Domino

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Somewhere around 1720, dominoes found their way to Europe by way of the silk route from China. Sets dating hack some 600 years earlier have been discovered in Eastern Asia. But the game most of us know as "Dominoes" is an American version with its roots in the early 20th century. Also known as Muggins or Five Up, the basic game requires just 28 tiles. Follow our project plans to build a set of hand-made walnut and maple dominoes, along with a handy storage box.

Vital Statistics: Domino Set

TYPE: Dominoes and box

OVERALL SIZE: Dominoes: IW by t^H by 21

Storage box; 5V4W by 15AH by SV4L MATERIAL: Wainut, seif-sticK maple veneer, Plexiglas JOINERY: Laminated butt joints, miters and dadoes CONSTRUCTION DETAILS: 1 Maple veneer and wainut emulate traditional ivory and ebony dominoes

- Several simple shop jigs are employed to improve accuracy and safety when machining smail domino tiles

■ Driiiing through the mapie veneer produces wainut colored dots on the dominoes

- Storage box outfitted with a sliding lid FINISH: Satin pofyurethane varnish

Building time

>y\ PREPARING STOCK 2 hours

LAYOUT 3-4 hours m CUTTING PARTS 2 hours

ASSEMBLY 4-5 hours

FINISHING 1. hour

TOTAL: 12*14 hours

Tools you'll use

- Table saw

- Rower miter saw (optional)

- Frame clamp

Shopping list

(1) 1/4C in, x 2 ft. x 2 ft.

self-stick maple veneer

(2) Va x 2 in. x 3 ft. walnut

(1) 1/2 x 2 in. x 3 ft. walnut

(1) «A x & x 12-in. birch

plywood

(1) V8 x x 77/8 in.

Plexiglas

Wood glue

Finishing m-aterials

Domino Set

1) Apply maple veneer strips to walnut strips

3) Cut tiles to length

Domino Set

1) Apply maple veneer strips to walnut strips

3) Cut tiles to length

5) Prill holes or one face of tiles

2) Trim away maple veneer overhang

4) Cut a centerline on one face of tiles

6) Round corners & ease edges

5) Prill holes or one face of tiles

2) Trim away maple veneer overhang

4) Cut a centerline on one face of tiles

6) Round corners & ease edges

STEPS TO MAKE DOMINO TILES

V4" X Ve" dado grooves for box bottom, typ.

V»" X Ve" dado grooves for box top, typ.

r-dia. hole

45e mitersd ends, typ.

V4" X Ve" dado grooves for box bottom, typ.

V»" X Ve" dado grooves for box top, typ.

45e mitersd ends, typ.

r-dia. hole

Domino Set Cutting List

Part

A. Domino faces

V40 X 1V2 X 72 in. Maple veneer

Part

E. Box back

Walnut

B. Domino cores

1

V4 X 1 X 72 in. Walnut

F. Box bottom

1

V'4 X 4V& X IVi in.

C. Box sides

2

V2 X 1H X SV4 in.

G. Lid

1

tó x <m X 7% in.

Plexiglas

D. Box front

1

Vi z X m in.

E 5V4"

TOP VIEW

SIDE SECTION VIEW

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SIDE SECTION VIEW

7/52"

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2"

SET OF 20 DOMINO TILES

Domino Set: Step-by-step

PHOTO B: Crosscut the laminated strips into individual domino tiles using a stopblock clamped to the fence of a power mtter saw. Set the block 2 in. from the blade, and cut the dominoes one after the nexL

PHOTO A: Peel oft the protective paper that covers the adhesive backing of the maple veneer and adhere It to the Vi-in.-thick walnut strips. Trim the veneer to fit the walnut with a sharp utility knife.

Make the domino blanks

To replicate the look of ivory tiles with inlaid ebony dots, adhere two strips of self-stick maple veneer onto a walnut core, then drill through the veneer on one face of each domino to expose the walnut beneath, producing patterns of dots on the maple.

O Kip-cut the k4-in. walnut stock to 1 in. wide for the domino cores: To make a standard set of 28 dominoes, start with two 36-in.-long strips of 1-in.-wide walnut, which will provide enough material for making a few extra dominoes in case of errors. Since the long walnut edges of each domino will show, remove any saw kerf marks left on the edges of the walnut by running the strips on-edge over a jointer.

O Apply the maple veneer to both faces of the long walnut strips: Peel off the protective paper that covers the veneer's adhesive backing and press the veneer firmly into place on the walnut. To make most efficient use of the veneer, align the edge of the veneer sheet with the edge of each walnut strip when you bond the two together. Then trim the veneer cleanly along the edge of the walnut with a sharp utility knife (See Photo A).

0 Crosscut the domino tiles to length. Clamp a stopblock to the fence of a power miter saw, 2 in. from the blade, and cut the long walnut and maple strips into as many 2-in. domino tiles as you can (See Photo B). To minimize tearing out the wood, install a sharp carbide-tipped crosscut blade or plywood-cutting blade in the saw to make these cuts.

Cut the centerlines

O Cut centerlines across one face of each domino. Make these cuts on the table saw. Since the tiles are too small to hold against the miter gauge safely by hand, you'll need to build a simple jig to hold the dominoes in place while you cut them. The jig consists of a hold-down made from a piece of ■M-in.-wide scrap with a notch cut along one edge. Screw the hold-down to an auxiliary fence on the miter gauge. The notch should face the saw table and be just large enough to hold one domino at a time securely against the saw table. Set your table

PHOTO A: Peel oft the protective paper that covers the adhesive backing of the maple veneer and adhere It to the Vi-in.-thick walnut strips. Trim the veneer to fit the walnut with a sharp utility knife.

PHOTO B: Crosscut the laminated strips into individual domino tiles using a stopblock clamped to the fence of a power mtter saw. Set the block 2 in. from the blade, and cut the dominoes one after the nexL

saw blade height so the blade will just trim through the veneer layer on the domino. Practice on a spare domino first, so you are sure the hold-down is attached accurately to the miter gauge. Then cut the centerlines one by one, slipping a domino blank into the hold-down and sliding the miter gauge over the saw blade (See Photo C). Cut a centerline across one face of each domino t ile only.

Mark & drill the dots

© Lay out the dot patterns on your dominoes. See the full-size domino and dot patterns shown on page 289 for layout guides. To make locating the dots easier, we used the printed pattern to make a marking template from clear Plexiglas. We drilled Vie-dia. holes through the plastic at each dot and mounted the Plexiglas template to a wood jig, sized to hold one domino. We marked for the dots by pressing a finish nail through the appropriate holes in the template and into the maple veneer (See Photo D).

© Drill the dots: Install a 3i6-in.-dia. twist bit in the drill press, and clamp a fence to the drill press table. (A twist bit is a better choice for drilling the dots than a brad-point bit because it produces a smooth-bottomed hole without leaving a spur mark.) Align the fence for boring the center row of dots tirst. When drilling the dots, bring the tip of the drill bit down until it just touches the veneer and makes a tiny dimple 011 the wood. Do not pierce

PHOTO C: To trim the domino centeriines, fasten a notched hoid-down to an auxiiiary fence mounted on the tabie saw miter gauge. The hoiddown keeps your hands a safe distance from the blade and aiigns each domino accurately to make the shallow centeriine cut Cut a centeriine across one face of each domino.

PHOTO D: Mark the dot locations on Hie domino bianks, using the fife Holes & Cenierl/nes pattern drawing on page 289 as a guide. For greater precision, we built a simple jig with a ciear Picxigias top drilled with Vie-la-dia. hoies at each dot iocat!on.We pressed a finish naii through the appropriate holes in the Piexigias to mark each dot pattern.

PHOTO E: Driii shallow holes through the mapie veneer arid just into the wainut core to create the domino dots. Set the depth stop to keep the bit from driiiing too deeply. Clamp a fence to the driii press tabie so the rows of dots wiii iine up lengthwise aiong the dominoes. Work careftiiiy when driiiing to hit your dot iocations precisely.

Auxiliary miter gauge fence

PHOTO F: Cut the VMn-wide groove for the box bottom using a dado biade in the tabie saw.Then install a Vs-in.-kerfed blade in the saw and cut a groove for the sliding lid aiong the opposite iong edge of the workpiece. Cutting these grooves now aiiows you to work more safeiy with a iong workpiece and ensures that the grooves wiii aiign perfectly when you assemble the box later.

PHOTO F: Cut the VMn-wide groove for the box bottom using a dado biade in the tabie saw.Then install a Vs-in.-kerfed blade in the saw and cut a groove for the sliding lid aiong the opposite iong edge of the workpiece. Cutting these grooves now aiiows you to work more safeiy with a iong workpiece and ensures that the grooves wiii aiign perfectly when you assemble the box later.

PHOTO G: Cut the box sides and ends to length. We set a power miter saw hi 45° so that the parts wouid be both cut to iengtti and also inhered for assembly. Accuracy Is especially critical if you perform both of these operations in one step.

the veneer. Use this depression as a guide to shift the domino until the bit hits your dot mark. Set the depth stop on the drill press so that the bit goes through the top (maple) layer and barely enters the middle (walnut) core. Once t he center rows of dots are drilled, reset the fence to drill the two outside rows of dots, and drill these dots on all of the dominoes (See Photo E). (Note: You don't need to change the fence setting in order to drill both outside rows. Just flip the dominoes end-for-end,)

Make the box

O Cut the plywood box bottom to size.

O Rip a 30-in. length of Vs-in,-thick walnut stock to 1% in. wide for the box sides and ends. Then set. up a J4-in.-wide dado blade in your table saw to plow- the groove for the box bottom. Make a test rut on some scrap and check the fit of the plywood bottom in the groove (some ]/Mn. plywood is quite a bit shy of its nominal thickness). Then plow the groove Vs in. from one long edge of the workpiece (See Photo F).

O Cut a '.4;-iii.-wide groove 1'8-in. in from the other long edge of the walnut box workpiece for the sliding lid. Here, the groove should he slightly wider than the Plexiglas is thick; you want the top to be able to slide freely, but not loosely. Test-fit the Plexiglas box lid in the groove; if it barely slides with the protective film in place, it will be a good fit once the film is removed (don't remove it yet).

© Miter-cut the box sides, front and back to length. A power miter saw works best for this operation, but you could make these cuts on a table saw as well. Since the 45° miter cuts will serve as the cuts that nark the length of the parts, measure carefully when you cut the tingles (See Photo G).

© Dry-fit the box sides and ends. Check the fit of the miter joints and sand the joints, if needed, to improve the fit.

© Trim the box front to VA in. wide along the lid edge. The cut will trim off the lid groove on this part. This way, the lid will slide over the box front once the box is assembled. Then glue up the miter joints and clamp the box together with the bottom inserted in the M-in. groove (See Photo H).

PHOTO G: Cut the box sides and ends to length. We set a power miter saw hi 45° so that the parts wouid be both cut to iengtti and also inhered for assembly. Accuracy Is especially critical if you perform both of these operations in one step.

© Sand the edges and ends of the Plexiglas lid with emory or wet/dry sandpaper, and drill a l-in.-dia. hole 114 in. from one end to serve as a finger catch. Drill the hole with a sharp bit on the drill press at a slow speed to keep the plastic from cracking or chipping.

<D Sand the entire project with 220-grit paper, and round the corners of the dominoes. Then apply three coats of clear satin polyurethane varnish to all wood surfaces. Spray-on polyurethane works well for finishing these small parts.

PHOTO H: Giue and ciamp the box parts together, with the box bottom in piace. We used a frame ciamp, which hoids aii four corners of the box together and squares up the assembly as weii. if you use a different clamping method, adjust the ciamps unti i the box is square.

Dominoes rules of play

The most common game of dominoes is caiied Five-up, Muggins or sometimes Ali-Fives. it is played with the standard double-six set of 28 dominoes you've just made In this project. Two to four people can play, and you should have a pen and paper handy to track their individual scores. (

Turn all the dominoes face-down on a flat surface. Each player then takes a tile (also known as a bone) to see who goes first The one with the most dots starts, and the order of piay goes clockwise around the table. Each player draws five tiies from the piie after returning the initial Ones to the pile and shuffling the tiles around.

The first player can play any tile to get things started. The next player must then match either end of that tile (for example, if the initial tile has a four and a five, the second player can butt a four to the four or a five to the five).

When someone plays a double (with the same number of dots on each side of the iine), this is placed crosswise at the end of the chain. Up to four dominoes can butt against this double: two continuing the chain in its original direction, and two more lead off at right angles.

if a player doesn't have a play to make, he or she must continue to draw tiies and keep them until a play can be made. A player can also decide against playing a tiie he or she already has, in order to draw from the piie instead.

Points are awarded as a round progresses to piayers who form unions of tiies that total up to a multiple of five. However, a player only gets the points if he or she claims them before the next player takes a turn.

The first player to use up all of his or her tiies scores points from the tiles that remain In the other piayers^ piles. These totals are rtiunded off to the nearest fwe (round 2 down and 3 up), if play pomes to a stop because

I i j nobody has a playable domino, all the piayers add up their remaining tiles. The player with the lowest total scores points from the tiles that remain In ail the other players' piles.

There are numerous variations of these ruies, and no hard and fast "right" way to plaV. Several versions can be found In books on games at youir local library or through searches on the internet Individual families, ciubs or sociai groups often have "housel" rules, too.

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