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 Post subject: MakerStock laser-engraved go board, US$50-55
Post #1 Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:05 pm 
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I asked MakerStock to make a go board for me, laser etched onto 1/2” Baltic birch plywood, and trimmed to the appropriate size. Total price was US$52 including shipping. The process required about four weeks of back and forth with the staff to determine they could actually do the job. I believe a much shorter delivery schedule would be possible next time. I sent them one of the goban files from this site: ... lates.html (Thanks, Thomas Rohde, for providing me with this link years ago)

However, laser engraving files must be jpeg and colorized; black lines are burned all the way through, green lines are burned, etched, or engraved into the surface. File conversion and coloring the lines took a few days.

A thin and lightweight go board arrived in simple packaging: bubble wrapped and enclosed in an oversized cardboard envelope that should adequately protect the corners during shipping mishandling.

The grid file from gungfu produces a board that is slight slightly larger than a traditional Japanese go board.

The etching is deadly accurate and laser beam precise, of course. The laser burning results in a light brown line that is 0.75mm deep. The hoshi are perfect.
The completed board's margins are a bit tight around the edges but that was caused by my error is specifying the edge clearances.

There are burn marks on the edge from the table saw that was used to trim the go board from the larger piece of plywood stock placed on the laser engraver's x-y bed.
Baltic birch plywood is a pale wood so there is not much contrast between the board and white stones. I am probably going to apply a stain.

I believe the deeply etched lines should be filled with something. If not, after many hundreds of games, I presume the precisely engraved lines will wear down and could even produce splinters. I’m not sure what exactly that fill material should be. Possibly an epoxy or a craft product such as gesso. But, because the surface was not coated with a protective liquid or spray before the engraving was performed, anything that I were to apply and squeegee into the cut lines would need to be sanded off. That’s not a difficult procedure; I am just not sure what the fill material should be.

Should you buy one of these boards? If you want an inexpensive, readily available, and good looking playing surface, yes. You just need to understand it might need a bit of extra work to make the birch darker and to fill the lines and you should be comfortable with idea that it is not going to last forever.

If you talk to MakerStock, you will want to specify a slightly larger border. The all-green jpeg file I provided to MakerStock should be on a server at their shop but I can forward it to you.

David Bogie, Boise ID
I play go, I ride a recumbent, of course I use Macintosh.

This post by bogiesan was liked by: Bonobo
 Post subject: Re: MakerStock laser-engraved go board, US$50-55
Post #2 Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:20 pm 
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Looks VERY nice.

First thought: would it be possible to fill the lines and Hoshi with some black paste that hardens by itself, and then to sand the board?

“The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.” — Salvador Dali ★ Play a slooooow correspondence game with me on OGS? :)

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