I have the most satisfying project for you today. How to make wood-burned dice from wood cubes.
Do we need them? Need is a relative term.
Do we want them? Of course. They are so cool!
Are they satisfying to make? Oh, heck yeah.
And that, my friends, is the best part. It’s not so much what we create, but the act of creating that’s the reward.
Let’s get started on how to make wood-burned dice.
How To Make Wood-Burned Dice Step #1: Cut Cubes
Cut cubes out of wood using a table saw. Our cubes are 3/4″ square, but you could adapt your size if you want larger or smaller dice.
Try to use a fine saw blade, if possible. It will save you sanding time later.
We used scrap wood pine and poplar. Pine isn’t the best wood for wood burning, but it’s what we had on hand.
Alternatively, you can buy pre-cut 3/4″ cubes from Amazon. A 100-pack is less than $15. That’s a lot of dice! The benefit of this is that you’ll save your fingers from a potential injury. You’ll also know that the dice are exactly square and the same size.
Some of ours are a little imperfect. The dice, not our fingers.
How To Make Wood Burned Dice Step #2: Sand the Dice
Any sanding of the wood before you cut the cubes is helpful, but you’ll still need to do some hand sanding after the fact.
Pay particular attention to sanding any rough sides and sharp edges or corners.
I used 80-grit, 120-grit, and 220-grit sandpaper.
If you’re using the pre-cut wood cubes, they will probably come pre-sanded, which will shave so much time off of this project if you’re making a large number of dice. However, you might still want to smooth off any sharp corners.
How to Make Wood-Burned Dice Step #3: Burn the Number Dots
There are true wood-burning artists out there. I’d have to work at this for years before I got to that point. These wood-burned dice are a good way to see if this is something you might enjoy because all you are doing is making dots.
Using your wood-burning tool and a rounded tip, carefully burn the dots on each side of your dice. You don’t need to press hard. You’re letting the heat from the tip of the woodburning tool do the work here.
You’ll want there to be enough of an indentation in the wood that you can feel it with your fingers.
If you want the dots to have exact placement on your dice, you could create a template. I just freehanded it because I’m fine with a little imperfection.
Please note that I borrowed a dice out of one our board games to use as a guide for knowing which dots went on which side of the dice.
How To Make Wood-Burned Dice Step #4: Apply Finishing Touches
Now is the time to really get creative! You can stain or paint your dice. You could even leave them natural.
I chose to stain the dice in different colors. I then sealed them using a spray can of clear sealer to give the dice a bit of a shine.
The wood-burned dice turned out just how I envisioned them in my head.
That doesn’t always happen!
As you can see, some of the dice I created are a little imperfect.
I suppose for rigorous gameplay you might want perfectly-shaped dice with exactly even sides.
If we had a different tool setup or if we discarded the imperfect ones, we could probably improve this situation. Buying pre-cut wood cubes would have solved this problem too.
I could also have used a template to be more exacting with the dots that I burned into the wood.
But none of that bothers me!
I love that these wood-burned dice have a bit of character.
I’m brand new to wood-burning. This seemed like a good project to use up some of our scrap wood and to get the hang of wood-burning.
Once I started this project, it was clear that I enjoyed the heck out of creating them. So, I just kept going and going until it was out of my system.
86 dice later (86!), here I am happy to have the opportunity to create something even if it never gets used. There is joy and fulfillment in the process.
Thanks for being here today! I love sharing ideas and stories with you. Here are some other posts you might enjoy.
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