This handmade (tablesaw, wordburning and shellac) wooden set for Settlers of Catan was made by Ben Shultz.Imgur gallery here.
Instructable here. I really respect the hand-burnt details of all the pieces. A lot of time went into this. I presume his was similar to my experience though, the time just melts away as each piece reaches completion, at each step you see something new emerge and you feel yourself closer to that first game with your friends.