How to make cheap wooden 6-sided dice

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I’ve been thinking to switching to a different dice system for my role playing system, FudgediceMEGAPOMPS.  I’m not sure yet, but I think I want to try using Fudge dice, which have two plus signs, two minus signs, and two blank sides, as shown in the pic to the right.

The problem is that while these aren’t very expensive for a set of four (about $5 on ebay), I’m not about to ask everyone I play with to buy a set of weird dice just to experiment.  But they’re simple enough, so I thought I’d make some.

All I needed was a bunch of wooden cubes — about 5/8″ to a side (15mm).  I found an ebay sale for 36 of them for $3 shipped.  These cubes won’t have the precision of real plastic dice, but they’re cheap in bulk — much cheaper than even blank plastic dice.  I had to throw 5 of the 36 out for being uneven or chipped, but who cares.

To mark them, I just used my soldering iron.  I put in a medium-sized chisel tip, but most any would work.  I held them in place with a needle-nose, and slid the broad side of the iron over the face of the cube to burn in a + on two opposing sides, and a − on two others.  It was easiest to do this with the grain of the wood.  On some of them, I stabbed a dot into the blank side just for effect.

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When they were done, the burned wood had a sticky texture, so I briefly washed each face with a wet rag, and they were fine.

Also, I had a few extra, so I made some standard numbered d6’s by just stabbing in the right number of pips on each side:

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Boom, $3 and an hour of time and I have some neat homemade Fudge dice, plus a few regular d6’s to throw in the bag.

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