Intro: Easy Dice Tower (cardboard, Common Household Items, No Power Tools)
After learning about the 4th-century Vettweiss-Froitzheim dice tower (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vettweiss-Froitzheim_Dice_Tower), I decided to build one for playing board-games with my dice-hurtling children.
I considered several designs. My criteria:
= easy, cheap, no requirement for shop tools
= use cardboard material found in the house in a typical week
= incorporate the idea of exit "steps" of the Vettweiss-Froitzheim dice tower
= one section of cardboard (Amazon delivery box 60cm x 47.7cm)
= sections of thinner cardboard from other grocery boxes (e.g. cereal box, cookie box)
= transparent adhesive tape
= scissors (cutting cardboard, trimming)
= box cutter (for cutting slots)
= transparent adhesive tape (any tape will serve; personal preference)
= long metric ruler
= pen or pencil
= scrap wood to use as a cutting surface
= protractor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protractor) or other solution for drawing angled lines on the cardboard (I happen to have set squares)
Step 1: Cut the Main Pieces
I cut a 60 cm x 47.7 cm section of cardboard from an Amazon delivery box.
From any large cardboard food packaging (e.g. cereal box or cookie box), cut the following slats:
5 cm x 17 cm (quantity 2)
6 cm x 17 cm (quantity 1)
10 cm x 17 cm (quantity 1)
14 cm x 17 cm (quantity 1)
Step 2: Draw Guide Lines for Cutting and Folding
The cardboard for the tower will be folded to form a tall, squared tube.
With the cardboard positioned such that it is 47.7 cm tall and 60 cm wide, draw lines to divide the width into segments of 15 cm.
Use a large book or other heavy straight-edged object to fold the cardboard on the 15 cm vertical lines. (Folding thick cardboard requires a straight-edge and patience.)
Number each segment from left to right: S1, S2, S3, and S4. It will look something like this:
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Mark S2 for an opening at the bottom. The opening will be 10cm high.
Mark S1 and S3 with a 1cm inner VERTICAL border. All further lines and cuts should be between the left and right borders.
Start with S1. Once complete, you will need to *mirror* these markings on S3.
Mark S1 with cut lines for the slats. For the uppermost slat: from 1cm from the top LEFT, draw a 10cm line descending from the LEFT at a 45° angle.
For the middle slat: from 9cm from the top RIGHT, draw a 14cm line descending from the RIGHT at a 45° angle.
Let the bottom three slats be SA, SB, and SC. These slats will each be at a 30° angle, with an offset to create "steps".
For SA: 14 cm from the bottom, from the left border of S1, draw a 5 cm line descending at 30°.
For SB: 10 cm from the bottom, offset 4 cm from the left border of S1, draw a 6 cm line descending at 30°.
For SC: 5 cm from the bottom, offset 9 cm from the left border of S1, draw a 5 cm line descending at 30°.
Step 3: Cut the Slots for the Slats
Mirror the markings of S1 on S3.
For example, if a line on S1 starts on the left and descends to the right, the corresponding line on S3 must start on the right and descend to the left.
When the markings of S3 are complete, use the box cutter (or other safe cutting tool) to cut the slots for the slats. You might want to call the slots "slits". But the slats must remain slats. English is a strange language.
Place the scrap wood under the cardboard to protect your work surface.
The cuts must pass through the cardboard.
Fold and unfold the squared tube a few times to prepare the cardboard to receive the slats.
Step 4: Insert the Slats.
You cut the slats in Step 1. Now you will insert them.
The top slat is 10 cm wide.
The next slat is 14 cm wide.
At the bottom, the slatted steps are 5 cm wide, 6 cm wide, and 5 cm wide.
With the squared tube folded but S4 not touching S1, begin to push the slats through the slits (or slots). The fit is snug but the cardboard can be pulled and pushed into position.
Fold the squared tube; use adhesive tape to affix the edge of S4 to S1.
Cut the exit in S2 if you have not already done so.
Decorate your dice tower to suit your mood and socio-economic ambitions.