Choosing A Dice Tray

Choosing a Dice TrayEventually, if you’re a frequent game player, you’ll want to invest in a decent dice tray. It’s pretty much essential to all board games whether you play miniature games or full size.

Over the years, I’ve pretty much concluded that the perfect dice tray is about 10 inches in diameter, perhaps even 12 if you have the space for it. I’m also a big fan of the green pool/snooker table fabric in the base of the tray, it just lends a more premium feel to the whole thing.

Of course, a 12 by 12 tray is an absolute beast, especially if you don’t play in the comfort of your own home and need something a bit more portable. In this case, I’ve seen some lovely portable fabric trays, such as the Vixen Tor bag which fold up nicely to take with you.

Dice Throws That Fall, The Annoying Fact of Life!

I know, we’ve all been there! You throw a dice, and it falls down the back of the sofa / table / computer desk – blurgh!!!

For this reason, I’m a big fan of any tray that has high sidewalls to contain the dice as it falls, even if that means it bangs off the side. I know there are purists out there who like to throw a dice and have no external effect until it lands but hey, life isn’t always perfect!

I used to own a nice Koplow tray back in the day. This granddaddy of the tray world had sides about 2 / 3 inches high, making falling a rare occurrence. Of course, this tray is a solid 12 inches in diameter, so really doesn’t work unless you play at home.

What About Dice Towers?

Maybe, and I can see the advantage especially for rolling perfectly counted dice each time; however, these bad boys take up a colossal amount of room, even more than a standard 10-inch tray.

Some people love dice towers but me, I’m not so convinced that carrying what amounts to a house brick with a bit tagged on the bottom is a great backpack option!

IMHO, if you don’t trust your buddies to throw a straight dice, then find new friends!

What I’m Using Right Now

On the road, in my bag

I tend to keep some games in my college bag, so size is important. I’m currently rocking the Ultra Pro Dice Rolling Tray. It’s a small tray with plastic catches that “pinch” the sides up creating a decent tray for playing on the go.

When you fold down the tray, it basically becomes as skinny as a thin textbook – in fact in my college bag it tends to fit nicely between my current university textbooks at the back. I still carry a beginner’s guide to Java from the first year as it’s A4 in size and provides a decent amount of protection for it!

Sad, but true, needs must!

Back at home

Obviously, size isn’t an issue for home play, so I’ve pretty much blown my budget on a Castle Keep Dice Tower!
I also have a neat (but expensive) aluminum storage box that holds most of my current favorites.

Oddly enough, my castle tower can fold down. Unsure if I’d want to keep it in my bag though, even in folded down state it’s an awkward fit.

Some of you might say “Ah ha! So, you bought a tower even after mentioning cheating buddies”! Yep, I sure did; however, I didn’t go with the tower because of cheating. It just seemed like a nice piece of kit at the time.

I do still own my original Koplow tray and heck, now and then we do play with it just to change things up a little.

Rounding Up

It’s simple really, on the road keep it simple, stupid. Try not to carry anything physically made of wood or metal, your back will thank you for it. I love my tray because it’s the size of a small textbook and just as flat when stored.

For home use, break the bank, get something amazing and don’t worry about space! I think what I’m trying to say is don’t buy one tray that attempts to do everything; you’ll be disappointed. Instead, get a travel tray for outside and get something awesome for playing at home!

How To Make A Dice Tower

How To Make A Dice Tower

‘Throwing the dice again! That is tiresome and an unfairly played. Anyone can cheat, too.” “There is no space to fit for my RPG game the table is so small!” Thanks to creativity we have THE DICE TOWER that can solve our problems.

The next time you play table top games, you can have yourself one, from the store may work. However you can use one made by you-A CUSTOM MADE DICE TOWER!

One that perfectly suits your personality and gives room for a little innovation in terms of your design and preferred artwork.

This small gadget-a dice tower- is used in a dice game in rolling of dice to make sure that they randomly roll and land within a fenced section getting rid of any cheating attempts and disturbing of the game pieces. Players toss the dice at the top of the tower and the dice randomly fall at the bottom with some baffling having occurred in the dice tower. A dice tower saves on space too even if the board game has taken the largest percentage of the table.

The guidelines below will enable you create your custom dice tower considering function and form:

CONSTRUCTION

The main elements of a dice tower include:

– At the top is the tower, which takes a rectangular shape and is hollow and vertical with slanted ramps and slats known as bafflers along the side

– At the bottom is a ramp that spills out the dice into a tray

– A tray, the spilled dice rests in this and is prevented from spilling over and disrupting the game by the boundaries round it or just a short slip

THE MAIN WORK

The dice tower can be of so many designs whereby some designs can be borrowed on online on earlier made designs as well as your brain can try out something new but the basics ought to be kept in mind.

The dice tower can be made of basswood, foam board/foam core, thick cardboard or colored plexiglass. Basswood, foam board and the plexiglass are more durable as compared to cardboard. However, the easily made is the cardboard, foam board and paper dice tower.

The work will take a few hours depending on how fast and accurate you can work.

Assemble all the materials and tools you need for your dice tower as you prefer on an open work area and surface. Supplies of these materials can be found at home or buy them from eBay. Just search for the materials you need for your small project and with the click of a button buy!

TOOLS

• Metal –T square- this is essential for while you dig through the material being used whether wood ,foam board or cardboard the ruler remains intact for straight neat cut-outs

• A knife preferably sharp -a box cutter knife, utility knife depending on what you will find available although for foam board you ought to have a new sharp blade

• A pen to write on or a marker pen

• Masking tape(non-marking)

• Clippers to cut the toothpicks if you will use them

• Straight pins: which can be pushpins or popsicle sticks or rounded toothpicks if you are using a lighter cardboard

• A scrap solid piece of a reasonable size of the material you want too use paper, foam board etc. depending on how big you desire say for example 2×4.

• Clean cloth

• A paint brush to be used on your finish and also for spreading the glue. If using hot glue particularly when using paper have a hot glue gun.

• Self-adhesive felt, velvet or corduroy-this is to get rid of friction.

OPTIONAL:

• Spray paint

• Laser cutter

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Step 1

    Draw the layout pattern of the dice tower onto the foam board, box or piece of basswood. Typically, the main part of the dice tower looks like an L. You’ll need 2 side pieces with notches. A back piece, 2 front pieces (one larger than the other), a bottom piece (you make this longer if you will be playing with a lot dice to accommodate them all), and 3 steps (2 small and 1 large). This must not be the exact design you will use.You make a dice tower that is carved like an animal or a castle.

    If not good with tracing ,one can get one from various dice game sites and have a printout of the design.However,the printout is not resized in any way.
    Keep in mind that it should have 3 slanted faces.

Figure 1:A sizable piece solid piece

If you’re doing a narrower tower, you could put some weights in the bottom with washers or the like.

Figure 2: Tracing out the layout

  • Step 2

    Line your ruler or straight edge along lines and cut out pieces with the knife you have or whatever sharp cutting tool you had. Use a rabbet cutter to trim joint edges. Use an x-acto knife to cut out the small notches on sides (where the baffles will slide in).

  • Step 3

    Put glue on the edges of the bottom and the back of the tower. These two parts are crucial to measuring and cutting the baffles as well as keeping the whole thing square. You may use pins in top, middle and bottom of the joints to help hold it tight till it dries up. Let it sit for about an hour to dry before continuing because these are the foundation that your dice tower depends on to be straight and square just like when building a house .A strong foundation assures a stable durable house.

Figure 3:The sides and the back glued on
The actual working starts with t,he two sides the back and the bottom glued on.
The bottom baffle should be a little longer.

  • Step 4

    Glue on the front of the box. Tape it in place after gluing with white glue and let it dry for an hour afterward.

Figure 4:The front part glued

 

  • Step 5

    Glue on the top-most piece by lining it up with the top edge of the tower to form the top-most baffle. This is comes in handy while playing the game as no one can peer into the tower and know the outcome of the game making the game fair.

Figure 5: Insertion of the baffles

You can use a compass set at 2” or whatever angle you find appropriate depending on the size of your dice tower usually about 30 to 45 degrees. This is to ensure you have enough clearance even for moderately sized dice to be tossed about in there. After you set the first baffle draw a circle out from the end, and let the next baffle ride along the underside of that curve to ensure good clearance all the way around. When using wood, dowels work best they ought to be 3/8’ to 1/2’ hardwood and are placed in levels.

Don’t forget that the other side is going to have to fit down between the front and back, so you’ll need to cut your baffles a bit shorter than the rest of the parts so that it will not be some hard work when you are done and the glue has dried.

  • Step 6

    Repeat the same for the other slats (baffles). Again, use the compass to ensure a 2″ clearance all the way around. One may think that knowledge of geometry is needed to ensure accurate angles of the baffles is made but you can just use eyeballing and estimation making sure the angle is sharp that is it is steep enough that the dice will hit it and bounce away, and not be inclined to stop there but slowly flow to the bottom of the tray.


Figure 6: Fixing the other baffles; a little longer than the first.

  • Step 7

    Attach the other side and the front of the tray, then tape all the seams. The tape helps hide the corrugation for a cleaner finished look, but it is not a must to do so. When using cardboard or also foam board paint the inside before the final gluing up of the side and sealing of the box. To have a neatly finished up dice tower, paint everything either flat white or flat black remembering the insides of the tower ought to form something like a dark tunnel so that no one can peer inside and see the inside the tower.

  • Step 8

    When dry per the manufacturer’s label you can now play around with the finalization of your dice tower. This being the notably the interesting part of customization of the dice tower. The finishing will depend on whatever may pop out of your mind: Spray it with paint or draw a picture of your favorite person or an image of your character, acrylic painting designs, printing pictures onto computer paper and gluing them on the sides of your tower or printable sticker sheets…the decoration you can do is just an endless list.

  • Step 9

    Test your dice if it works effectively with the dice rolling smoothly and to the bottom tray.

SUGGESTIONS

Here are a few suggestions to make adjustments in case there is need to better your dice tower:

1) You can make supports on the inside part while building to avoid a start over of the whole works so that the dice runs smoothly to the bottom this is when you find your dice gets stuck inside the tower.

2) The tray at the bottom may be padded for the dice to roll smoothly. If you use wood, felt at the bottom tray would work very well than ending up with a dice box rather than a dice tower.

3) One may not make like the dramatic sounds made when the dice are rolling so a better idea would be to pad the bafflers. You can use sheet of self-adhesive felt to do the padding. Another option is cutting windows on the sides of the tower ( if using wood). The windows allow the sound of the falling dice escape. Make sure you position the windows in search a way that you do not see the ramps. Corduroy may work preferably in making your bafflers . They have a clear nap.

4) When using light cardboard, it is preferably worth to glue a few heavy washers at the bottom to prevent it from being knocked over.

5) Depending on what you have used even wood you can disassemble the dice tower when not in use to have a small package to carry everywhere.

6) Using water color art markers to decorate your basswood made tower may quite be disappointing as the colors may run or be absorbed into the wood. Coat your tower with polyurethane after decorating.

From all the available materials you can make up a collectible of dice towers for display making it a substitute for trading cards and figurines .You can also sell out your self- made towers to games stores or give a donation to kids.

Moreover having a custom dice tower at some point might not fully entail having to create one from scratch. The plexiglass made dice towers for example can be hectic and expensive to create them at home. Then, buy one at a store and do a little customization on them. Spraying paint on the outside to change the look or when disassembled, coat the inside with felt to reduce racket sounds if it irritates you. Whatever it is you end up with a dice tower modified to suit your flair and personality.

 

Note that a dice tower is an accessory that complements the dice games making them more desirable and not replacing them.

The next time you have family game night or hanging out with friends do not be glued on that video game anymore try out some dice games-the table top miniatures, role playing games, board gaming…- with your small self-made dice tower. An awesome way to be proud of your innovative self and also create an opportunity for fun-filled bonding!!

 

Dice Tower Gallery

ImageDescriptionGet Price
FoxTower, Standard Size Dice Tower for RPGs and Board Games
Castle Keep Dice Tower, 2 Castle Wall DM Screens with Magnetic Initiative Turn Tracker
Dice Tower & Tray for Dice Games
Cthulhu Dice Tower
Black Dice Tower, Tray & Box w/ Spiral StaircaseBlack Dice Tower, Tray & Box w/ Spiral Staircase
Dice Towers: – Castle Cards
Dragon Mini Dice Tower v4 Medium Blue Acrylic Window Laser Cut MDF

Wooden Dice Tower

Wooden Dice Tower

Some people don’t know what wooden dice tower is, so they miss out the important feature and functionality of the item. I have just recently understood that such thing exists, and can be a valuable asset for avid board gamers. However, the usage and functionality of the tower depend greatly on your needs and preferences. Some people may consider it as highly functional and useful while others may have different opinions.

 

wooden dice tower
wooden dice tower

 

Dice Tower: What Is It?

A dice tower is quite popular and known among avid board gamers as the item helps them to roll the dice more efficiently and effectively. When you play a board game, sometimes you roll the dice, and then it slides off the table or roll to various directions and areas. When I played board games with my niece, I had spent a lot of times finding the dice rather than focusing on the game itself. It was because the dice rolled wildly to various directions – often it rolled under the table or chair, and I had to move them aside to be able to retrieve it. Don’t you hate it when you spend a significant amount of time only to find the dice than to focus on the game?

Well, that’s the dice tower is all about. The tower has unique structure and construction, mostly in L-shape design. It has an opening on the top, and the dice will roll off into the bottom where the construction wall will stop it. There are some significant usages of the tower, such as:

* The tower can prevent wild movement, especially when you are playing with kids. You know kids are; they like to throw stuff around without precision. Often they just roll the dice off without paying attention to the proper movement or the surrounding area. Believe me; I speak from experience as I have spent a lot of times playing board games with my niece and kids. With the tower, I just tell them to drop the dice into the tower, and the dice won’t be scattered around. I don’t have to spend a lot of times chasing the wild dice here and there anymore, and I simply don’t have to crawl into tight spaces to retrieve the dice anymore.

* For kids, having the tower is exciting too. They like the idea of putting the dice into the top opening and wait with anticipation for the result. Most of my gaming partner kids like the sound of the falling dice too. When the dice rolls off and then stopped by the wall, it’s like the kids are winning a lottery – or so they think.

* The tower is quite useful when you have limited space in your gaming area. You don’t have to worry about the dice rolling off wildly into different areas. Simply place the tower in the accessible and easy-to-reach area and you are ready to go!

* The tower can also be used to prevent any wild wrist action. I have a friend who has mastered this unique wrist technique that will bring him advantages, and I don’t like it at all. With the wooden dice tower, everyone has the same opportunity and possibility. No more crazy wrist technique or whatsoever. You don’t have to worry that your friends may have a bigger chance than you.

It is safe to say that a dice tower can be quite useful when you want to enjoy the fair play. It helps to make the dice stay on the table and keep the roll random at the same time.

Various Types and Designs

You may think that such tower isn’t functional; you may like the old school and traditional way of rolling the dice. However, some people are thankful that such tower exists because it helps them enjoy their board game even more. And for these avid users, the dice tower may come in various designs and types.

There are some standard wooden towers with straightforward and plain designs, and there are even glass towers with distinct features. I have these two types at home, and my kids love the wooden dice tower very much. They are always excited to see the dice rolls down before finally rolling out. There are also some modern designs where the tower are made with literally tower form and shape, so it’s like you have a single structure part of a castle.

You can also choose between buying the tower or build one on your own. There are some websites with guidance and instructions for setting up the dice tower from foam board. If you are into the wooden craft, some websites will show you ways to build a wooden dice tower tower. The one from foam board is easier to set and build, but it may not be long lasting as it is not as sturdy as the wooden tower. The wooden dice tower takes longer time and efforts to set up, but it is more durable. If you do it right, your tower can last for good.

If you decide to buy one, a good-quality tower is pretty affordable. The good-quality one costs less than $50. However, keep in mind that you should always read product reviews before purchasing anything. You may find it hard to believe, but some manufacturers really dedicate themselves into producing different variants of dice tower. Some products may be quite inexpensive, but they are not so easy to build. Some products may require you to spend more, but they have good-quality material with helpful manuals and construction instructions.

In case you are thinking about having a glass tower, consider buying an actual glass item or with the plastic combination. Mine is a wooden dice tower combination, so it doesn’t break easily. I find this feature important as my kids use the tower quite often for playing. Some light plastic towers come with thicker material and clear transparency, although the price is quite high. If you collect such dice towers, you can choose the true glass construction, but make sure to use it carefully and keep it away from kids’ reach.

One of the best designs we have tested and we are suggesting is :


Wooden Dice Tumbler Scrambler with 2 Dice, Handcrafted in PA Dutch Country

 

DIY Dice Tower

If you decide to build one on your own, be sure to follow the instructions and steps to the letter. In most cases, people like to print the pdf instruction and resize it. However, such action may affect the scale and affect the overall outcome of your construction. But keep in mind that you only need to use basic tools and equipment, such as masking tape, wire cutter, pushpins, sharp knife, metal ruler or straight edge, clean rag or cloth, and scrap piece.

Simply visit one of the websites and download the instructions. These websites often include patterns and sketches images, which you can print and use for the basic construction. It is also important to use a sharp knife because the foam board will require such tool to deliver sleek and beautiful finishing result. One of the disadvantages of using a foam board is the fact that it dulls any knife fast. It would also be handy if you can use a paintbrush to spread the glue evenly. It doesn’t have to be big and broad – even the small one will do.

All in all, it is you who decide whether you need a tower or not. Based on your ability and needs, you can also decide whether you want to build one or buy it. Some people find it worthy to build their towers while some prefer buying them for the sake of efficiency.

READ NOW the complete guide on how to make a custom dice tower !