Introduction: Basic Dice Tower - Foamcore
Think about the last time you played a board game - how many times did the dice end up on the floor? It can be a common problem. You go to throw the dice and one flies off the table and lands who knows where never to be seen again. Or, whoever rolled it changes the roll from a 1 to a 6 and then an argument ensues and after ten minutes of back and forth ultimately ends in a re-roll.
A dice tower is a wonderful solution to that problem. Dice get popped in the top and spill out into a contained area with no arguing over whether it's a 1 or a 6. No worrying over losing dice anymore. This is a quick build that's fairly simple. However, it can be dressed up and modified in many ways to suit your specific needs. Let's take a look at how to get started and the supplies you would need for this build.
- Foamcore or foamboard
- Hot glue or white PVA glue
- Hobby foam (thin 1mm or 2mm) (optional but softens the sound of the dice)
- Hobby knife or box cutter
Step 1: Step 1: Cutting Out the Wall Pieces
To start, cut out the four walls you'll need to make up the tower. These can be any size that you'd like to fit your needs. Mine were 4" x 8".
After cutting out the four walls, I chose one to be the front. I cut out an opening for the dice to roll out of from this piece. Again, the size is up to you, but you'll want to make sure it's large enough for your dice to fit through. Another thing to consider is dice getting stuck. Make sure bits of wall next to the opening aren't big enough for a die to get stuck on.
With all the wall pieces cut out, I began gluing them together. I did not glue the front wall on yet. That will come later. I have a small square that helped me hold up the pieces while gluing them but this isn't necessary. Holding them works out just fine.
Step 2: Step 2: Sizing and Gluing in the Ramps
Before we can attach the front wall, we need ramps for the dice to fall down. Now, you could skip these side ramps and only add a ramp at the bottom, but I feel like these side ramps help scramble up those dice even more so I added them.
I sized them by holding a piece of foam core in place and marking to the edge of the wall. Now, in order to glue these in, I cut a bevel on one edge. I went for a close to 45 degree angle. I used a straight edge to help keep my cut nice and straight as I went. With those bevels cut, I glued them in.
Before gluing them in, adding foam to the tops of the ramps is a good idea. This will quiet down the dice as they fall and there will be less rattling noise. Simply lay a ramp on the foam, trace it, and cut out the foam. Glue it onto the ramp and now it's ready to be secured to the tower.
Once these ramps were glued in, I wanted to make sure they wouldn't break off from the weight of the tumbling dice. I cut out small reinforcement pieces and glued those underneath the ramps to help support them. At this point, try the tower out to make sure everything is working as intended.
Step 3: Step 3: Adding the Final Ramp and Foam
With those side ramps in place, the final ramp can be inserted. This is the one that will launch the dice out of the tower. It is made in the same manner as the side ramps. Size it up by placing a piece of foamcore in the bottom and getting the measurements to fit. With the piece sized, cut a bevel so it fits snugly against the tower.
Before gluing it down, adding foam to the ramp, like the others, is a good idea. Again, this is to help dampen the noise a bit so it's not entirely necessary but a nice addition.
With the foam on the ramp, it's ready to be attached to the inside of the tower. Getting this ramp in and secure is another good time to test out the tower. Drop some dice in and make sure they can roll freely and nothing's falling or breaking off.
Step 4: Step 4: Attaching Final Wall and Building Pen for the Dice
Onto the final steps for this build. With the ramps in place, now is the time to add the front wall. Glue that in place like the other walls. At this point, you've got a dice tower! However, we need a way to control those dice so they don't go missing.
Place the dice tower on a piece of foamcore to size it up to the width of the tower. The length of the pen is up to you but mine was about 5 inches long. Glue the tower down to this piece of foamcore.
The final piece is adding the side walls to the pen. To do this, I decided on a height for the walls that is about the same height as the dice. This should help keep them contained. And the length is determined by the length of the base. So, take a piece of foamcore, lay it next to the base and mark off the correct length you'll need. Cut out two pieces for the two side walls. Glue those in place. Measure out the last wall by laying a piece of foamcore next to the open space at the end and mark the appropriate size. Cut and glue that in place.
Boom! You've got a dice tower with a pen to collect the dice. No more chasing dice off the table or arguing about rolls. This thing has that all taken care of for you. If you want some suggestions for modifications for it, read on, otherwise, enjoy your new dice tower!
Step 5: Step 5: Possible Modifications
So you've got a completed dice tower, but maybe it's a little dull for your tastes. A simple modification would be to paint it. You may want to seal the exposed edges of the foamcore with something like Mod Podge before painting, but the paper should take paint fine.
Another modification that is a bit more in depth and time consuming is peeling back the paper and scribe brickwork into the tower. This would be easier to do before putting together the tower but could also be done afterwards. Cheap foamcore from the dollar store works best for this because the paper peels away easily. Once you've got your brickwork laid in, you can paint it up to look like a castle tower or any paint scheme you'd like to see.
Those are two ideas that you could use to spruce up your dice tower and I'm sure there are many others you could come up with to make your tower unique. Hope you found this helpful and have fun building!
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