Great Instructable! I made this for my wife's birthday, and she absolutely loved it.After trying and failing to get evenly cut dowels (even with a power mitre saw), I ended up using pre-cut 3/4" cuts from Amazon (http://a.co/eChYkCX). Interestingly, the stain absorbed into two of the sides of the dowels really heavily, so I didn't have to add any acrylic paint to get a nice dark tone and good contrast.One other minor improvement I made was the chopsticks for dipping the cubes. I just rubber-banded a pair of chopsticks to a clothespin, and then used that for dipping the cubes into the stain. It kept the mess to a minimum and kept my fingers stain-free. You can see them in the upper-right corner of the picture with the stained cubes.
Stained Wood Cube Mario