Help support TMP

"Metal Dice and Wooden Dice Towers?... No." Topic

15 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

In order to respect possible copyright issues, when quoting from a book or article, please quote no more than three paragraphs.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Dice Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Showcase Article

Modular Buildings from ESLO

ESLO Terrain explains about their range of modular buildings.

Featured Profile Article

Council of Five Nations 2010

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian is back from Council of Five Nations.

1,373 hits since 5 Mar 2020
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2020 10:13 p.m. PST

I bought a set of metal dice, which were delivered today. I took a chance, and I rolled them through a Hickory Dice Tower: Janka hardness 1,850. To be sure, I rolled the d20 through it seven times… It left four small dimples in the top baffle. Long term use would most assuredly result in more dents, and after many years, it would be quite obvious.

I also own a solid Padauck Dice Tower: Janka hardness of 1,970. After five rolls of the d20, there were four dents visible in the top baffle.

The dents and dimples I created, were small, and only visible when holding the baffle surfaces a few inches from my eyes -- I examined each Tower's baffles carefully, before testing, and there were zero dents, zero dimples. As always, YMMV.

If you own, and use, metal dice, my recommendation, regardless of the hardness of the wood used, I would NOT roll them in your Tower.

Please note that rolling metal dice on a wooden tabletop surface, will likely leave dents and dimples in your table. A safe way to roll metal dice, would be within a leather dice tray. Cheers!

14Bore06 Mar 2020 3:30 a.m. PST

Wouldn't think it a good idea as a wood worker.
Now a iron tower and wood dice, hmmmm……

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2020 5:15 a.m. PST

The thought of metal dice being rolled anywhere near my miniatures fills me with dread.


Hitman06 Mar 2020 7:38 a.m. PST

Metal cuts wood when sharp.Metal will dent wood when dull. Metal is a harder substance than wood. What did you think would happen?

As Rick also said…"The thought of metal dice being rolled anywhere near my miniatures fills me with dread."

DeRuyter Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2020 8:38 a.m. PST

The thought of using metal dice never crossed my mind in 30 years of gaming.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2020 8:40 a.m. PST

Metal dice are verboten at my table. I don't own ‘em, won't by ‘em, won't roll ‘em.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2020 8:43 a.m. PST

I forgot to post that my hand was 2-4 inches above the top baffle, each time I dropped the metal dice into the Tower. This is how I normally drop dice into the Tower. Each Tower has four baffles, counting the exit ramp which feeds them into the tray. Even that short distance was enough to mark the wood.

One of the reasons I use a Dice Tower, is to contain my dice when rolling… I play 2e BattleSystem mass fantasy battles game. I roll one die for each figure attacking/defending. That means I can be rolling 4-50+ dice, per attack/defense! The Dice Tower usually contains my dice, so they rarely roll onto the floor, or across the table. I like that. A lot!

Metal dice have a great deal of "heft", to them. I understand the attraction to them. The set I purchased was from, and very affordably priced. They are smaller than normal plastic dice. Their corners are all sharp, and hard. I would enjoy rolling them, but they would need a thick leather tray, and I prefer the guaranteed randomness of rolling dice through a Tower -- the results are pitifully random, to my usual detriment… But I know that there is no influence, intended, or otherwise, in my rolls.

With the metal dice, I cannot be certain that I would not subconsciously manipulate my rolls, by plopping the dice onto the tray, from the palm of my hand. I see folks do this almost constantly. Not accusing, just an observation. With my dice bouncing through four baffles, I am certain they are random. Here is a link to some slow-motion videos of dice rolling through a Tower by the same maker: 1 -- handful of dice; 2 -- d4 to d20, dropped individually. Cheers!

Sundance06 Mar 2020 9:56 a.m. PST

My ex got me some stone dice. They look cool and an interesting novelty, but not practical.

Dagwood06 Mar 2020 1:03 p.m. PST

Have you thought about a leather dice tower ?

Or a thin leather covering for the top surface of the existing dice tower ?

Vintage Wargaming06 Mar 2020 1:40 p.m. PST

This is fantastically helpful.

In the same vein I would advise not using a meat cleaver to separate plastic kit parts from sprues.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2020 2:19 p.m. PST

Sundance: I've seen some really delightful natural, and gem stone, dice… Would be too brittle, too risky to use them, for the price. Beautiful, though!

Dagwood: I helped the carpenter design these Dice Towers, which have leather covered tray bottoms. We discussed different options for staining, clear-coating options, and even covering the baffles with leather. Adding leather covers to the baffles would drive the cost up (time and materials costs would both go up). The leather covering would also reduce the reaction of the dice with the wood -- they would not bounce like they do hitting the bare wood. A leather Dice Tower would be soft, and the dice would just fall through it, rather than bounce through it. That dice bounce off of the hard wood, and that reaction, is critical in ensuring random rolls, especially from plastic dice with rounded corners (not completely random…).

Vintage Wargaming: LOL! Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2020 2:21 p.m. PST

$8 USD will get you a decent leather tray from Amazon:



Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2020 2:28 p.m. PST

Ooohhh! Shiny! I like those dice!

Yep, for metal dice, a leather tray like that, is, IMO, a requirement. Thanks for sharing, javelin98. Cheers!

Stoppage06 Mar 2020 2:32 p.m. PST

Dagwood has it – or perhaps a layer of thin rubber (which would also deaden the noise)

I can imagine the weight and heft of metal dice being the appeal.

14Bore06 Mar 2020 3:26 p.m. PST

Made my own dice tower out of wood, but could doone with metal, that might put the fear in a opposition metal on metal.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.