My family tries to get together at least twice a year (4 sisters and two brothers), once for a campout in June and always at Thanksgiving. When our mother downsized from out childhood home, now many years ago, two of my sisters have been very generous with opening their homes to our large family to celebrate Thanksgiving. I would gladly host; but my house is not nearly big enough to accommodate the horde.
The amount of effort required to prepare their homes to receive 20-25 family members and the aftermath of such a gathering is significant. I try to show my appreciation for their efforts through doing some small project that might make their lives a little easier or to give them something that is useful or has meaning.
Like most families, when we get together, there is a lot talking, laughter and game playing. One year I decided to make a game box as a thank you.
The family likes to play all manner of dice and board games. Two family favorites are Yahtzee and Farkle, in part because they both allow many players of all ages and odd numbers of players - and they're both fun to play. Casting dice onto a hard table makes a lot of noise, in an already loud and rambunctious environment, and as the evenings progress, some people seem to have increasing difficulty keeping the dice on the table, as their motor skills deteriorate.
With this in mind, I decided to build a little box to contain the dice and help to reduce some of the noise level.
Reclaimed oak (from a pallet), felt cloth (from hobby store), dice, glue, stain, spray polyurethane
Table saw, band saw, router/table, belt sander, hand sander, clamps, file/rasp, ruler
Step 1: Milling the Pallet
I didn't take any picture of the building phase of this project - wasn't thinking about sharing this with anyone else, at the time.
Initially, I rough cut the pieces on my table saw to be slightly wider and longer than their final dimensions.
Since I don't have a jointer or thickness planer and my 9" Ryobi band saw was designed such that I can't resaw even a standard 2x4 (I really need a new band saw), I used my table saw for that purpose. I first squared the edges of the boards using my router and adjusting the fence just enough to get to fresh wood the entire length, making sure to have the same side down when squaring both sides, making them parallel to each other.
On to the table saw... multiple passes with the boards on edge to get the faces perpendicular to the sides, this took a little patience and a number of passes. You'll need a zero clearance throat plate on your saw for this. After everything was squared up, one final pass for thickness. The sides were cut to 3/8" and top and bottom components to 1/4". Then the width was cut for all pieces - 2" wide for the box, 3" wide for the top and bottom.
Step 2: Building the Box
I glued together the panels for the top and bottom (3 boards each), while the glue was setting, I cut the track for the top using the table saw a strong 1/8" from the top, being careful to not go the entire length. I used a razor knife to clean out and square up the part where the curve of the saw blade left the track full of wood. (in hindsight, I should have purchases a 1/8" bit for my router for this step)
The box was constructed using a simple one pin box joint (1" pin centered). Glued it, clamped it, ensuring it was square.
The panel for the bottom of the box was centered based on the middle board for symmetry and simply glued to the bottom of the box. When that glue was set, I cut off the overhang with the table saw and sanded flush.
For the top, I was able to use my router to create the lip to fit into the slot (just slightly smaller than the slot and only deep).
Step 3: Dice Rack
I finally got to use my band saw to create the brackets for the dice
rack. The brackets are essentially "Ls" designed to swivel from the bottom hinge The bottom outside corner is rounded to allow the swivel.
Step 4: Happy Gaming
The box can be used for any number of dice games. The dice tray can be removed if desired (two screws).
Suggestions for improvement are encouraged, I may be making more of these.