the racks thicker so they fill the drawer. That would make removing a rack extremely difficult.

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JMC9389

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I'm going to go ahead and kick this off....

@alecnetwoodworks was willing to make 6 of his racks for me made entirely of cherry wood. Alec was a great communicator with a very reasonable turn around time from the moment I told him what I wanted from the time the racks were shipped and on their way to me.

UPS dropped them off today and I have some early thoughts....

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These are definitely a bit lighter than I thought they would be. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when carrying multiple racks of chips. The thick, plastic racks can get cumbersome to carry if you're trying to carry a whole cash set of 500 or 600 chips across the room from the cabinet to the poker table. This can be done just as easily with these racks.

As far as the build quality, I'll let the photos judge for themselves. Top notch, definitely made of 100% real cherry wood. The craftsmanship on these is second to none. I ordered 67.7mm barrel racks to fit CPC chips. For giggles I placed a rack of mint Paulsons in the rack as well, but they fit pretty well too without too much sliding around within the barrel.

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The barrel length is uniform in each of the 5 barrels of the rack. The barrels of chips that are loose in the plastic racks are in the wood rack too, and the barrels that are a tight squeeze in the plastic are as such in the wood.

I used my Key Wests to illustrate the differences in the fits of mint, from the factory CPC's to those that are a little more worn and broken in, but those that still stand on edge (AKA, perfect in my book). The green $25's pictured below are used and more worn than the $1's and $5's that are fresh from the factory mint that are oiled but haven't been put into play.

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The bottom of the rack is flat, but there is enough of a hollow area which allows for stacking of racks to take place. The racks stack well, but I will say this; there is a little bit of "slide" if you wiggle the racks horizontally by accident. One would have to be careful in picking up more than one rack at a time to assure you're not playing 100+ chip pickup. If you're mindful of this, transport across the room is a breeze and no different than plastic racks, and is actually even easier because the wood racks are a good deal lighter than the plastic racks.

One other thing that *can* happen is that if removing one rack from the top of another, sometimes I've noticed the "sticking barrel" effect on these wooden racks. I've seen this too on plastic racks too, where a barrel of chips from the rack below when the chip racks are stacked would get interlocked underneath the rack on top when removed from the stack. I don't know how else to explain this, but it happened to me twice in just a few minutes of playing around with racked chips, where I've had this happen with Paulson racks maybe twice in two years total. Not the end of the world, but care just needs to be taken when stacking these racks with chips and when removing a rack from a stack of racks.

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Overall, these are well worth the purchase in my book. The customization options are extensive and Alec did say that he has a laser engraver to give these an even more personalized feel if desired. I'm looking forward to placing an order for more of these racks, as well as for racks for 43/44mm chips once I get my custom oversize CPC chips in!

I wish you all the best in your adventure here @alecnetwoodworks ! I highly recommend Alec as a vendor here that provided great service and an even better product. Buy with confidence!

Bonus pron:

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