Bending wood and making dice

Used to carpentry, I usually make puzzles/brainteasers etc. Recently I joined a games group and dice are involved. Not just 6 sided die. Well I was wondering on how I would go about making a dice cup that can be used to to store the dice too. Since I have no access to a lathe I can't use that option, so I hunted in the workshop and found a sheet of ply wood 1/16 thick 4 inches wide. Perfect size for my dice cup. Trouble is how do I go about bending this into a perfect circle. I did some research and found steaming is an option but I'm short on space and funds to build a steamer. Is there any other option I could use? And can plywood be bent around into a perfect cylinder?
Also any ideas on making dice, looks like an interesting project to try. Should be easy with a 6 sided die but the others should be a laugh, especially the 20 sided.[:-?]
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You could try using a kerfing technique to bend the plywood, although, at 1/16" thick, you'd have to make a very shallow kerf.
If you had 1/16" thick solid wood, you could steam bend it. Can't do that with plywood as the laminate glue may fail.
Tillman
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You can try an experiment with a heat gun. Anchor one end of your wood, then heat it with the gun and wrap it around the mandril. You would have a fair chance of success with a wood like cherry or oak but plywood is an unknown.
Dick

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Hi Freak,
I have a feeling you won't have any luck making a cylinder of that size by either kerf- or steam-bending. One alternative would be to use square stock and bore a hole with a Forstner bit. You could also chamfer the outside corners to create an octagonal cross-section. A square or octagonal shape might add more novelty to the cup's appearance than a cylindrical one.
B.

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Thu, Jan 6, 2005, 10:24pm snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net (Buddy Matlosz) says: Hi Freak, I have a feeling you won't have any luck making a cylinder of that size by either kerf- or steam-bending. One alternative would be to use square stock and bore a hole with a Forstner bit. You could also chamfer the outside corners to create an octagonal cross-section. A square or octagonal shape might add more novelty to the cup's appearance than a cylindrical one.
That's what I said. LMAO
I posted something similar, over an hour ago, but it hasn't shown up yet. Might be able to cut ithin strips, steam 'em, then bend them around a form. Then glue them to each other, gradually building up to a cup. Personally, I'd just make a square one, or maybe 6 sides, 8, whatever. Or, more likely, just shake them in my hands.
JOAT EVERY THING THAT HAPPENS STAYS HAPPENED. - Death
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: And can plywood be bent around into a perfect cylinder? :
As another mentioned, you probably wouldn't bet able to bend the plywood tight enough. But if you can get your hands on some veneer, couldn't you simply bend each layer around a form and build it up layer by layer?
Rick
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If you go to my web page:
http://home.comcast.net/~saville/sand_glasses.htm
You will see, on the top sandglass, bent wood that forms the cylinders that hold the sandglass in place. For this application I bought some veneer and boiled it for a few minutes. It bent easily.
However the run of the grain was not along the long length of the veneer. So I cut out a piece such that the grain ran parallel to the enges of the cylinder. This avoids breaking while bending.
Gregg
Replicas of 15th-19th century nautical navigational instruments:
http://home.comcast.net/~saville/backstaffhome.html
Restoration of my 82 year old Herreshoff S-Boat sailboat:
http://home.comcast.net/~saville/SBOATrestore.htm
Steambending FAQ with photos:
http://home.comcast.net/~saville/Steambend.htm
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Start with square stock, (glued-up in necessary), chuck it into a drill press, (see http://www.toolcenter.com/Vertilathe.html , or just make your own version) Make it round, then use a forstner bit to bore the hole.
Dave
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Just a few ideas...
1. A square container? Much easier to build if you don't NEED a round dice cup. You could expand on the idea by making an 8 sided container instead of 4 sided. Easier to grip than a circular cup anyway... :)
2. Make a circle cutting jig for your router and straight cutting bit. Cut out the outer circle, then the inner circle. This would leave you with a "donut". Glue together a stack of these and one on the bottom and you've got a cup. You could even get fancy with alternating wood types.
3. Make a variation of a "bandsaw box". Draw the container on a solid block of wood, then cut it out on a bandsaw. Glue the pieces back together and you're done. You could get creative with the shape using this approach.
4. Take a solid chunk of wood and slowly carve out the inside and outside with chisels and sandpaper. Alternative tools could include a "Dremel" rotary tool, or carving knives. Sounds like a good project to do while sitting out on the porch. :) You could get creative with the shape and wood here too, maybe carve it out of a tree burl, or a stump or something similar.

No idea on that one. Maybe use a tablesaw to cut "V" grooves in a board, then set the saw back to 90 degrees and cut the dice apart. It would take a bit of setup and experimentation, but I would think it would work?
Anthony
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On 6 Jan 2005 17:38:04 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

You could get some flat solid stock, and cut out circles with a bandsaw jig or jigsaw, then glue them together. Same thing could be done with the plywood, though it probably wouldn't look as good, unless you've got some really, really nice plywood. More than likely, you'll be needing to do a bit of hand work with it, smoothing things down with a rasp and sanding a lot, but I guess it just depends on how badly you want a wooden dice cup! FWIW, you could also get yourself one of those cheap little Wilton lathes for $60-70 and give turning one a try.

Google for Icosahedrons (20-sided geometric forms) for angles. Or Polyhedrons for other numbers of sides. With careful angle settings on the tablesaw and a couple of jigs, it *should* be possible (though not necessarily easy!) Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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I should really point out that I have no powered bench tools. I mainly work with hand tools and handheld power tools. I have in my power tool collection a router, jigsaw, circular saw and a belt sander. I also have a drill which doubles up as drill press and it has a stand so I can attach a grinding wheel so I can sharpen my chisels. The Wilthon lathe sound like my price range but do they ship over here in UK.
Going to try everyones technique at least once see what I like the look of. The ply wood is use is either birch, oak, teak or cherry venered. Makes the puzzles cheap to make without looking cheap.
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Here's an idea, since you have a drill press. I made a cup (drinking, not dice) for a friend of mine like this.
Go out in the woods and find a birch tree or branch the same diameter you want your cup. Cut a section out.
Get a big forstner bit, and drill out the center. I did this, leaving about a 3/8" wall. It dried fine with no checking.
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Bending trick I learned when building acoustic guitars while stationed in Panama.
Use and iron pipe clamped into a vise, heat the pipe with a torch (to almost red hot). Place folded wet towels onto the pipe (instant steam) and bend your wood right over the top of the towels, the idea here is that the steam generated off the towels allows the wood fibers to move relative to each other.
Notes on this technique: 1. Thoroughly soak the wood you will be bending by submerging in water for a couple of days. 2. Keep a bucket handy and resoak the rags regularly, also reheat the pipe regularly. 3. Don't force the wood to bend it. Just place it on the pipe with very little pressure, you will actually feel it start to give a little at a time. 4. It helps to have two people for this process (one to handle the torch and one to handle the wood). 5. You may not be able to bend plywood using this method due to the grain orientation of the various plys, and the adhesive used to hold the whole mess together. 6. When done bending, clamp you work into a form (roughly shaped like the final project) and let is cool and dry for about a day.
This is also a great method because a number of different diameter iron or steel pipes is a lot cheaper than a number of different diameter steam benders.

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