Domino Box

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Project by CottonWire posted 12-31-2009 10:30 PM 2013 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch


This is the first project I’ve posted to Lumberjocks (and do so with a modicum of reservation!) and wasn’t sure I should do it. My sis and her husband like to play an old family game with the “six dot” domino sets called “42.” We’ve spent days at a time on the Oregon coast, watching the ocean, reading, relaxing AND playing “42” for hours. It’s kind of like Pinochle (bidding, trumps, following suit, etc.) but moves a little faster and the dominos are a little more tactile than cards to hold in your hand.

I got the idea for doing an over-sized set in wood some months ago and started this box as a “test” project. As it progressed along, I started to feel good enough about it to think it might finish up well enough to give to them for a Christmas present. The wood is simple fir (mostly straight-grained) with the inset in the lid and the plugs in the dominos made of cedar. The finish is many coats of spray lacquer, lightly sanded between coats. There are twenty-eight dominoes in the set, so the box is separated into four quadrants of seven pieces in each, by removable dividers. The bottom is covered with green felt.

The camera used for the graphics is a Canon Rebel digital SLR but taking these kinds of pictures is something I’m really poor at. I did take the time to read some of the blog notes about picture-taking, but I’m still a real green bean about it. Maybe in time . . .

Box dimensions are about 12” x 9” x 3” and the individual dominos are 2” x 4” x ¾” I took the time to make replicable jigs for the cutting, drilling and plugs. All the design templates were generated in Microsoft Visio, then printed to clear acetate sheets on a laser printer. It made the process pretty involved, but I think I could do another set, start to finish, in a fairly reasonable period of time. I think the next set will be done in hickory and cedar. We’ll see.

The dominos play really well – and are fun to use since they’re twice the size of a normal set. One of the best things about them is that they are made of wood and therefore feel great in your hands.

Ok, that’s about it. Hope the pix are good enough to see the set (and not so good you see all the flaws!) Lumberjocks has sure been a source of inspiration and fun for me. I’m grateful my good friend shared it with me!

-- "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in frames of silver." Mohawk Valley - Oregon

10 comments so far

View shopmania's profile


701 posts in 3961 days

#1 posted 12-31-2009 10:48 PM

looks really nice! Glad you posted!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, [email protected] Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 4483 days

#2 posted 12-31-2009 11:12 PM

looks like a great set of bones. I had never thought of using plugs to make the dots. Cool.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3853 days

#3 posted 01-01-2010 01:29 AM

WOW! You should be very proud of this. It looks great. I know nothing about the game your family plays (but I know something about conventional dominos). I must admit some confusion over “why 28 dominos?”. I would expect a 6 dot set to contain 36 dominos. Oh well, I am sure you know what you are doing.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 4221 days

#4 posted 01-01-2010 03:04 AM

I grew up playing “42” with my parents, who were really good at it. Today I find very few people who have even heard of the game. I still love to play it, but I have to find folks who are interested in learning and then I have to spend time just teaching them how to play. Oh well, it is fun. I, too, have made some wooden dominos and boxes to hold them, but I just made more or less conventional sized bones. Your idea to increase the size was a good one. I never bothered to post my work, since I had rather play than post. Good to see your work and your photography is just fine—this is a woodworking site not a photography site.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View whitedog's profile


652 posts in 4236 days

#5 posted 01-01-2010 04:29 AM

great set up… i love the box, the lid ,and the dominoes are great. i also enjoy dominoes but don’t know that game.

one thing i learned , on this site, about pictures that has helped me. take your pictures outside in bright daylight with your camera in aperture mode on f8.

again great build

-- Paul , Calfornia

View Achiko's profile


38 posts in 4453 days

#6 posted 01-01-2010 09:09 AM

Wonderful project and well executed and a fun game.

42, as in “Playing moon and 42” from the great Guy Clark song “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train”. Why play anything else with spotted wood chips?

-- Chuck, Cottage Grove, Oregon --

View pinkfish's profile


171 posts in 4450 days

#7 posted 01-01-2010 11:10 AM

Nice looking set. What are the rules to the game?

View CottonWire's profile


16 posts in 3894 days

#8 posted 01-01-2010 12:06 PM

Interesting question I sure didn’t anticipate – what are the rules. A quick Google search yielded lots of results but this seemed to be the best:

Thanks for the posts – especially liked the reference to Guy Clark (Achiko). I know there were a number of times I listened to that song while working on this set, out in the shop. Great reference . . .

-- "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in frames of silver." Mohawk Valley - Oregon

View RKW's profile


328 posts in 4226 days

#9 posted 01-01-2010 06:48 PM

nice job cottonwire, you definately took your box to the next level. I may have to do another set now. On second thought, i promised myself i wouldnt. Too much repitition in cutting those dominoes.

-- RKWoods

View Grumpy's profile


26439 posts in 4630 days

#10 posted 01-02-2010 12:11 AM

Nice one CottonWire

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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