This seems to be the trap I'm caught in at the moment.

I'm not sure what happened, I was working along just great on my June Chair project, and in the middle of this project, work just stopped. Not because I ran into something I couldn't do, I'm not sure what put the brakes on.

I'll get back to that project very soon, as I don't think it should take too long to finish those chairs.

In the meantime, I have found in the past that sometimes a great way to get a shop back in motion is to start with a simple project. I think I found one.

Photo from the British Museum. This board game was made about the year 2600 B.C. |

Why am I writing about this rather than building it already?

Well, the short answer is I need some help.

The dice used aren't our standard six sided dice, it uses four sided dice in the shape of tetrahedron, or a three-sided pyramid.

If you were asked to make an accurate equilateral tetrahedron from wood, how would you lay it out?

Photo from BBC.co.uk. |

I thought I had it figured out last night, but then realized I had an idea for making four sided pyramids. These have five points rather than the four points required.

They look pretty small, which should help. Probably the best way is just to make one, then try to remember what I did so I can make three more.

I happen to have a little bit of ebony which should make for a nice feel. I have a couple ideas for the white pips on some of the corners, but I'm a bit stumped.

I think that after the dice are made, the other pieces and the board itself should be a snap.

What caught my attention regarding this game was this amusing video. Check it out, you'll love it!

Ask, and you shall recieve. Sylvain was kind enough to send me this drawing, which goes with his explanation in the comments of this post. This looks way easier than what I was going to do!

UPDATE #2:

Sylvain sent another drawing to further clarify. Thanks, Sylvain!

I am in a rut too. Hoping to kick start it again soon.

ReplyDeleteLife is funny that way...

Good luck.

Bob who finished in June chair on day 72 of June :-)

Day 72? You did well!

DeleteIt would be easier with a little sketch but I will try to describe how I would do a tetrahedron.

ReplyDelete- Choose the ridge length you want, call it "a".

- cut a strip of wood of triangular section with one side of width "a" and the two other side of width "b"= "a"SIN(60°)= 0.866 "a".

- choose a starting point "P" on the ridge "K" between the two "b" sides.

- from "P" trace a line on each adjacent side at 60° with a sliding bevel. You obtain the points "Q" and "R" on the two other ridges "L" and "M".

- joint the points "Q" and "R" with a line on the "a" side (it should be perpendicular to those two ridges L and M)

- from point "Q", trace a line at 60° in direction of ridge "K" on wich you obtain point "S".

- do the same from point"R", it should meet the ridge "K" at the same point "S".

Points P, Q, R and S are the vertices of the tetrahedron.

Make a triangular strip with cardboard to experiment the process.

Sylvain

Thanks, Sylvain. If you could send me a sketch, I'd be happy to post it. Send it to brian dot j at riseup dot com.

DeleteCheers!

It doesn't go through.

DeleteHow do I have to interpret "riseup"?

Sylvain

Oops! It should be riseup dot net. Sorry.

DeleteOr is it riseup dot NET?

DeleteSylvain

send again

DeleteThanks, Sylvain! The drawing makes it look easy. I'll edit the post to include your drawing, then I might give it a try this weekend.

DeleteI would probably just go to a game store and get 4 sided dice (or numerous other numbers), but if I was to make them I would make a triangular rod (not a perfect equilateral triangle) and then use a miter box to cut the rod lengths at the correct angle so the offcuts are your dice.

ReplyDeleteGlad to hear from you again, looks like an interesting game

Hi Jeremy! Indeed, I had the same idea after seeing Sylvain's drawing. I'm excited to try it out, but since I don't have a miter box, it will be freehand.

DeleteThe tetrahedron would be fun to make.

ReplyDeleteOtherwise as each tetrahedron has two black vertices and two white ones, it is equivalent to flipping a coin, so you could play with four token each with one face of a color and the other face with another color.

Sylvain

That would work, as well as standard dice (with odds and evens). But I'm one who enjoys a thought exercise and a challenge.

DeleteWell... if you pull this thing out of you tool set and skills... man you're a genius!

ReplyDelete:D :D :D

Thanks, António. But, I intend to make the project fit my toolset. In other words, no fancy inlays on this one.

DeleteI have sent an additional sketch.

ReplyDeleteYou will note in the video that throwing the tetrahedron gives a result from zero to four, while a common dice has no zero and the probabilities with one dice are not the same as with the four tetrahedrons.

Sylvain

To get the same result with standard dice, you would have to do something like give the odds on a die the value of one, and the evens a value of zero.

DeleteBut, where's the fun in that?

Thanks for another sketch, I'll post it, too.

This looks fun, plus no endless hours of stock prep like a large piece. It's great to hear from you. Figured you were busy tromboning until your vacation pics started appearing on IG. Scenery looked awesome.

ReplyDeleteJeff

That was exactly my thought.

DeleteThanks for thinking of me. I did a little tromboning, but I've been getting ready for a new job. Hopefully my woodworking will get back to normal soon.

Dear Sir,

ReplyDeleteI was happily working on a dovetailed cabinet to go above my washing machine and was going to do the case glue up today. Now, however, I have completely abandoned that project and am obsessed with the UR game. Thanks alot! Just kidding. This was so fantastic and I'm glad you are making the pieces and sharing. What a great video and what a fun game. I found one in the Google Play store and played it for, well, longer than I should have last night. Thanks again for your wonderful blog.

Take Care,

Chris Barnes from Florida

Hi Chris! Thanks for the kind words.

DeleteI'm sure the attraction for the game comes from the funny accent. If I ever again read Harry Potter, this guy will be my Professor Dumbledore.

I'll be watching your blog to see your progress.

Cheers!

Awesome! At the very least, I want to play this game!

ReplyDeleteMe, too!

DeleteBrian, Very Interesting and the video had me captivated. I look forward to your continued posts. When will you be building the board?

ReplyDeleteI'm going to try to do the dice first. They look the hardest, although I have an easy version in mind.

DeleteI have a little time this week, we'll see if I can make progress on it.

Cheers, Ray!