Hey there, I'dibilians! This is how I made a dice from a typical round branch, when in hiding from a group of bloodthirsty hangliding cows.
Step 1: How It All Started...
The origin of this i'dible comes from one of my more extravagant adventures...
Essentially, I was taking a lovely hike, when three hangliding cows came flying at me, screaming and mooing. Long story short, I ran away, screaming at the top of my lungs, and dived into a log. Logs are very useful, for chairs, tables, and--in this case--hiding places. So I hide amongst the moss and earthy smell, praying that there were no trolls living in this log, and that the hangliding cows would go away.
Unfortunately, them cows didn't move. Nope, they sat there and cropped grass, waiting for me to emerge so they could eat me alive. Yup, believe it folks; hangliding cows are actually carnivorous.
Being my usual self, I had a scrap of wood on me at the time, and began whittling. Let me state the difference between carving and whittling; whittling's better for avoiding cows. And there's less tools, but whatever.
Anywho, I carved a die, mainly to pass the time, but it was also a blessing in disguise; I played Shut the Box with some beetles, who very politely let me lose.
Let's get into it.
Step 2: Try Not to Roll the Log Down the Hill...
For the sake of all that's good and holy, I avoided trying to find a log and recreating the experience, for two reasons; one, most logs don't fit me, and two, I didn't want to run into any unfriendly trolls in the log. They can be quite unpleasant in this time of year...
So, cut the wood. That's the first pic, btw. The second picture is actually starting the die.
Picture one; cut the branch about 1/3 rds of an inch. I didn't have a tape measure with me when I was in the log, so measurements can be a little rough. The diameter of the log was 1' inch.
Pic two; This actually starts your die. Basically, line your blade up against the side of the branch, like in the picture. This is the side of your die, so make it as straight as possible. I shoved my branch against the side of the log, but you could hit it with a mallet or a heavy branch.
You're gonna want to use straight-grained, fresh wood for this, in case that bit's not clear.
Step 3: Try That Again!
Now for the second side of the die. Fourth, actually, but let's not get into the technicalities. Bang that knife blade again, at a right angle of the first cut. Do it again for the third side (picture 3), and you have a mostly-square branch!
Step 4: Plain It, Like a Boss!
Elbow room can be difficult in a log, but I'm sure you can manage. Since the cuts can be a little wavy (you're following the grain--what'd you expect?), you're gonna need to plain it a little. I braced the cube with my thumb and made little swooping cuts.
You're probably going to yell at me, saying something like "Good grief, Brokk, didn't your granddaddy ever teach you not to cut towards yourself???"
Actually, I taught myself. See, when you're cutting towards yourself, the worst you're gonna do is press your knife blade against your thumb really hard. But that won't cut it, since you're not slicing with the knife. You should be fine. Don't quote me on that though.
A Late Disclaimer; Since we're talking knives here, which is every mother's worst fear, I'd just like to point out that I'm completely and absolutely irresponsible of your mistakes. In other words, don't blame me for your mishaps.
Step 5: Making It a Cube.
So, that actually didn't work. Just kidding--your so-called dice is currently a rectangle. Let's fix that, shall we?
Because I'm lazy and stuck in a log, I didn't want to reposition myself and consistently bang my elbow against the side of the log, possibly attracting trolls and earning the attention of them cows I was so desperately trying to hide from...
I used a saw. The blank I started with was a wee bit too long, so I used my saw to trim it down a bit, making more of a cube-ish shape.
Step 6: Mark It.
So, you have a cube. It'll get you far, but not far enough.
LET'S MAKE IT A DIE, SHALL WE???
Mark it, kiss it, name it, sleep on it. Actually, don't do that last one, you'll get a back pain. (I've tried; I once asked my brother to whittle me a knife--He delivered it to me in my bed, while I was sleeping. Woke up with a knife in my belly...)
I'd advise not using your knife to make indentions, because it can make a mess, possibly split the cube, cut your finger, make you scream and flail, which in turns make your log start rolling, attracting those cows you were trying to avoid, and all in all make a mess of things. Or you could be a success. I dunno.
I (sadly) used my pen to mark it, while I'd rather use a woodburner or a heated-up rod.
So there you go! There's how to make a die when in hiding from hangliding cows! This instructable is being submitted to the Hand Tools Only contest, so if you can find it in your hearts, please vote for me.
Thanks for joining me, best of luck to you all, and do avoid those cows...