Finest game tables feature fine surfaces: 11 Ravens specifies Chemetal, Treefrog

11 Ravens makes some of the finest, most expensive game tables in the world. Not surprisingly, materials and style matter when you’re playing in such rarified air.

Take the Stealth table tennis table. Inspired by the Nighthawk stealth fighter aircraft, the table starts at $26,200 and can cost $70,000 and more when it includes materials such as aircraft grade aluminum, carbon fiber or acrylic. Or the Avetorre table tennis table, which starts at $25,400 and is available in several styles, including lime, orange with maple, orange with black and Lucite with leather.

Although all are stylish, not all of 11 Ravens’ tables are so exotic in materials and price. Among the company’s other go-to surfaces are brushed aluminum and brass from Chemetal and ebony veneer from Treefrog.

Founded in 2011 by a professional table tennis player and several dedicated advocates of the sport, 11 Ravens is the premier manufacturing company for custom-made game tables in the United States. Skilled artisans transform 11 Ravens’ sophisticated designs into handmade tables that often feature company and brand logos incorporated into the bases.

 “We take great pride in our designs and the extreme care that goes into the construction of our tables,” said Michael Zaretsky, founder and CEO of 11 Ravens. “Each element is carefully handcrafted, sanded, polished and fitted by our skilled artisans.”

The standard table tennis table surface is a blend of proprietary, high quality composite materials designed to be scratch and damage resistant, as well as waterproof, he said.

11 Ravens’ limited edition, custom-made tables cost from $13,000 to above $50,000 depending on the complexity of design and materials.

Besides 14 different table tennis tables, the company sells tables for pool, billiards, shuffleboard, foosball, poker, blackjack and mahjong. It also offers game racks, chairs and dining tables.

Not surprisingly, the Stealth ping pong table and its lofty price have attracted considerable attention.

“Forrest Gump, a large section of China, and everyone who enjoys ping pong—sorry, table tennis—now knows what gaming perfection looks like. It looks like this,” wrote HiConsumption, a lifestyle magazine covering the latest in gadgets, architecture, design, fashion, art, vehicles and more.

All 11 Ravens tables can be made with Chemetal surfaces and Treefrog veneer among other surfaces. For example, the Trigon foosball table has a Chemetal Antique Brushed Brass Dark surface, while the Titan billiards table has a Chemetal Polished Smoked Aluminum base and a Brushed Pewter Aluminum apron. The Raven table tennis table has a Treefrog Madagascar Ebony Groove surface.

Zaretsky said the company chose Chemetal surfaces for their appearance and variety, among other reasons.

"When we discovered the Chemetal surfaces in the early days of the company, we were blown away by the variety of finishes they offered. It opened a new world for us aesthetically and helped us deliver the luxury modern products we always envisioned,” he said.

“Functionally, we love Chemetal for our clients because of their durability,” Zaretsky said. “Unlike a lacquer or even some veneers, Chemetal surfaces don't chip or crack.”

Chemetal is also one of the few companies to offer many of its surfaces in 4'-x-10' sheets, rather than just 4' x 8', and that was a big plus for 11 Ravens.

“Since all of our table tennis tables and most billiard tables come larger than 92 inches in length, Chemetal allows us to deliver the end product without seams,” he said. “From a manufacturing point of view, many Chemetal finishes come without phenolic backers, which result in cleaner joints."

As for Treefrog veneers, Zaretsky said the people at 11 Ravens are “huge fans” for two reasons: The veneers don’t crack, and they are consistent in design.

Other veneers were too thin and cracked when finished with a top coat, and sheets from the same type of tree were different.

“With Treefrog, we have the quality and consistency we expect of our clients,” Zaretsky said.

Geoff Schaefer, creative director and president of Chemetal/Treefrog/Interior Arts, said 11 Ravens’ tables are a great example of how design professionals use his company’s materials “to make cool stuff.”

“With over 200 metals designs, Chemetal is the ideal material to create so many different gaming table looks. Our materials are mostly thin, softer metals like aluminum, copper and brass, which are easier to bend and cut for skilled fabricators,” Schaefer said.

“Treefrog is a European quality prefinished veneer laminate. It’s luxurious and applies as easily as a laminate. It looks fantastic on 11 Ravens’ tables.”

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