Welcome to week four of our nine weeks of getting ready to have a handmade Christmas. Several people have asked me about why I’m doing this series in October instead of close to Christmas. I’m normally a “one holiday at a time” person. When one holiday is over, then I can think about the next one.
However, because we enjoy giving handmade gifts for Christmas and we also enjoy having a stress free December we have found that our handmade gifts have to be made all year long. Some of my children have been working on their gifts since the summer, a little here and a little there. I’ve found that starting earlier with a goal of being done by Thanksgiving helps us to have a less stressful Christmas season.
Today, I’m going to walk you through making wooden dominoes. We used some power tools like a drill press, table saw and scroll saw but I *think* these could be made using other tools also.
First, you need a piece of thin (like 1/8″) oak board that is about 4″ wide. We found ours at Lowe’s.
Give give your 11 year old a ruler and a straight edge and have him make lines every 2″. For a set of double 6’s you will need 27 dominoes. It’s important that the lines are straight and pretty even, but like all things handmade, they don’t have to be perfect.
Next (and this isn’t pictured), run the board through a table saw right down the middle (long side) with the blade just barely up. This will make a nice groove through the middle of each piece.
Now, using a scroll saw cut out the 2″ pieces. We always cut a few extra just in case.
Using an small “x” mark each domino with this values. For instance, on the double one mark a small x in the middle of each side, for the double six mark six small x’s on each side of one domino. Carl did this for Benjamin. It is a little time consuming, so know that going in and take your time. It will be worth it in the end to have the dots spaced nicely on each domino.
Using a drill press or burning tool, burn a dot at the center of each x. Benjamin practiced on a couple of the extra ones to see how big he wanted the holes. Then he tried really hard to be consistent with it. There were a few where the holes were really big and so he just tossed those and using the extra ones he cut out made replacements.
Now lightly sand them and coat with a light coat of varnish. Let dry.
When they’re dry, enjoy a game of dominoes and a glass of ice tea.
What handmade gifts are you giving this year? Feel free to share any links to the projects in the comments or on our facebook page.