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Easy to make Large Funky Metal Dice (d6)

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It was a dark and stormy night and the power was out. Not to be detered at our efforts at fun, we all hunkered down for an exciting game of Settlers by candlelight. Mighty was the cry of anguish when we realized the dreaded dice gremlins had struck earlier that day, taking our dice for their own nefarious reasons.

All hope was not lost. We made a small offering to the dice gods, then raided the hardware cabinet. A couple of threaded rod coupling nuts and a battery powered label maker later, we once again were rolling for sheep.
 
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Step 1: Getting the pile of parts together

This is a easy way to make some funky metal dice. Dice with presence and mass. It's different enough that people will notice when you whip these suckers out. They will hear the rolling thunks from across the room and come to see just what is going on.

It takes 20 minutes, and for each dice you need:

A threaded rod coupling nut - I used one for 5/8" rod. A coupling nut for 1/2" rod would work as well, I just wanted bigger. Check out your local decently equipped hardware store to find these guys - cost is around$1.50 to $2.50 each. Coupling nuts are your basic hexagon piece of metal and are 5 to 6 times longer than your standard hex nut, so it won't roll onto the end unless you really try at it.

A label maker - Small label makers have become popular and plentiful the last few years - you might have one in a closet somewhere. If you don't have a label maker, print or write out the numbers on a piece of paper and cover it over with some clear packing tape.

Some packing tape - this is the standard stuff that comes off a tape gun. Scotch tape would work but it's not as strong or sticky.

The coupling nut I used was a hair over 3/4" in diameter and a bit over 2" long. Hex diameters are usually measured flat side to flat side. It weighs in at 2.6oz, compared to a normal 16mm d6 dice at 0.1oz. Yes, it makes a distinct noise when it rolls.

This coupling nut came with some holes and cutouts in it. Probably to let water drain if it's left outside or something like that. I just took some packing tape and put it over the holes, then used a utility knife to trim it down so the edges where all on one "flat" side. Packing tape will give the label when you put it on a little extra support so it doesn't puncture.
_soapy_1 year ago
That 20 minutes includes writing the Instructible, right?

Great idea. I can see myself getting a rod connector out my pocket and writing the numbers on with marker pen or a scribe... :-)
That's not a criticism of the Instructible, btw. I'm just pointing out that it takes perhaps 30 seconds to make one of these if you use a marker pen, leaving quarter of an hour to write it up.

I might try engraving some of these.
Derin6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Derin Derin6 years ago
nvm bought a $90 labelmaker for $30 off ebay(batteries included)
Derin Derin5 years ago
WHAT?COMMUNITY REQUEST!???I DELETED IT!I!I!I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Removed by comment author request?
Derin6 years ago
v3ry nl(3 pr0j3(t dud3 w0w h4><0r 1anguag3
Non geek translation, please.
"Very nice project dude wow hacker language."

That'll be 10 bucks.
*beep beep beep* WHAT THE *explosion* *maniacal laughter*
chriskarr Derin5 years ago
0h /\/\Y 60d, /\/\4/\/, 7h47 15 50 I<1(I<-455! 600d j08! I<33P 1t 1337.
The Vikings used dice like these--cast from precious and semi-precious metals or carved from bone, antler, or ivory. I guess great minds think alike. If you got couplers without the holes in the sides, you could add pips (dots) with a center punch. Very cool! Thanks for sharing.
red99877 years ago
I have wood for sheep!
sehrgut red99876 years ago
I'll trade you two sheep for three wood.
That's a terrible trade!
DAH!, Ill trade you 10sheep for 10 wood, ill throw in a turnop too
Who needs wood?? Burn the sheep ! :D
Meant turnip. LEt me redo that sentence. DAH! I'll trade yeh 10 sheep for 10 wood, HAYL - I throwin' turnip tuh.
craniac7 years ago
Someone else on instructables has done this with brass pieces and etched the words in place. This is cool.
whamodyne (author)  craniac7 years ago
Yep, the same dude. Well, the cat helped a little in the brass one.
its the same guy...
whamodyne (author) 7 years ago
the video hosting is via revver.com. I'm still trying to figure out which one to use and think youtube's quality is low. These guys seemed to have a better quality, larger feed than most.
No reason you can't post it in more than one place. :)
Hugo.B7 years ago
Problem: I worked out at the tender age of 12 that I could throw the dice to my advantage, thus securing me continents in RISK!, and family bellicosity.
These dice look particularly easy cheat with.

H.B.
chuckr44 Hugo.B7 years ago
I also worked out, around 1984, how to influence the outcome of a die roll, particularly on d20s. It worked best on higher numbered dice, like d20 and d12, but also worked on d8 and d6. This was not a loaded die, but I could use any die to my advantage.
austin7 years ago
you can buy this same thing but without the holes . I got some a while back that have just been sitting around. They sell them at lowes for ~88 cents
jstech7 years ago
The holes in the rod coupling might bias the outcome. You should roll it a couple hundred times and see if the number over the holes comes up more. (Since that face is less dense, the center of gravity would be shifted away from that number face, which would mean that having that number on top would be a lower-energy state than the number opposite it).
whamodyne (author)  jstech7 years ago
I agree - this is probably not a level dice. I wouldn't want to use it in a situation that I really cared about the outcome. It's mostly for fun and to make people sit up and take notice. Imagine the DM making the save roll behind a screen and the noise it would make.
tiuk7 years ago
Nice. As you said, putting 1/6. 2/5, and 3/4 on opposite faces would be ideal. Also, I wouldn't recommend dropping it on a game board (like monopoly), I imagine the weight would bounce pieces everywhere :)
nice instructable and what kinda video hosting thing is that?
mrmath7 years ago
Nice, simple idea. I like it. One thing I would change, however. Traditionally, the opposite faces of a die total 7. That means you should put 1 and 6, 2 and 5, and 3 and 4 on opposite sides. Doesn't change the odds of rolling a particular number, but it's a nit that I had to pick. I also like the idea, btw, of using words instead of numbers. I have three kids under the age of 9, and this would help to reinforce the number as word idea.