This week, we’re joined in the DIY studio by Eli, our friend and sales lead at Dunn Lumber’s Lake Union location, to build a DIY dice tower. Eli’s big into sci-fi fantasy and started playing Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop role-playing games in high school. When rolling dice, he always managed to get the roll he needed (even though he swears there was no funny business going on…), so his friends started making him use a dice tower.
Eli started learning about different tools and types of wood as a kid when his dad worked in a lumberyard. With his strong DIY background and love of gaming, this wooden DIY dice tower was the perfect project.
The contraption lets you drop dice in the top, then it bounces off hidden pieces inside before dropping out the bottom.
Plus, it’s just a fun way to roll dice.
Let’s get to it!
Step 1: Measure and make all cuts
We used ACX plywood for this project. ACX ply has one rough face and one sanded face, which provides a pleasing finish.
Measure and mark your plywood. Clamp it down and make your cuts, going slowly to ensure straight cuts. Eli used his 4 ½” circular saw, but you can use a larger one or a handsaw.
For Pieces B1 and B2, measure and make your straight cuts. For the angles, starting at a short end, make a mark at 1.25”. From this mark, draw 4” towards the opposite end. From the end of this 4” straight line, draw another straight line at 45° towards the edge of piece B1 (see diagram). Make your cuts along these lines.
Repeat for piece B2 but mirrored.
For the Tower Cover:
- 1 Piece @ 4" x 8.5" - A
- 2 Pieces @ 3.75” x 8.5” - B1 & B2
- [Has angled cut]
- 1 Piece @ 3.75" x 3.5" - C
- 1 Piece @ 1.25" x 3.5" - D
For the Tower Body:
- 2 Pieces @ 3.5" x 8" - E1 & E2
- 1 Piece @ 3.25” x 8” - F
- 1 Piece @ 3.25" x 6" - G
- 2 Pieces @ 2.75" x 2.25" - H1 & H2
- 1 Piece @ 2.75" x 4" - I
Note: Now is a good time to put your cut pieces together and see if they will fit or need trimming. We waited until after applying stain and should have done it sooner.
Step 2: Sand cut edges
Sand all edges to remove any tear out. You can use sandpaper or a power sander. If you do not have plywood with a sanded face, sand both faces with the grain to allow for better stain adherence.
Step 3: Apply wood conditioner and stain
Cover your work surface with a drop cloth.
For the Varathane Wood Conditioner: Prep the wood’s surface by wiping it clean with a rag. Apply wood conditioner across the grain of the wood using a paint brush until saturated. Wipe away excess in the direction of the grain. Allow it to penetrate for 30 minutes before staining.
For the Varathane Wood Stain (Black Cherry): Apply the stain liberally across the grain with a paint brush until saturated. Wipe off excess in the direction of the grain. Do not let the excess dry before wiping it away. You can apply a second coat after two hours, if you’d like.
Note: At the end of Step 5, we applied more stain to the tower and cover to ensure a consistent application once pieces were glued together.
Step 4: Assemble tower cover
When assembling the tower cover, keep in mind that your sanded faces should point outward once the project is completed. If the assembly becomes confusing, reference our layout diagram below. Each piece should be clamped for about one minute to allow glue to set and hold.
Place Piece A flat on the workstation, sanded side down.
Apply glue on the long edge of Piece B1 and place on the leftmost face of Piece A.
Apply glue on the long edge of Piece B2, and place on the rightmost face of Piece A. You now have a U-shape.
Grab Piece C and apply glue to both 3.75” edges and one 3.5” edge. Carefully place it between Pieces B (3.75” ends) and on Piece A.
Grab Piece D and apply glue to both 1.25” edges and one 3.5” edge. Carefully place it between Pieces B (1.25” ends) and on Piece A.
Step 5: Assemble tower body
As mentioned above, keep in mind that your sanded faces should point outward once the project is completed. Again, each piece should be clamped for about one minute to allow glue to set and hold.
Place Piece F flat on the workstation, sanded side down.
Apply glue on the long edge of Piece E1 and place it on the rightmost face of Piece F.
Turn the tower body to place piece E1 flat on the workstation with Piece F on the left. Apply glue to the remaining long edge of Piece E1 and line up the face of Piece G (like Piece F) on the glued edge. Piece G should line up with Piece E1 and F on one end and will have a shorter side to allow the dice to fall out.
Place the 2.25” edges of Pieces H1 and H2 and the 4” edge of Piece I on the face of Piece E1 in an alternating 45° downward angle pattern. These will become your baffles (panels that will direct the dice) and exit ramp. You’ll want to make sure all of your dice have appropriate clearance and will not get stuck on the baffles. Once you’re happy with your placement, mark the baffles and ramp locations, and glue them in.
Finally, apply glue to the remaining open edges of Pieces H1, H2, and I. Also apply glue to the long edges of Piece E2.
Place Piece E2 on the ramps and between Pieces F and G. Clamp and let dry.
Now that your project is assembled, sand any rough edges or touch up with stain if needed.
Step 6: Throw some dice!
Once dry, put your dice tower in the cover, and play some games.
If you love DIYing and playing games, we have several other projects you’ll want to check out! Build your own wooden game tabletop, put together a ladder golf set for the lawn, or make a life-size yard Yahtzee game.