Domino Box With Scoring Track

I was asked by a friend of mine to build him a storage box for his dominos with a scoring track on the top.
I used knotty alder for the box and lid, with walnut accents.
I decided to try my hand at making a set of dominos to go with it.
I used some maple scraps that I had for the dominos and drilled and burned the pips on them
For the scoring track I used a cribbage board template that I found online to print out and some filigree along the sides.
I used felt to line the storage areas in the box to keep everything from rattling inside and to protect them from getting banged up when moving the box around.

Step 1: Plans and Supplies

I based the size of the box on the size that I wanted the top to be so there was room for the scoring track and a bit of decorative wood burning.
It ended up being 12”x 5.5”. Originally it was going to be 5 1/16” wide based on making the inside of the box just wide enough for the dominos with the layer of felt. I decided to make it bigger so that I could have more room for the filigree and also to add the walnut accents inside the box.

The walls and base of the box are 3/8” thick. The top is 3/4” thick.
The dominos are 1”x2”x3/8”.

Materials:
(1) 1”x6”x3’ long knotty alder board (box and board)
(1) 1”x2”x5’ long maple board (domino tiles)
Walnut scraps (splines, strip along base, and lining of box)
Set of 2 small hinges
Set of 2 latches
Grey felt
Polyurethane
Wood glue
Spray adhesive
Pegs for scoring

Tools:

Miter saw
Table saw
Hand saw
Band saw
Sandpaper
Wood burning pen
Straight edge
Clamps

Step 2: Cut List

Box:
(1) 3/4”x5 1/2”x12” knotty alder board (top)
(1) 3/8”x5 1/2”x12” knotty alder board (base)
(2) 3/8”x1”x12” knotty alder boards cut with 45 degree miter on each end (long sides)
(2) 3/8”x1”x5 1/2” knotty alder boards cut with 45 degree miter on each end (short sides)
(1) 3/8”x1”x4 3/4” knotty alder board (box divider)
Scrap pieces of walnut 1/8” thick cut and pieced together to make a layer on the base
Scrap pieces of walnut 3/16” thick cut to length to line inside of box

Dominos:
(28) 1”x2”x3/8” maple

Step 3: Dominos Part 1

I started the project by creating the domino tiles.
I ripped the maple scraps down to 1” wide on the table saw and then took the strips over to the band saw to cut them down to 3/8” thick.

I then cut them into 28 2” long pieces to make the tiles.
I set the depth stop on my miter saw to make a 1/16” deep groove across the middle of each tile.

At this point I broke out the wood burning pen to blacken the groove and then sanded down the tiles to round the edges and corners off for easier handling when playing.

Step 4: Dominos Part 2

To make the pips on the tiles I started by photocopying a set of dominos and cutting them out to make templates.

I then marked the pip locations with an awl and took them over to the drill press.
I set the stop on the drill press to just make a slight depression for all of the pips.

To darken the pips you can either use a length of hardwood dowel tha is the same diameter as the pips and put it in the drill at high speed to burn them, or use a wood burning pen like I did.

I them sanded them all smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and finished them with a couple thin coats of polyurethane.

Step 5: Base of the Box

For the base I only needed it to be 3/8” thick instead of the 3/4” that the board started out at.

I don’t have a thickness planer so my option was to resaw the board down to 3/8”. Unfortunately my band saw was having issues so I decided to do it by hand.
Several minutes and a tired arm later I had 2 boards that were just under 3/8” thick.

I then sanded the base piece smooth and cut and glued 1/8” walnut pieces to the base and sanded it down after it dried.

Step 6: Sides of Box

For the sides of the box, I took the other half of the resawn base piece and ripped it down to 4 1" wide pieces.

I then took 2 of the 12" pieces and cut a 45 degree miter on each end.

I took the other pieces and cut them down to 5 1/2" with miters on the ends.

I then laid them end to end on a piece of painters tape to hold them in place while gluing.

I then used a strap clamp to hold it all in place until it dried.

Step 7: Sides Continued

After the sides have dried, glue the divider in place as well as the long liner pieces. Once those are dry glue the end pieces in. I decided to add in another round of maple in the smaller compartment just to make it so the pegs would have less room to move around.

When the sides have dried, sand down the top and bottom to make sure they are smooth and flush.

Then glue the sides to the base and sand flush.

I used a 1/4" round over bit in my router on the corners.

Step 8: Corner Splines

In hindsight, I should have put the corner splines in before using the router on the corners.

But, since that was already done I just had to continue.

I made a mark where I wanted the splines to go and then wrapped the sides with clear packing tape to prevent tear out. I placed the box in my spline jig for the table saw, set the blade height and let it rip.

I also ran the top on the jig to ad splines to that. (For appearance only as the top is a solid piece and not in need of reinforcement like the miters were.)

I the cut walnut pieces and sanded them down to the correct thickness to go in the grooves. I then cut them close to the box sides and sanded them flush.

Step 9: Felt Liner

After the splines are sanded flush I put on 3 coats of polyurethane finishing the last one off with 400 grit sandpaper.

Next came time for the felt. I used a brown paper bag for backing the felt. I measured and cut the paper to make a template for the felt. Using spray adhesive I attached the felt to the backing and trimmed it to fit the opening.

I glued it into place and the did the same for the sides.

Use the same procedure for the smaller compartment and let dry overnight.

Step 10: Top of Box

For the top of the box I found the center line for the box and marked it on some painters tape to line up the template so I could transfer it onto the top.

I used carbon paper and traced the design onto the lid.

I then took my wood burning pen and burned the design and scoring track into the top.

I used a straight edge for the scoring track to keep everything nice and clean.

Step 11: Top Continued

After I got the top side of the lid burned in I decided to put my logo on the underside.

I traced it out with carbon paper then burned it into the lid and put a layer of polyurethane to seal it up.

I turned it back over and marked where all the holes needed to be drilled for the track.

After 3 coats of polyurethane, I took my awl on all the marks for the holes to help keep the drill bit from wandering.

I set the stop on the drill press to only go about halfway through the board to ensure the pegs would fit fully in the holes.

After drilling the holes, I gave the board a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper to clean up the edges of the holes and did one final very thin coat of poly to seal the edges.

Step 12: Hinges and Latches

For the hinges, place three layers of paper between the top and the box to ensure that the hinges don't bind up.

Mark the hinge locations and use the awl to mark the screw holes. Drill pilot holes for the screws and screw them in place.

Turn the box around and do the same for the latches.

TA-DA! you are now ready to play dominos with a couple friends.

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