Introduction: Slats Dice Tray

As I said in a previous instructable, I glean wood on the streets and try to get the best of it. So here's another project with bed slats ! Cheap and quick to build.

This time I was testing the strength of slats glued together, making random stuff, not knowing where I was going really. And as it's often the case, you make a shape and think "what if..."

Ok I got an octogon, but what if I add a plank here ? Well, it's now a tray. And what if I add felt on that plank ? Well it means you really want to play dice !

And so it began !

Step 1: What You'll Need

Material :

  • Bed slats
  • 1cm thick plank
  • Felt or Baize

Tools :

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Electrical tape
  • Wood glue
  • Ratchet strap
  • Double-sided tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Varnish
  • Brush
  • Spray glue
  • Cutter / scissors

Step 2: Pick Your Slats, Size, Shape,...

I find all kinds of slats in the streets. There's so many I can pick the one that fits the most my project and what I have in mind. Here I'm going with 3,5cm large and 2cm thick slats (the common one is 5cm large and less than 1cm thick). It's only a visual choice, nothing to do with the sturdiness. I just think it's going to look better this way.

I want my tray to be around 25-30cm wide. For this size, and the kind of slat I'm using, I think an octagon is a good pick. Any polygon works fine, just make sure you get the right angle values.

Mine is going to be an octagon, around 25cm wide with 10cm long sides.

Step 3: Cut the Slats

To cut with precision, I'm using a mitre saw. This one cost around 30€ but I borrowed one from a friend. It was hard to cut my angles at 67,5 degrees because the machine isn't the best on the market and also because the slats are slightly curved. But anyhow, I manage to cut my 8 pieces with trapezium shape.

Step 4: Form the Octagon

Once I had all my pieces sanded, I lined them flat on a table (the shorter side on the table) and tape them together. This way I can see if all the angles are right. When everything fits, it's time to glue.

I closed the octagon with the tape and cleaned the excess glue. You want to do it now rather than sand it later. I placed the strap around to keep it tight. Before it's really tight, you can adjust the slats.

After a few hours, it's dry and you can sand it.

Step 5: Sand

The best way I found to sand this properly and keep it flat is to tape a piece of sandpaper on a board (using double-sided tape) and rub the wood on it.

Both sides are sanded. One to fit the tray, the other to smooth and to even the surface.

Step 6: Cut the Board

Time to cut the MDF plank (or any plank you have). I just had to trace around the octagon, cut and sand.

I marked one side of the octagon and one side of the MDF to be sure it fits.

Step 7: Assemble the Two Parts

At this point, I like to assemble the whole thing to make sure everything is in place.

Step 8: Time to Varnish

If it's fine, it's a good time to varnish. I usually don't varnish the side where the felt goes.

Step 9: Add the Green Baize

I sprayed a layer of glue on the side with no varnish and placed the green baize on top of it. Then I fliped the plank and pressed it hard. When I want to be 100% sure it sticks to the wood I put heavy things on it and let it sit for hours. But I'm not too worried because the screws will keep it in place. The important part is to make sure you don't have any air between the baize and the wood.

When it's dry, cut the excess and assemble everything again.

Step 10: Final Adjustments

You're done !

This one is good for dice, cards, chips... And as it's not too big you can travel with it, bring it to parks to play on the grass.

Enjoy !

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