Wooden Dice

A good friend of mine is really into board games. So much so, that he hosts a game night once a week and invites a couple of us fellow geeks over to try the new board games he buys. I wanted to take some time and thank him for all the effort he goes through to keep our group of friends together. Below are a couple of pictures of some custom dice I made him. We’ll see if he likes em :wink:

Everything was made from 3mm birch ply. Then sanded and finished with linseed oil. All the finger joints have a light press which was a BUGGER to dial in. But it made assembly so much better and honestly i probably didnt have to use glue, but it gave me ease of mind to add just a little. I want to give a huge shout out to http://makeabox.io/ that website is the only reason this project is possible.

The dice are standard 15mm (ish, im off by .15mm… i should stop using calipers while woodworking :wink: )

Im going to steal a line from @polarbrainfreeze and not hand out this design. But HOPEFULLY you will see it in the catalog.


What are you cutting these out on? You should make some out of acrylic! Nice job BTW!

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How’s the balance and can the corners be sanded round for better roll or does that lose too much structural integrity?


@PlGHEADED Thanks, I have a k40 from china. A little about the unboxing here. Scratching that itch
its taken about 3 months of tinkering, mods and learning the software to be able to make this.

@ihermit2 Not bad, i really tried to minimize glue. So would i play with them? for sure. Would I take them to vegas? Probably not :wink: And the corners could probably handle being rounded, thats a good idea i hadn’t thought of. maybe on the next round ill try that.


Rounding the corners will make it very hard to maintain absolute balance.

With a flip and engrave, you could ensure slightly better balance (using wood you won’t ever get 100% balance unless a scale is involved).

Flip each face over post-cut, and engrave a negative of the number on the other side. That way each face has exactly one square unit of material removed, regardless of the surface area required for that specific digit.

This is promising to see though. I was thinking to create modified Story Dice for my friend to use when doing his GM duties and stuck for story ideas.


I see where you are going. Thats a good idea for balance.
And custom dice is where i would like this project to go in the long run. Ive noticed that people have really high expectations for numbered dice to be very balanced. But if they say anything else people are much more forgiving of a little bias in the outcomes.

I’m a dice fiend and can’t wait to make my own custom dice with my Glowforge! Nice work!

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ps i just noticed you have a post about dice! we ended up using the same font haha i swear it wasn’t intentional.


No problem. Great minds think alike!

I like the “engrave a negative of the number”, but I have to admit that my old physics training was nattering “But doing it on the other side of the wood means the angular moment of inertia won’t balance!”

Has anyone developed designs for an equal-area numeral font, or calculated the depth variation you would need? (Not that that would actually get you to balance, but it would sound convincing.)

I think you might want to put a little bit of weight on one side on the inside. It would make the play a little more “fun.”

Heh, I was thinking about how you could make some fun “anti-physics” joke dice by incorporating a rotating mass inside, like a little version of the “weasel ball” pet toy.


They have some “self-rolling” dice that you can get. You just have to clap or snap your fingers.


neat… but those are way more creepy than i had imagined :fearful:


are those really that random? even with it moving itself, its seems it would very likely not be balanced right. cool idea though


Having the dice be sound activated feels at odds with the typical noisy atmosphere of a board game.

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I am picturing the clatter of a typical shadowrun power-gamer group (regularly see rolls of 30+ dice at once). I am sure at that point the sound of the other dice would be sufficient to keep constantly triggering and retriggering one another.

Not that such a sight would lack for amusement value of its own…


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but Jordan, the creator of Shadowrun, is a Glowforge investor (and all around delightful friend). Can’t wait to see what he does with one. :slight_smile:


Holy smokes, at this point, who of the who’s who list, isn’t a Glowforge preorder??


Seriously, I would love a dosier of notable accomplishments by pre-order participants.