Liar’s dice game box
Having friends and family over means time for fun and entertainment, and this little game box is sure to provide hours of both. Even those who are not playing this game will have fun as spectators.
Essentially, this game is based on poker, but played with dice, and a fun twist that makes it especially light and enjoyable.
You can make this box with simple or complex joinery and with a single wood or complementary species.
I made this box out of maple and padauk for maximum colour contrast. It’s a great way to use up those small pieces of exotic wood hanging around your shop. While I used the Incra Joining System to make double dovetails for the joints, you could assemble this box with biscuits, Miller dowels, through dovetails, splined mitres, or any other technique that suits your skill level. (NOTE: You may have to adjust the length of the sides, front and back, depending upon which joinery method you use.)
The top, bottom, and four sides of the box use 3/8″ stock. You could use thicker stock. For added safety, use a router table for this project.
Use light and dark woods to create a contrasting design
Cut the Pieces
• Machine and glue up 5 strips of maple and 4 of padouk for the lid (A). Change the arrangement to your liking, as long as you end up with a lid that is 3-3/4″ x 6-3/8″.
• Use a 1/4″ round over bit to soften all edges of the lid and give it a nice smooth feel.
• Machine stock for the sides (B), base (C), divider (D) shelf (E) and front and back (F).
• Install a 3/8″ straight bit 1/8″ above the router tabletop. Set your router table fence 1/4″ from the bit.
• Rout a dado on the bottom inside face of the sides, back and front pieces. These grooves will accommodate the base during final assembly.
• Install a 1/4″ straight bit 1/8″ above the router tabletop. Set your router table fence 1-1/8″ from the bit.
• Rout two grooves on each of the sides to accommodate the divider and the shelf. Refer to the illustration for the exact location of these grooves.
• Rout a groove 2/4″ from the top of the back piece to hold the shelf.
• Rout a groove approximately 1-3/8″ from the back side of the base to secure the divider.
Assemble the Box
• Use your chosen joinery technique to prepare the sides, front, and back pieces for assembly.
• Dry assemble the box before gluing up to ensure that the parts fit together snugly.
• Glue the shelf to the divider.
• The base floats in the grooves and does not require any gluing.
• Before final assembly, place 3 dice into the hidden area behind the divider wall, and then glue the box together. This will recreate the sound of dice in the bottom of the box for those times when all the dice are on the top shelf.
• Once the glue has set, measure and cut recesses for the lid hinges.
Apply a Finish
For small projects like this I use spray cans of sealer and lacquer. Follow instructions on the cans when spraying the finish, and wear an appropriate respirator. Once the finish has cured I like to tape a copy of the poker hands on the inside of the lid for novice players.
I hope that you, your family, and friends, get hours of lively entertainment from this game box.
Be sure to make more than one of these, because ‘liar’s dice’ game boxes make great gifts to take to a party, and that’s the truth.
Playing the Game
This game is best played with three or more people.