Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

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Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

Postby jaguar72 on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:46 pm

All,

To those of you (probably most) familiar with Drueke chess/checker boards, the following may be of some interest.

Drueke is an American company based in Michigan that makes a variety of wood game products. The company is probably most famous for its solid wood (not veneer) chess/checker boards that are still made in the US and are currently made of walnut and aspen, although other hardwoods (e.g., maple) have been used in the past. The product is (justifiably) quite famous.

Drueke was acquired (as far as I can tell) several years ago by the Carrom Company (http://www.carrom.com) another US game company. The Carrom Company has continued to sell Drueke products including the chess/checker boards in a variety of square sizes (1.5",1.75", 2.0", 2.25", 2.75").

That is, apparently, until recently. The only two board sizes now listed on the Carrom Company website are 1.5" and 2.75" and many (most, it seems) online retailers list only those two sizes, which is ominous. These two sizes are fine, but one is too small and the other far too big for most chess and checker players. Very few of the other sizes have been listed on eBay recently (and the prices have increased on those few remaining...) and I suspect (without knowing for sure) that production of these fine products will soon either cease entirely or be outsourced.

My emails to the Carrom Company asking for information have gone unanswered.

Does it matter? Yeah, I think it does. The boards are minor works of art. They are beautiful, heavy and durable. The workmanship is absolutely first rate and the wood "joinery" is exquisite. Being solid wood, you can flip them and play on either side. They do not warp (at least, mine have not and I've had them for years). They have been used in World Chess Championships. The amazing thing to me is that they are not particularly expensive. The 2.25" version (chess standard) could be had for $125 to $150 and sometimes much less even with shipping. Not by any means cheap, of course, but reasonable for a quality product that will probably last forever.

My point is this: if you want one of these (2" or 2.25" squares) and can find it you probably should buy it now. I know, I know, they are not "ACF Standard Tournament Colors" but they are completely playable and are certainly perfect for in home use. BTW, Drueke still produces wooden checkers (1.25" in dark brown and light woods) but these were outsourced (Taiwan, I think) years ago. They are very nice however and go well with the board.

I don't own one of the 2" board versions but rather wish I did. Maybe I should try and find one.

Please note, I have absolutely no connection with either Drueke or the Carrom Company other than as a satisfied owner of their products.

There you have it.

V/R,

Gary Jenkins/jaguar72
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Re: Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

Postby Jay H on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:57 pm

Excellent post Gary !!!
Thanx for the info.

Regards

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Re: Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

Postby tommyc on Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:02 pm

Gary it has never occured to you that draught players are "miserable gits",talking from my experience they are.!!!I dont think there will be any great demand for $150 boards.
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Re: Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

Postby jaguar72 on Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:18 pm

tommyc wrote:Gary it has never occured to you that draught players are "miserable gits",talking from my experience they are.!!!I dont think there will be any great demand for $150 boards.


Yes, Tommy, it did occur to me, although I would certainly not have expressed it quite the way you did.

However, the point of the post was this: in the world of pricey chess/checker boards which can easily scale a thousand dollars (!) or more, the Drueke, which (in my opinion, you understand) is equal to any and superior to most, is a relative bargain at $150...and, as I also said, I've seen them much cheaper, somewhat less than $100 with free shipping on eBay. As I also stated in the post (but will repeat), that is still not cheap by any means, but is at least somewhat reasonable for a product which, after all, you only have to buy once in a lifetime; even if you pay 150 bucks for it and you have it for twenty years (which is entirely feasible), the per year price is only, well, you do the math... .

Let me further state one more time: I have absolutely no connection with Drueke or the Carrom Company and am not in any way urging anybody to buy any kind of chess/checker board. Period. My previous post was for information only because I though Forum members might be interested. As I said, the product is quite well known on this side of the pond.

I regret it if my original post caused offense to you (or any other Forum member) and will gladly remove it should it continue to do so.

There you have it.

V/R,

Gary Jenkins/jaguar72
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Re: Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

Postby George Hay on Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:30 pm

Gary, thanx for this topic. The Drueke Company is one of the historic businesses of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Carmon Company of Ludington, Michigan now owns Drueke. Like you, I am a satified customer of Drueke. I don't know why the Carom Company has not responded to your e-mails! However, competition is a good thing. On the ACF home page "featured link" is International Craftsman. They have a wooden checkerboard in their catalog for $100. And of course, the ACF Store has official checkers and checkerboards for sale. The last checkers set I bought was from Dollar Tree, for one dollar! --George Hay
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Re: Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

Postby jaguar72 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:42 am

All,

Please reference my original post in this thread: it appears that production of Drueke chess/checker boards may have ceased entirely. They are no longer listed on the Carrom Company website in any size and have almost completely disappeared from eBay. A few retailers, e.g., ChessCafe at http://www.chesscafe.com, might have some left in stock but probably not for long. I don't think there are gonna be any more... .

C'est dommage, c'est dommage.

V/R,

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Re: Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

Postby Jay H on Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:09 pm

Speaking of Drueke...here is an Ebay sale...

http://cgi.ebay.com/CHECKERS-w-Foldable-Board-/270728196613?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f08a87205

Probably could not be used at an ACF Tourney...but, certainly a nice set !!!
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Re: Disappearing Drueke Chess/Checker Boards?

Postby Eric Strange on Fri May 06, 2011 5:00 pm

I wouldn't pay for a board that was unofficial colors
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