Wooden dice from Pen Blanks - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-24-2013, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Wooden dice from Pen Blanks

Hello!!!
I have been lurking on the forums for a few days, looking for an answer, but can’t seem to find one. I recently found a website www.artisandice.com that makes beautiful dice from exotic woods. Because of the pricetag I have decided to venture out and make my own!

As I have very limited tools ( drill, circular saw, table saw, miter saw, and various other small tools) AND limited woodworking experience, I am trying to figure out the best way to make accurate, functional dice.

http://www.keimlumber.com/exoticwoodpenblanks – These would be what I am starting with. A normal dice is 16mm x 16mm x 16mm. I would be buying a 3/4×3/4×5” piece and at least make 4 dice to start. Until I get more comfortable cutting, I will probably stick with larger 3/4” dice.

I have a few questions!!!!!

#1 I am curious if these blanks come perfectly square. If not, I assume I could use the table saw to cut them and make them square?
#2 This is my BIGGEST question. Most dice have tapered edges. Some more so than others. I only want a very slight taper on the edges, much like these http://artisandice.com/store/custom-...ly-mango-wood/ How can I achieve this taper on a consistant basis? Sure I could simply sand the corner a tad, but I want them to be as uniform as possible.

Thank you all for the help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-24-2013, 05:52 PM
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Do you have a disk sander, or a belt sander you can immobilize?

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'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-24-2013, 05:53 PM
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Pen blanks usually DON"T come truly square. You're going to be turning material away so for a pen that doesn't matter.

As far as truing up wood, you need a flat face and edge that are 90 degrees to each other to start. Trying to true up a piece that small will create some safety challenges with power tools.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-24-2013, 06:09 PM
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Can't help you with your questions but wanted to welcome you to the forum.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-24-2013, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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I can get my hands on a belt sander I'm sure.

As far as squaring up the blank, can I use a table saw( flat bottom, and blade should be 90deg if straight up.) ? I can push it through using a larger piece of wood for safety.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-24-2013, 07:17 PM
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Disk sander to square the blanks up. Table saw for such small pieces is dicey.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-25-2013, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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How would I use the disc sander to square up the blanks? ITS flat, but I'll need to keep it square to the sander somehow.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-25-2013, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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So this is too weird..... I did a search this morning for squaring wood with a disc sander, and BOOM http://content.penturners.org/librar...discsander.pdf
THIS IS FANTASTIC. My disc sander is just a hand held model, but I am hopeful I can find a table mounted version for around $100 or less?

Now my only issue would be how to get the tapered edges on each die, AND have them be consistant from side to side, die to die.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-25-2013, 11:38 AM
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If you can find a disk sander, that would be the tool to both true up the pen blanks and to ease the corners.
Although, I'd see if a woodworking friend could cut and plane you some lengths of consistent size from a larger board. Really simple and, much safer!
To ease the corners you'll need a jig. I hope I can explain it because I can't use any of the CAD programs well enough to picture it.
Sizes mentioned can vary to suit your disk sander and table. My disks are 12", so I'm using measurments appropriate for that size disk.
Start with a piece of 1/2 ply, 8"X8" should be sufficient. Cut two lengths of solid wood approx. 6" long and miter one end of each @ 45 degrees. Place them on the ply so that the miters align with one edge of the ply at the center, with a small gap between them. Attach them to the ply. Now, a die should fit and the corner should protrude a bit through the gap and beyond the edge of the ply.
You are going to advance the jig and die into the disk.
Now for consistency.
You'll need a stop.
Clamp a 1/2X1 stick to the disk sander's table. This is your stop. Ply would be OK. Placement will be trial and error. You'll also glue two like pieces on the bottom of the ply. Align one with the edge of the ply and a bit in from the edge....enough so that it will contact the piece clamped to the table when you've achieved your desired amount of easing. The other piece you'll glue to the underside of the ply, towards the back, to stabilize the jig on the table.
In use, you'd place the die in the ""V" and push it against the "V" to advance the jig to the disk until it contacts the stop.
You'll end up with sharp beveled corners on the die. Easing off the sharpness would be a job for a foam sanding block. A few strokes with the block should do the trick.
Hope this helps.


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Originally Posted by Nrmill View Post
So this is too weird..... I did a search this morning for squaring wood with a disc sander, and BOOM http://content.penturners.org/librar...discsander.pdf
THIS IS FANTASTIC. My disc sander is just a hand held model, but I am hopeful I can find a table mounted version for around $100 or less?

Now my only issue would be how to get the tapered edges on each die, AND have them be consistant from side to side, die to die.

Gene
The Patriot Woodworker

'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

Last edited by Gene Howe; 01-25-2013 at 11:42 AM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-25-2013, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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I get exactly what you're saying.

Sounds like it will work perfectly! Like you said, it will be trial and error setting the stop just right for the taper I am looking for.

On an entirely different note

http://www.harborfreight.com/4-inch-...der-97181.html

A local store has one of these for sale. Seems like a pretty good price. I don't NEED the belt sander, but this is cheaper than a standalone disc sander. Reviews are decent and for small projects I think it will do just fine.
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