HOW TO MAKE A CUSTOM DICE TOWER.
‘Throwing the dice again! That is tiresome and an unfairly played .Anyone can cheat, too.” “There is no space to fit for my RPG game the table is so small!” Thanks to creativity we have THE DICE TOWER that can solve our problems.
The next time you play table top games, you can have yourself one, from the store may work .However what of one made by you-A CUSTOM DICE TOWER.
One that perfectly suits your personality and gives room for a little innovation in terms of your design and preferred artwork.
This small gadget-a dice tower- is used in a dice game in rolling of dice to make sure that they randomly roll and land within a fenced section getting rid of any cheating attempts and disturbing of the game pieces. Players toss the dice at the top of the tower and the dice randomly fall at the bottom with some baffling having occurred in the dice tower. A dice tower saves on space too even if the board game has taken the largest percentage of the table.
The guidelines below will enable you create your custom dice tower considering function and form:
The main elements of a dice tower include:
– At the top is the tower, which takes a rectangular shape and is hollow and vertical with slanted ramps and slats known as bafflers along the side
– At the bottom is a ramp that spills out the dice into a tray
– A tray, the spilled dice rests in this and is prevented from spilling over and disrupting the game by the boundaries round it or just a short slip.
The main working:
The dice tower can be of so many designs whereby some designs can be borrowed on online on earlier made designs as well as your brain can try out something new but the basics ought to be kept in mind.
The dice tower can be made of basswood, foam board/foam core, thick cardboard or colored plexiglass. Basswood, foam board and the plexiglass are more durable as compared to cardboard. However, the easily made is the cardboard, foam board and paper dice tower.
The working will take a few hours depending on how fast and accurate you can work.
Assemble all the materials and tools you need for your dice tower as you prefer on an open work area and surface. Supplies of these materials can be found at home or buy them from eBay. Just search for the materials you need for your small project and with the click of a button buy!
• Metal –T square- this is essential for while you dig through the material being used whether wood ,foam board or cardboard the ruler remains intact for straight neat cut-outs
• a knife preferably sharp -a box cutter knife, utility knife depending on what you will find available although for foam board you ought to have a new sharp blade
• a pen to write on or a marker pen
• masking tape(non-marking)
• Clippers to cut the toothpicks if you will use them
• Straight pins: which can be pushpins or popsicle sticks or rounded toothpicks if you are using a lighter cardboard
• a scrap solid piece of a reasonable size of the material you want too use paper, foam board etc. depending on how big you desire say for example 2×4.
• Clean cloth
• A paint brush to be used on your finish and also for spreading the glue. If using hot glue particularly when using paper have a hot glue gun.
• Self-adhesive felt, velvet or corduroy-this is to get rid of friction.
• Spray paint
• Laser cutter
- Step 1.) Draw the layout pattern of the dice tower onto the foam board, box or piece of basswood. Typically, the main part of the dice tower looks like an L. You’ll need 2 side pieces with notches. A back piece, 2 front pieces (one larger than the other), a bottom piece (you make this longer if you will be playing with a lot dice to accommodate them all), and 3 steps (2 small and 1 large). This must not be the exact design you will use.You make a dice tower that is carved like an animal or a castle.
If not good with tracing ,one can get one from various dice game sites and have a printout of the design.However,the printout is not resized in any way.
Keep in mind that it should have 3 slanted faces.
Figure 1:A sizable piece solid piece
If you’re doing a narrower tower, you could put some weights in the bottom with washers or the like.
Figure 2: Tracing out the layout
- Step 2.)Line your ruler or straight edge along lines and cut out pieces with the knife you have or whatever sharp cutting tool you had. Use a rabbet cutter to trim joint edges. Use an x-acto knife to cut out the small notches on sides (where the baffles will slide in).
- Step 3.) Put glue on the edges of the bottom and the back of the tower. These two parts are crucial to measuring and cutting the baffles as well as keeping the whole thing square. You may use pins in top, middle and bottom of the joints to help hold it tight till it dries up. Let it sit for about an hour to dry before continuing because these are the foundation that your dice tower depends on to be straight and square just like when building a house .A strong foundation assures a stable durable house.
Figure 3:The sides and the back glued on
The actual working starts with t,he two sides the back and the bottom glued on.
The bottom baffle should be a little longer.
- Step 4.) Glue on the front of the box. Tape it in place after gluing with white glue and let it dry for an hour afterward.
Figure 4:The front part glued
- Step 5.) Glue on the top-most piece by lining it up with the top edge of the tower to form the top-most baffle. This is comes in handy while playing the game as no one can peer into the tower and know the outcome of the game making the game fair.
Figure 5: Insertion of the baffles
You can use a compass set at 2” or whatever angle you find appropriate depending on the size of your dice tower usually about 30 to 45 degrees. This is to ensure you have enough clearance even for moderately sized dice to be tossed about in there. After you set the first baffle draw a circle out from the end, and let the next baffle ride along the underside of that curve to ensure good clearance all the way around. When using wood, dowels work best they ought to be 3/8’ to 1/2’ hardwood and are placed in levels.
Don’t forget that the other side is going to have to fit down between the front and back, so you’ll need to cut your baffles a bit shorter than the rest of the parts so that it will not be some hard work when you are done and the glue has dried.
- Step 6.) Repeat the same for the other slats (baffles).Again, use the compass to ensure a 2″ clearance all the way around. One may think that knowledge of geometry is needed to ensure accurate angles of the baffles is made but you can just use eyeballing and estimation making sure the angle is sharp that is it is steep enough that the dice will hit it and bounce away, and not be inclined to stop there but slowly flow to the bottom of the tray.
Figure 6: Fixing the other baffles; a little longer than the first.
- Step 7.) Attach the other side and the front of the tray, then tape all the seams. The tape helps hide the corrugation for a cleaner finished look, but it is not a must to do so. When using cardboard or also foam board paint the inside before the final gluing up of the side and sealing of the box. To have a neatly finished up dice tower, paint everything either flat white or flat black remembering the insides of the tower ought to form something like a dark tunnel so that no one can peer inside and see the inside the tower.
- Step 8.)When dry per the manufacturer’s label you can now play around with the finalization of your dice tower. This being the notably the interesting part of customization of the dice tower. The finishing will depend on whatever may pop out of your mind: Spray it with paint or draw a picture of your favorite person or an image of your character, acrylic painting designs, printing pictures onto computer paper and gluing them on the sides of your tower or printable sticker sheets…the decoration you can do is just an endless list.
- Step 9.)Test your dice if it works effectively with the dice rolling smoothly and to the bottom tray.
Here are a few suggestions to make adjustments in case there is need to better your dice tower:
1) You can make supports on the inside part while building to avoid a start over of the whole works so that the dice runs smoothly to the bottom this is when you find your dice gets stuck inside the tower.
2) The tray at the bottom may be padded for the dice to roll smoothly. If you use wood, felt at the bottom tray would work very well than ending up with a dice box rather than a dice tower.
3) One may not make like the dramatic sounds made when the dice are rolling so a better idea would be to pad the bafflers. You can use sheet of self-adhesive felt to do the padding. Another option is cutting windows on the sides of the tower ( if using wood).The windows allow the sound of the falling dice escape. Make sure you position the windows in search a way that you do not see the ramps. Corduroy may work preferably in making your bafflers .They have a clear nap.
4) When using light cardboard, it is preferably worth to glue a few heavy washers at the bottom to prevent it from being knocked over.
5) Depending on what you have used even wood you can disassemble the dice tower when not in use to have a small package to carry everywhere.
6) Using water color art markers to decorate your basswood made tower may quite be disappointing as the colors may run or be absorbed into the wood. Coat your tower with polyurethane after decorating.
From all the available materials you can make up a collectible of dice towers for display making it a substitute for trading cards and figurines .You can also sell out your self- made towers to games stores or give a donation to kids.
Moreover having a custom dice tower at some point might not fully entail having to create one from scratch .The plexiglass made dice towers for example can be hectic and expensive to create them at home. Then, buy one at a store and do a little customization on them. Spraying paint on the outside to change the look or when disassembled, coat the inside with felt to reduce racket sounds if it irritates you. Whatever it is you end up with a dice tower modified to suit your flair and personality.
Note that a dice tower is an accessory that complements the dice games making them more desirable and not replacing them.
The next time you have family game night or hanging out with friends do not be glued on that video game anymore try out some dice games-the table top miniatures, role playing games, board gaming…- with your small self-made dice tower. An awesome way to be proud of your innovative self and also create an opportunity for fun-filled bonding!!