Community Spotlight: Wooden Dice Masters Playmat

We are back with another Community Spotlight.  As you may know, I love the design aspect of Dice Masters.  Whether it is the cards, the playmats… whatever.  I appreciate it all.  Over the past few Weekly Dice Arenas, there was a playmat that caught my eye.  Not because it was based on one of my designs, but the whole construction of it was different than what I had seen previously. I reached out to the creator and asked if they would share a little bit about their project with the Community.  This one is brought to you by SlyStyle, who graciously allowed us to share their creations with you.  Below, you will find their own description of their project.  We hope you enjoy it.

Take it away SlyStyle!

What Was The Motivation For This Project?

I like to build things and working with wood and the CNC along with epoxy is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy board games and as my kids call them “Thinking Games” because we don’t just play the normal Monopoly or Battleship around here. I also really enjoy dice games weather it’s dice building games or roll and writes. I was recommended dice masters based off my search history on Facebook Marketplace. Watched some how to’s and looked interesting so I tried it out. I really enjoy it and like anything I get into, it usually crosses into other hobbies weather it’s 3d printing or something with wood.

Why Wood Over A Standard Mat?

Kind of ties into what motivated me as wood is something I work a lot with and it allows you to create what you want for the most part. It’s durable, the epoxy gives a glass like look but it is as solid as wood when cured. Also with all the dice and cards out there I wanted more of a fixed spot for the dice and cards so I’m not constantly bumping or moving them and have to readjust for the slight OCD I may have. Finally depending on where I need to setup for the next game, it’s really easy to just pick up the board and move it to whatever table I need to move to.

Dice Masters Board Process

First step is to design the layout in the CNC software which tells the machine what to cut out and how deep. This step requires you to measure the size of the cards and dice for the cutouts. I learned through doing this process that multiple layers of paint will change the size of the cutouts as well so you need to account for that. Once you have all the measurements you can lay out the cutouts and see what size board you will need.

The software has a feature that shows you a preview of what it would look like and you can change the angle to view from any angle to see what the depth might look like.

If everything looks good you save the “GCODE” which is like coordinates that the machine uses to guide the router to certain locations and tells it how deep to cut and what to cut out. This file is loaded into another software that controls the CNC.

Now I am ready to secure the wood to the CNC machine, load the GCODE file, and start cutting.

2 hours later the cut is complete and the board just needs a little cleanup before prepping for paint.

Since I am using MDF board it’s easier to seal the wood so the paint isn’t soaked up and several coats won’t be required. For this I apply Shellac to the entire surface.

Once the sealer dries I apply a coat of paint, wait for it to dry, and sand down any artifacts that shouldn’t be there and apply a lighter second coat of paint. Also just testing the image size that was provided for the center playmat. This is just an image that is sized and printed out and laminated to protect the image from the epoxy.

Since the request was to have the inlays a green similar to the image I had the hardware store match the paint color which would be used to color the epoxy. I pour a small sample to see how it looks when the epoxy cures to make sure the color is right.

Now I am ready to mix up the epoxy and pour it in the inlays. For the fine lines I tape off around them to avoid it getting onto the wood. This process I use squeeze bottles to get in the fine lines. Since epoxy has a short working time you have to complete this process in several sections.

With the counter sections I used small number labels that I painted with the same color used for the epoxy. These will be covered with a clear epoxy for the finished look.

Last part is to put the Center image on and pour all the clear epoxy sections. After 24 hours it’s safe to work with but it’s best to let it cure at least 2-3 days before you use it. Also at this point you may need to clean up or scrap off any epoxy that spilled over and touch up any paint that may have been damaged.

Here is a sample of my other projects:

I hope you enjoyed this little Community Spotlight.  Give some love to SlyStyle for taking the time to share all of this with us.  What do you think of these?  Let us know in the comments below!  Also, feel free to contact SlyStyle directly on Discord if you have any questions about the details of this project.

Do you have some creations that you want to share with the Community?  Get in touch with us via any of the social medias, or hit us up by email.  We would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!

– jourdo

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