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Sep 09

Another Dice Tower

Made this over the weekend.  It’s a dice tower (I know, duh right?).  I prefer this style I think over the other one I made as you can watch the dice tumble down it.  And they really do tumble like no body’s business, hitting at least one peg per layer and really spinning like mad.

[Note: I have tried the tube tower but the lack of a drill press leaves me with lopsided holes making it tough to make pretty.]

It started with a piece of 3.5″ x 48″ x 1/4″ birch from the local handy Lowes.  Cost about $4.  I added a piece of 8×11 Plexiglas roughly 1/8″ thick which cost like 99 cents which I think I also picked up at Lowes. Â  I bought two pieces and lucky for me I did as I learned how to NOT drill thin plexiglass with the first piece.

I started with the piece butted up to another piece and that butted up against a thicker piece to act as a guide rail for my circular saw.  No I don’t have a table saw. I had to add two shims about 3/16 of an inch to gap it out so that the notched I was cutting would hit the right place.  1

Down one side and up the the other and a couple of other cuts and I ended up with this.

2Next I cut out a ramp using a thicker piece of wood again using the circular saw to cut one of the 45′s and a jig saw the other 45 degree angle.  Circular saw only has one 45 angle.  The jig saw as you might imagine was a little wiggly but a quick hit with a random orbital sander fixed it right up.  I then glued these pieces together and waited.  Ending up with this.  Note the unclamped piece is there just to help insure straightness.

3Sadly the next day after unclamping it I managed to knock it to the ground and one of the sides came free.  Gluing it back up I was in a bit of a hurry and as a result it’s a tiny degree non-straight.  This had the end result that my plexiglass pieces don’t fit flush.  I could sand those down but decided not to.

Next up was coming up with a pattern for the dowels and trying to drill those in the plexiglass.  I scribed the plexiglass in half to get 4″ x 11″ pieces.  I then had to trim roughly 1/2 an inch off the ends to make them fit in the grooves I cut in the side pieces.

First I tried drilling them just clamped down to scrap wood (both at the same time mind you to insure perfect alignment).  The plexiglass broke as the drill would catch in the hole right as it went all the way through.

But clamping the two pieces of plexiglass between two scrap pieces of wood and drilling through all four pieces I ended up with good holes.

4

With the addition of a few bracing pieces cut from 5/16″ square stock and 17 pegs cut from 1/4″ dowels I ended up with this -

5

6And the dice look so pretty falling through it.

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So for about $6 in parts, about 1 hours worth of work (not counting drying time for the glue and polyurethane ) you too can have a pretty sweet dice tower.  Note I haven’t yet made a catch tray as I want to see if I can make a heart shaped one.  This tower is for my wife after all. :)


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