|Project by FloridaArt||posted 03-18-2014 01:31 AM||1513 views||13 times favorited||15 comments|
March, 2014—Making dice turned out to be more difficult that I expected. Accuracy and consistency are key, but so are the details of which sides get which numbers. I learned that there are “right-handed” and “left handed” dice. If you look carefully at the sides with the 2 and the 3, and have the 6 on top, you will see the difference. In the first photo two are right-handed and two are left-handed.
A jig for drilling consistent hole patterns is mandatory. I found dice face images on the web, and then scaled them to print at the size of my dice: 1-inch (before sanding). The jig is glued up from a small piece of MDF, with some pine “rails” and “stiles” to hold the dice snugly. Basically, put the blank rosewood into the jig. Carefully turn the jig upside down so the rosewood is sitting on the drill press table. Then drill the hole using the holes in the base of the jig as a guide.
The “dots” on the dice are plugs made of 3/16-inch round material. Two of the dice shown use brass rod, and two use chopsticks I brought back from a restaurant. They look almost identical, except the brass shines more as you can tell from the second photo. And they feel significantly different in the hand. The brass dice weigh significantly more! Sawdust Tom, my woodworking pal in the neighborhood, suggests inserting a lead rod under one of more of the chopsticks plugs.
Difficulties were encountered, mostly with the brass. The 3/16-inch drill bit I have makes for a very tight fit for the 3/16-inch brass rod. Consequently, with the closeness of most of the dots to the edge / corner, cracking in the wood developed. I filled those with the same CA glue (“super glue”) that I used to secure the brass in the holes. The second major problem with the brass was in the sanding. The brass gets hot when sanding on the belt or disk sander. And when it gets too hot, the wood around it burns, which discolors the wood and also allows the brass to pop out. So, sanding is slow going. Sand; let it cool; sand; let it cool.
The dice with the wooden chopsticks plugs were much easier all the way around. All the dice were sanded to 220 grit, and then a couple coats of spray lacquer. I think I’ll build up the lacquer finish more on the next batch.
-- Art | Bradenton, Florida