Instructables
Picture of geek chain: chain made out of d20 dice
P4120027.JPG
Well, there are two things that led me to this project. First one - I like to feel individual, have something to break form the grey mass of everyday life. Second - too much free time.
Probably you've seen small chains which you can attach to your trousers. I tried to find a way to make one-of-a-kind chain. And I did. As I'm a gamer (computer games, RPG and so on) I decided to take some RPG dice and make the chain out of them. I know that there are surely more freaks like me so I'll try to tell you about making item like mine as much as I can.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Tools and Preparations

Before you begin, think of a place where you are going to work. You'll need some tools so it'll probably be some kind of workshop (your basement, garage etc.). However, there is one thing that you should consider FIRST - GOOD VENTILATION. I'm not joking, this is for YOUR HEALTH PROTECTION. Work will involve piercing the dice with hot metal. It produces FUMES, which are HARMFUL. Make sure that you cover your face. If you put a cooling fan directly at the source of fumes, then a simple bandana on your face will be enough.

Materials and tools you'll need, in the order as in the photos (from left to right):

1. Two quick swivel bolt snaps. Each of them is about 5cm (2 in.) long, which makes them perfect to attach into your trousers.

2. Dice. A lot of them. Color is of your choice. Each die is 2cm (0.8 in.) measured from side to side, not between vertices. To find the desired lenght of your future chain, simply take a piece of string and put it to your trousers, find the appropriate amount and check the length.. REMEMBER to do the measurement when you're having your trousers on. If you just put them on the table and try - you'll get different result. Length which was satisfactory for me was 50 cm (20 in.). Margin of mistake would be around 5 cm (2 in.). Make sure to buy several dice more than you need, just in case of mistakes. I've bought 28 and finally put 23 on a chain (with only one lost during experimental piercing).

3. Some sort of string - a spine of your chain. I have considered several alternatives:
- first one was cotton string. Why not? – too weak, and too easy to tear apart.

- a metal cable. Why not? – not flexible enough. The chain wouldn’t hang freely under its own weight, but keep the cable’s shape.

- a metal string. Similar to the one in your bicycle’s brakes. Why not? – too thick, and without any isolation it would work like sandpaper. Also there would be problems with flexibility.


After eliminating all the alternatives I was left with nylon string. You can buy it in any shop with building materials. The one I’ve chosen is 1mm in diameter. It’s durable (I was unable to tear it apart by myself, so it should protect you from any accidents), it’s flexible (no problem even when it was put through the dice twice) and it’s easy to work with.
Length which you will need is double the length of chain, plus 30 cm (12 in.) to avoid shortages. In my case it was 50+50+30=130 cm (4 feet and 4 in.)

4. Source of flame to heat up the thing which you’ll pierce the dice with. I think that portable (touristic) propane gas tank is the best, however anything that can generate similar temperature will do. Things like cigarette lighter can’t give you enough temperature.

5. Thing which you’ll use to pierce through the dice. It has to be metal to heat up well, and has to be AT LEAST the same diameter as the string you are using. It may be anything: drill, thick needle (preferably surgical), nail etc. I’ve chosen hex wrench (Allen wrench), 2mm in diameter.

6. Pliers to hold the piercing item. It’s necessary as it will be literally red-hot.

7. Wire cutters to get rid of the remains of piercing.

8. Vise to keep the pierced die still and keep your finger as far from the heat as possible.

9. You may, but don't have to, take cigarette lighter and SuperGlue.



cortchops1 year ago
let us all take a moment of silence for our lost comrades........
pgd50002 years ago
I did something sort of like this for a necklace, I used a D6 and went through the middle of the 1 and 5 faces, but i used a drill, i find it you are slow enough, it wont crack.
MiggyMan3 years ago
Metal cable works fine, I used to have a dice chain for my wallet, the only issue with using it was that it really could have done with some kind of joint at the wallet end as it was the stress from being repeatedly twisted when you got the wallet out the ultimately killed it.
doomsdayltd3 years ago
oh sh#t somebody just rolled a 20....more like 6 20's at a time :D
ybunnygurl3 years ago
Ohh now I know what to do with all the messed up dice from my Pound O'die bag. Thank you. I think I will try using a drill press the make the holes.
lucek4 years ago
What a waste that's 5 groups worth of dice.
xaime4 years ago
Oh! My heart is bleeding! I cannot hurt my dice like that! But...great tutorials :) Nerd powa, bro'!
karossii4 years ago
dice is the plural of die.
dices is a tense of an action verb, to dice (as in to cut food into small cubes) - i.e. "He dices vegetables very quickly."
machcio (author)  karossii4 years ago
You know, I have always been taught that there is one "dice" and many "dices". You made me curious so I have even checked several dictionaries and english version of Dungeons&Dragons RPG Handbook, and I've  found there "one dice" version. I was unable to find plural as in handbook they rather say "make several rolls" or similar.

thanks for the information, I'll try to dig a little bit more about that, and if I can get 100% confirmation then I'll correct it in the text.
It might be an American vs. British English thing then, as it seems to me you're not American...

But here's a definition or two from http://dictionary.reference.com

die[dahy]

noun, plural dies for 1, 2, 4, dice for 3.

1. Machinery.
a. any of various devices for cutting or forming material in a press or a stamping or forging machine.
b. a hollow device of steel, often composed of several pieces to be fitted into a stock, for cutting the threads of bolts or the like.
c. one of the separate pieces of such a device.
d. a steel block or plate with small conical holes through which wire, plastic rods, etc., are drawn.
2. an engraved stamp for impressing a design upon some softer material, as in coining money.
3. singular of dice.
4. Architecture. dado (def. 1).

and then,

dice [dahys]

plural noun,singular die.

1. small cubes of plastic, ivory, bone, or wood, marked on each side with one to six spots, usually used in pairs in games of chance or in gambling.
3. any of various games, esp. gambling games, played by shaking and throwing from two to six dice or poker dice onto a flat surface. Compare craps.
4. any small cubes.
5. Auto Racing. a jockeying for lead position between two or more drivers in which tactics are used to pass or keep from being passed.

I find it funny that they only include 'cubes' in the definition of dice, when polyhedral dice are actually more commonly made and purchased than the cubes; there are relatively few games which use the 6-sided die, even if those few are more "mainstream" games...
machcio (author)  karossii4 years ago
I'm certainly not American. I'm form Poland :)

Anyway, I've edited the text and made corrections. Many thanks for info and help.
Hit post too soon, oops!

I was going to continue into a long and unnecessary description of the various polyhedral shapes in found in gaming dice... but since it is unnecessary, I will omit it.

Anyway, I also want to make sure and mention, good concept, execution, and description! Nice 'ible.
depotdevoid4 years ago
Very awesome instructable!  As a total nerd and also as someone who wears a wallet chain, I may just have to make one of these.
Im an Old School Roleplayer. This instructable is great. Good Job!
Ollus4 years ago
Clear instructable :-) makes me want to make my own :-)