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Christmas Gift for the D&D Fan

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These next few posts are going to be Christmas oriented. Now that I’ve started creating things, I wanted to see what I could do this holiday season to put together some gifts that people may actually want and use. I always felt that a handmade gift generally means much more to a person than a store-bought gift but I suppose that’s an opinion. Either way, I had a cousin who enjoys Dungeons & Dragons and I wanted to see if I could recreate a dice tray I found from a Youtube video.

As with all my recent projects, I happened to have a bit of walnut and maple around so that’s where I started.

The walnut was super nice and will be featured in a subsequent post for another project. 🙂 I cut these into long strips.

Matching them with an equal-length piece of walnut, I glued these two pieces together.

Now for the fun part. Since I wanted to create an 8-sided dice tray, I set my miter saw to 22.5 degrees and started making cuts. I used a stop block (shown on the right side) to ensure that these cuts would be consistent. I would end up with 8 pieces shown just like the one in the front part of the picture.

With every projects, there’s always a lesson. In order to add a bottom to this dice tray, I would need a small recess that I could use to lay in a bottom. My small Harbor Freight router was not really able to dig into these hardwoods nicely. It started to spit these pieces of wood out rapidly.

The table saw came in very handy here (and I finally learned how to use the damn thing). I was able to make 8 small cuts in one direction, and another 8 in the other direction to create a 3/4″ recess in the pieces for the bottom to sit in. This will make more sense later when you see the pieces put together.

Gluing these pieces together wasn’t too tough after I realized you could use painter’s tape to get this started. By sitting all the pieces on the tape and then rolling the tape up into a circle, this helped quite a bit.

I did use my band clamp to hold this tightly together as well. This shows a great view of the final shape of the tray + the recess in the bottom for the next piece of wood in the project.

I traced the bottom onto a piece of plywood and cut this piece out of plywood. Unfortunately the dimensions of the bottom exceeded 12″ so plywood was the only wood I had on hand to add to the bottom. I had a 12″ of pine but it was just a hair short and I wanted to make sure this fit snug.

Dry fitting the piece into the bottom. Looks good to go! Time to finish each piece.

Finishing with Danish Oil was super easy and the walnut immediately popped. I finished the bottom piece in the same way and glued them together.

Only thing left to do was to add some felt to the bottom and I was done. Adding the felt was a huge hassle since the dimensions weren’t exactly what I expected. I got as close as I could but there were definitely some imperfections. Next time, I’ll probably make sure I have the felt piece cut before I glue the bottom on.

I definitely got a great response upon delivering the gift which was nice. It was definitely incentive to keep creating things for gifts. I hope she uses it moving forward! 🙂


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