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Subject: Making dice by hand rss

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Hans Persson
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I'm about to make some dice by hand, and I'd like to hear if anyone here has done that already and has some good advice on what to do or not to do.

These two are what I've managed to far. They're both made from reindeer horn.



I'm planning to do a few in different kinds of wood as well.
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Steve Duff
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You killed Rudolph just to make dice?! zombie
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Tom McThorn
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He didn't have to kill Rudolph, they drop their antlers once a year.

the big question is: do they roll "fair"?
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Steve Duff
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Whew, Christmas is safe, then.
 
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Celina
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Those are gorgeous. Were they hard to make?
 
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Hans Persson
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No, not very difficult. I'm not entirely happy with them, but then I expect to learn as I make a few.

I sawed off a slice of antler about 1 cm thick. Then I put it in a vise and filed until it was square, not round. This was much faster and easier than I had expected with a hand file; I thought horn would be harder.

I then measured the dice with calipers to see that it was about the same size in all directions and adjusted with the file when it wasn't. I did some light sanding of the edges, but they're still pretty straight. I'll probably try for a more rounded look later.

Finally, I made holes. For the first one I used a drill to make small holes. It turned out that it was a bit diffifult to get indentations of approximately the same depth since the horn doesn't have the same density everywhere. At the end, I filled in the pips with a black pen.

On the other die I used a special tool I made from a broken screwdriver to make old-style pips with a ring around. I may need to adjust the tool a little, but the general theory works.

The tool:
 
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Hans Persson
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Starfury wrote:
the big question is: do they roll "fair"?


I'm pretty sure they're not casino quality, but they're probably also not much worse than the random plastic dice you get with most games.

Hm. I wonder how many times I'd have to roll it to get a reasonably accurate test of its fairness.
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Hans Persson
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ArchiTecT wrote:
Since your dice are made from organic material aren't these automatically less fair than those mode from a homogeneous material such as ... plastic?


That's probably right. These are more for novelty and collecting than for actual play.
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Celina
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So I guess the next question I have for you is, are you going to sell them? Or is this just something you were doing for your self. Oh, and thank you so much for posting your "pips tool"! I was wondering how you made them, if it was a punch you hammered in or what.
 
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Hans Persson
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I can imagine selling a few dice once I get the process of making them a little more ironed-out. However, before that can happen I also need to find a good source of horn to make them from. These dice are made from antler pieces that I've found when trekking in the Swedish mountains, but they'll only stretch to so many dice.
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