by Don Strenczewilk

Welcome to my blog

Marbles & Jokers games are available

by Don Strenczewilk

My Marbles & Jokers games are again available to order. My marble supplier's factory was shut down for a few weeks because of the COVID virus but they are manufacturing again and the marbles I need for M&J games will arrive here Thursday.

Stay safe!

Status: I am still making games

by Don Strenczewilk

I hope you are doing well, all things considered. COVID-19 is affecting everyone in one way or another.

Here is a Don Strenz Woodworking status update.
I am still making games. Because I work alone 99% of the time, I've been able to minimize the chance of getting ill. If anything were to happen to me that prevents me from fulfilling orders, I would cancel/refund all open orders and notify all customers about the problem, and I will close the online store.
If you decide to order something, note that right under the product title the line that shows the estimated shipping date. It will say something like "Should ship within 5 business days." That accounts for the time it will take me to make the game and ship it. After it ships, it is in the hands of the carrier (usually USPS) and I have no control over when it will arrive.

Best wishes to all of you!

It's getting close to Christmas. When will your game be shipped.

by Don Strenczewilk

There is line under the title of my products that estimates when I will ship your item. I do my best to keep that up to date and I work hard every day making games to make that figure as accurate as possible.

For instance, let's say that the line says, "Should ship within 5 business days."

If you place your order on a Monday then the first of the 5 business days is on Tuesday. So, the latest your item should ship is the following Monday. That's 1-Tuesday, 2-Wednesday, 3-Thursday, 4-Friday, 5-Monday. Note that weekends and holidays do not count as business days.

After it ships it is in the hands of the carrier (usually USPS) and I don't have any control of that.

How long will it be before a product is shipped?

by Don Strenczewilk

Please note that there is a statement under the title of each product description that gives an approximate time a product will ship. For instance, under the title of Pegs and Joker games, it says:

Should ship within 5 business days, available for order

I do my best to keep that up to date and the item usually does ship within that time frame. By the way, business days are Monday through Friday.

Realize that the item will not be shipped sooner if you select a faster shipping method because I still need to make the games. The time it takes to make them depends on how many orders are in the queue. It's probably worth mentioning that I'm getting old so aches and pains certainly slows down the process.

Customer Ideas and Inventions

by Don Strenczewilk

I love getting messages from customers who have done unique things with my games. Here are some photos of boxes and flags.

Photos of boxes from Roberta Fair:

Photos of boxes from Roger & Lela Thurow:

Why are there so many product reviews recently

by Don Strenczewilk

In case you're interested in knowing why there are so many product reviews being posted recently (near the end of March, 2019), here is the story.

I used to be pretty consistent about emailing people to ask for reviews of products bought from my online store. Then, about a year ago, Google notified me about their new review system, where people can review my products and stars will show up next to my products in google searches. I began reading about how to do that but the thing that I could not get past was that the hundreds of reviews I already have cannot be transferred to google. And, if I wanted reviews to appear as they are now in my store in addition to google, people would have to review their purchases twice. That would be an unacceptable burden to place on them. So, I had to decide whether I wanted to use google reviews or to continue with the system that is currently in my store. I procrastinated with this decision.

But, I've finally decided to keep the system in my store and forego google reviews.

So, I've send out a few hundred requests for reviews today and they will all be entered in the system in the next few days. Even though they are for sales from the past year or so, the reviews are all dated recently. Hope that explains it.

Changing from curly maple to rock maple

by Don Strenczewilk

I've been having a very difficult time acquiring curly maple for our Pegs & Jokers and Marbles & Jokers games lately. So yesterday, I bought 200 board feet of rock maple and that is what I'll use for these games for the time being.

The problem is that the quality of the curly maple is very poor, with many knots and much gray heartwood. The new Rock Maple is very white and bright.

So, currently the woods used for 8-player versions of the games will be

  • Rock Maple
  • Sapele (mahogany)
  • Red Oak
  • Cherry

Power Restored

by Don Strenczewilk

Our power has been restored but the internet is still down. Time-Warner needs to move the old trunk wires from the old downed pole to the new one.

BUT, the good news is that I bought a T-Mobile data plan that gives internet access via a hotspot and I have been able to access my store and online shipping program to ship orders. I'm using it now to update this blog.

As of tomorrow, I will be completely caught up, fulfilling all orders, and there should be no more delays.

I'm sorry for those of you who ordered last week and the week before. The delays are over!!

Power Outage

by Don Strenczewilk

We had very high winds here in Rochester and I haven't had any electrical power here since early Wednesday. A pole was blown in two and the wires we pulled out of my house.

So, sorry if you have ordered anything from me in the past few days, but I haven't been able to make anything.

They were digging the hole for the new pole this morning but they don't know when pjower will be restored.

UPDATE: As of Sunday night (March 12), electrical power and heat is restored. I still have very limited internet and especially phone. PLEASE USE EMAIL TO COMMUNICATE. Use the CONTACT page.

Contacting Me By Phone vs Email

by Don Strenczewilk

I strongly prefer if you would use the contact form to contact me rather than a phone call. I do 99% of the work to run the business and spend most of my time making things.

When I get a phone call while working at the shop, I have to stop working, shut down machines so that I can hear, remove my dust mask and hearing protection to talk to the caller.

Also, I don't have internet access at the shop except on my cell phone and can't take an order or check the status of your order because I'm using the phone to talk to the caller.

And,, it's hard to remember everything the caller asked. When there are multiple callers, remembering who wants what is practically impossible. With email, I can always find the details of a conversation.

So please use the contact form on the site if you have questions. I check it often and reply by the next morning at the latest.


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