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How to make your own shut the box game

Updated March 23, 2017

Shut the box is a dice gambling game that has been played for centuries. It can be played by one or more players who must roll two dice and eliminate numbers between one and nine, until the box is shut. Traditionally, players play for a pool of money that they contribute to at the beginning of the game. However, the game can also be played just for fun. Shut the Box games can be purchased from board game retailers or simply made at home given the right materials.

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  1. Prepare your box assembly. Cut nine 2.5 by 5 cm (1 by 2 inch) slabs from the plywood sheet using the hacksaw. Ensure that they are exactly the same size. Cut four 22.5 by 3.75 cm (9 by 1.5 inch) sheets from the plywood sheet --- this will be the walls of the box. Cut one 22 by 22 cm (9 by 9 inch) square from the plywood sheet to form the base of the box. Cut one 21.25 by 3.13 cm (8.5 by 1.25 inch) slab to form the rest of the game slabs. From the baize sheet using scissors, cut a 16.9 by 21.25 cm (6.75 by 8.5 inch) sheet.

  2. Assemble the box walls. On each end of the box walls cut at an angle of 45 degrees so that the edges of the slab take on a roof shape. Connect the walls of the box by matching these angled edges and sealing the joints with wood glue. Connect the walls to the base by placing the walls on top and sealing the joint with wood glue. Place the interior holding wall in the box 5 cm (2 inches) from one edge of the square. Seal the wall in place using wood glue on the three joints.

  3. Construct the game slabs. On each of the nine game slabs attach one edge of a tiny hinge using wood glue or small screws. Line the nine slabs on the edge of the box edge to edge so the hinge is resting on the edge of the box and the other end is resting on the holding wall. Attach the other side of the hinge to the edge of the box using wood glue or screws. Mark the slabs from one to nine using the number stickers.

  4. Attach the baize sheet to the upward-facing section of the base that is not covered by the slabs. Remove the backing from the baize sheet and eliminate any air bubbles; stick the sheet to the base to provide the dice-rolling area for the game. Sand any edges that are still abrasive and put the die in the playing area. The box is now ready for play.

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Things You'll Need

  • 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick plywood
  • Hacksaw
  • Sticky-back baize sheet
  • Scissors
  • Wood glue
  • 9 "tiny" hinges
  • Number stickers from 1 to 9
  • Sandpaper
  • 2 dice

About the Author

Mark Slingo

Mark Slingo has been a professional writer since 2008. His work has appeared in Forward, ScubaGlobe, Scuba Jedi, "Pattaya Mail" and other publications. Slingo has a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of Newcastle and a diploma in journalism from the British College of Journalism.

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