Clipboard #3: Tumbling Dice (blocks)

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 10-01-2010 06:54 PM 15384 reads 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Old Friends Part 3 of Clipboard series Part 4: Two Outta Three Ain't Bad »

Yesterday I left you with a pile of wooden diamonds. Now to make the pattern. I use a template to set out the blocks in this design.

Its a simple rectangular grid where the intersection of the lines mark the places where The points of the diamonds should be in the pattern. I used CAD to draw this but pencil and ruler would do just as well. For the 20mm diamond I am using the ‘x’ spacing is 20mm and the ‘y’ spacing 11.547mm (now you see why I use CAD), 11.5mm will do.I’ve drawn in the bottom left block as an aide memoire. This is taped to the bench.

Next trick is to lay the pattern out on some tranparent library film

Its clear and has a sticky back. The sort of thing we used to cover school books in, back in the days when we used books! So I cut a piece and laid and taped it over the alignment grid, sticky side up.

You have to remember that the pattern you now lay out will be laterally transposed, left to right. ie you are looking at the side of it that will be glued down to the base board. So to start out on the pattern here is the first block laid out and stuck onto the film.

I used the tip of my knife to pick up the diamonds. It is very useful for precise positioning of them on the film . Much more precise than my thick fingers

This is with a few more pieces in place

just about the time I realised I was doing this in a right handed fashion, like writing. I was forced to do this at school so I suppose it was a reflex action. Now the grid is printed on A4 paper (near letter size) and so doesn’t go far enough for the pattern I’m using. No matter. A regular pattern has already been set up by the grid and the extra 1/2 block to the right and 1 1/2 above just tend to fall into place. Much more than this and you can obviously cut and paste sheets of grid together. Here’s the whole pattern

The good thing about laying the pattern out on sticky backed film is that you glue it all in one go.

The next bit was fairly mundain and included trimming the pattern off square and adding a mitred border.
The pattern was the glued to one side of the base board. I normally use PVA but Titebond III was in my glue roller so I used that. The plane Ash was glued to the other side. The grain orientation of the Ash and a substantial part of the pattern were vertical (relative to the portrait layout of the board) so the base board’s outer grain orientation was chosen to be horizontal (relative to portrait) to minimise warping in the completed board. The glue-up was clamped in Little Boy

the smaller of my two veneer clamps (cauls). This one takes boards up to 300mm x 400mm and up to about 100mm deep (though that rarely happens with veneering).

In the next part I’ll be showing the results of the clamping and the fitting of the clip.

Be seeing you

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

16 comments so far

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 3301 days

#1 posted 10-01-2010 07:01 PM

I love this kind of ”online-live-real time blog”

I´m getting somewhat suspended as if I were watching 24Hs series!!
You never know where the captain is driving us!!

That is tidy!

-- Back home. Fernando

View SPalm's profile


5332 posts in 4240 days

#2 posted 10-01-2010 07:04 PM


I agree Fernando. And we have subtitles too.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View mafe's profile


11946 posts in 3447 days

#3 posted 10-01-2010 07:05 PM

You are a hero of mine, what more can I say!
Best thoughs and a smile,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

260 posts in 3481 days

#4 posted 10-01-2010 07:45 PM

“Get out there and rock and roll the bones!” – Rush

-- Tony -

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3674 days

#5 posted 10-01-2010 07:47 PM

Does this veneer clamp have no name? Perhaps you could call it Feynman.


View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3394 days

#6 posted 10-01-2010 08:11 PM

James, ‘Little Boy’ was the name of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The other clamp is called Fat Man, Nagasaki got that one. Naming jigs after places, objects and events of the atomic bomb project is part of my ‘black’ sense of humour. My own dark side.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3674 days

#7 posted 10-01-2010 08:31 PM

I saw that in a previous post – I was trying to keep with the theme (

Great project, by the way.


View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3394 days

#8 posted 10-01-2010 08:47 PM

Thanks, James

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3473 days

#9 posted 10-01-2010 09:34 PM

that was a new trick with the film
great tip, thank´s for sharing it

and little boy ain´t bad either
I look forward to the next :-)

have a great weekend


View degoose's profile


7255 posts in 3712 days

#10 posted 10-01-2010 09:35 PM

Looking even better .. professor…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3394 days

#11 posted 10-01-2010 10:55 PM

A heck of a clamp for a heck of a job! BRAVO!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9238 posts in 3278 days

#12 posted 10-01-2010 11:55 PM

This is a great blog. I love how everything is lined up on the film. What a simple and effective way to keep everything in perfect order! I like Little Boy, too. He gets the job done so nicely! Wonderful!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18544 posts in 4034 days

#13 posted 10-02-2010 12:54 AM

Interesting trade secrets you are giving away :-)) Great blog.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3428 days

#14 posted 10-02-2010 01:40 AM

Martyn who’s your supplier for the library film? it’s a new one on me I use perforated veneer tape which is a b… ache. Does the film peel off cleanly & easily after glue up?

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Bluebear's profile


417 posts in 3254 days

#15 posted 10-02-2010 11:16 AM

you never disappoint Martyn :)
thanks for the tutorial!
- a big fan

-- -- It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

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