Introduction: The Tower Box (Dice Case)
For many years I have been regularly involved in one type of tabletop game or another. Adventuring with my party killing dragons and exploring dungeons. My fate at the will of a roll of the dice. Recently I have seen adds for custom made "Premium" dice cases. These typically come with a high dollar price tag. Being a typical money cautious cheap skate I am I've decided I'd like to try to make my own. after a little thinking of what I would want to protect my dice I came to the conclusion my idea was very plain. "What can I do to make this stand out? what will make this be something people will be jealous of?” I started thinking of other gaming things I thought were cool then it hit me what if I made a dice case that had a dice tower in it! (for non gamers a dice tower is a small box type thing that you put your dice in and they roll down internal platforms onto either a table or usually a built in tray basically rolling your dice for you)
first I thought I'll have pieces you put together to build it after you open the box. I decided if I'm too lazy to roll a dice myself I'm too lazy to build a tower every time I play. then I thought what if I build into the case somehow like in the lid..... that's how this whole project got started. just a little for warning I wouldn't consider myself a master Craftsman by any means, there are plenty of things in this instructable that there are different and possibly better ways to do this and by all means do so if that's what you think works best for you. I'm just going to give you what I did if you want to follow the instructions if you like. I would also like to point out your dimensions of your box may be different for you so just make sure how you space things out works for your case and case needs.
Step 1: Materials Needed
-dice you wish to store and protect
-a box you will use to house all the project (please note I actually got 2 of these boxes as the lid was too small for my needs)
-1 sheet of Plexi glass
- sand paper I used 110 and 220
- various pieces of scrap wood ( I used pieces a 2x2, a 2x4, and a 1 1/2x1/8)
- Wood Glue
- Wood filler
- Wood stain or paint in a flavor of your choice
-A super glue able to attach to metal and wood
-Tacky glue (to hold down felt)
- Felt in the color of your choice
-Small Magnets the ones I picked were 1/4 the inch I used 4 (you can also use a latch I just couldn't find one I liked)
-A cool looking decal for the outside
Step 2: Tools Needed
I tried using as few power tools as possible but for the ramps I wanted them to be as smooth as possible, but I think I could do all of the project with hand tools.
-Dremel with standard bits
-Fabric Pizza Cutter (I know it's a rotary cutter it just looks like a pizza cutter)
Also note that these tools are what I used you may know better methods to do these things. I however am a novice at this so I may have done some things in ways some people may not do.
Step 3: Get a Box
I got my box premade at a local craft store. However if you are more crafty at wood working you could just make your own box however you want it. Also note you want your lid and the bottom to be wide enough for dice to roll freely. In my case my boxes lid wasn't going to work so I just got 2 of the boxes and put 2 bottoms together.
Step 4: Space It All Out
The interior of my box was 7.5 in x 4.75 x 1.25 in deep (this is just one side so I have this x 2). Meaning all my spaces and pieces needed to fit into that. For me since this was originally just a dice box I wanted to be able to fit all my dice into it so in my case I had 3 sets of dice so I wanted enough to hold 3 sets of dice, as well as a place for a pencil, and can't forget a rolling area.
Step 5: Cutting the Wood (Lid)
Unfortunately I went to a friend's to get the woods cut and you know how that goes I for got to get pictures of the cutting process,but I will explain each of the pieces we cut for the lid.
The first image is the first platform for the dice to go down it's just a small rectangle about 4 inches long with a 15° angle cut in it.
The second image is the next area the dice will hit basically is just a 45° angle cut off the corner of a 2x4
The third and fourth image I really have to give credit to my friend because it was his soul to get the dice where we want them and without this piece I don't think the tower would work at all. basically what he did was measure the remaining space left on the bottom of the lid (the same size space as what later will be the rolling area) on 2x2 then long ways made a 45° cut then another 45° cut short ways.
In the end it should all fit in the lid like image 5.
He also went in and trimmed the thickness of the pieces down so the Plexi glass would fit snug in the box when it was closed.
I'm just going to pause here to say thank you to him, really with out these pieces this would never have turned out as well as it did.
Step 6: Cutting the Deviders
For my box I needed 3 divider walls as well as one for the pencil holder. I made sure to measure the pencil divider first. using a pencil I made a mark where I wanted the cut then made sure it still lined with up. Securing it in a vice I made my cut with a hand saw. Knowing I only needed about 0.75 inch for it I kind of eyeballed the size I wanted. Next it was time for the dice dividers I basically did the same step for pencil divider for them once I got the first one cut I just remeasured that one for the other 2 I needed to try and keep them the same size. Once the pieces were cut I spaced them out in the box how I wanted it. My box the wood I used for the divider was sightly wider than the box so I had to sand down the dividers to match it. Just keep sanding and checking from time to time get it as close as you can if it's not perfect it's ok I address this in a later step.
Step 7: Sanding
Right now would be a good time to go and sand all your pieces as smooth as possible especially the spots where the dice are going down so it doesn't interfere with the rolling. Some may argue this is the most important step of the whole project if you don't do a good job here and it will show in every aspect of your final product.
Since I don't plan on using the original clasp I took this time to use wood filler and fill the holes and sand it down once it dries.
Step 8: Fixing a Future Problem
one problem I saw from there get go I needed a way to have the box open at a 90° angle. I thought of a lot of solutions like perhaps a chain, perhaps a moveable kick stand, learn telepathy, or even trying to limit the hinge on how it opens.
What a came up with was cutting a piece of square dowel to attach to the bottom half in the back. I did try and cut it just a hair shorter than the box so it didn't interfere with the hinge. I also wanted the exposed edges.
Step 9: Gluing
Now with the gluing, I was lucky enough to think to have my friend cut spacers for the dice compartments. In the future I would probably make the spacers about an inch shorter than the compartments just to avoid the pieces from getting stuck after the gluing. Basically all I did was put penny down to try and raise it up a bit to avoid from the glue getting stuck to the spacers. (not sure how much this helped) I put a thin layer on each edge (not the top) basically just put a spacer then a wall, spacer wall and so on then. Get the long piece and put it in with a clamp to hold it in let it sit for the time suggested for your glue.
The lid is self explanatory but the first platform you want to make sure there is enough space for a dice to roll down.
Also don't forget to clamp on the back kick stands.
After I allowed time for it to all dry I noticed the dice walls were preventing the box from closing properly, so I took the whole bottom half and sanded it down. Just take your time and make sure just to sand enough so the box closed well.
Step 10: Staining or Painting
This is when I stained my box. This will also be the most vague step of the whole process. Trust me there are better tutorials out there than me to teach you how to stain. It's for the best just take your time and give it enough time to dry.
Step 11: Plexiglass Cutting
My plexiglass came with a plastic sheet on both sides I kept one side on to draw on. What ever shape you want to do that works best for your box. When I originally cut my holes I the dice some times got caught on the exit so I extended it a bit.(a bit too much the dice can now transfer from the third hole to the rolling field or even the lid. A minor inconvenience that I can live with)
Next I drilled some holes to attach the plexiglass with screws. I took a dry erase markers to mark where I wanted to put the holes. You want to make sure to pre drill the holes as to not break the glass, or split the wood just go at a show speed.
Now would also be a good time to clean the glass of any finger prints or saw dust it may be hard to do later.
Also note the spacing for the screws that they don't interfere with the deviders I had to move mine for one.
Step 12: Adding Magnets
I decided instead if a latch (that I couldn't find one I liked) I would use magnets. My magnets were .25 inch so I used that drill bit. A good tip is hold your magnet at the bottom and put a piece of tape above it, that way when you drill your holes you know when to stop.
Another tip I have is take 2 magnets let them attach and put a mark on each side the side with the mark will go face down in the hole with the glue. Get a good dab of glue and put it in the hole then the magnet on top. Make sure to clean any extra glue.
Step 13: Felt Placement
The felt is completely optional I just opted to do so to cover my less than perfect stain job. All my compartments were the same height so I just measured and cut out for a piece for each spot. Then cut one for the pencil compartment.
Next is gluing the felt down. Put a fair amount of glue in each compartment. (I'd do one at a time) I like to spread it out with my finger just to give it a good even coat. Make sure not to put too much or it may result in a wrinkled finish.
Step 14: Everything Hinges on This
So the next thing to do is attach the hinges. I'd attach them to the lid first then attach it all together.
Step 15: Final Touches
So at this point the project is done. You can go thru and add different things I decided to add a decal to the back of it so I could tell what side is up so I don't open the box upside down.....again. you can skip this but I really like how it turned out with it on there. I also thought of adding a leather handle to it like where the kickstands are not sure how to do that just yet though.
Step 16: Closing Thoughts
All and all, I hope you enjoyed this instructable I know I loved the challenge it brought and I couldn't be more happy with the outcome of it. I'd you make it I'd love to see pictures or any feedback is appreciated.
I'm also going to include a video so you can see it in action
Again thank you for checking my instructable out I hope you enjoyed it and, may the dice roll in your favor.