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I want to build a custom dice tray from wood. Here is my design:

dice tray mock up

The tray features small compartments for holding various polyhedral die, with curved ends so that the die can be scooped out of the compartments easily.

How do I cut these curved blocks? They are 1" x 1" x 1" in dimension:

curved block of wood

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    Is there any reason that a 1” cove bit wouldn’t work? – KSchank Sep 4 '18 at 17:52
  • Two points to note. First is that with the exception of the router (and only if the bit is sharp and good technique is followed) all methods of producing this given already in the Answers will result in a surface that requires a great deal of smoothing off, by scraping and/or sanding (lots of sanding). Second, and more important, the thin edges of these pieces will be extremely fragile in just about any wood so much so that producing them may result in many, most or even all of them becoming damaged during the finishing off stages. You may want to rethink their shape. – Graphus Sep 5 '18 at 10:35
  • @Graphus since he's planning to butt the curved piece from both sides against the drawer side and bottom, the thin edges would be much less prone to failure. I do agree that there might be failure during shaping, but all other finishing steps can be done with the pieces installed (glued?) in the drawer. – Eli Iser Sep 5 '18 at 12:57
  • @EliIser, yes after installation they would be substantially protected, but I think the problems encountered during smoothing (possible initial shaping too) argue strongly for a redesign, or a shaping process not described in any of the Answers given so far. – Graphus Sep 5 '18 at 13:33
  • @Graphus Then don't make them so thin at the edges while forming them. Keep a cm of wood to remove at the final stage. – LosManos Sep 11 '18 at 20:55
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If you don't have access to a bandsaw or scroll saw as noted in the excellent previous answer, you can also cut a 2" diameter hole in the piece of wood with a hole saw, then slice away the corners to get four ramps from a single square of wood.

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1" thickness is well within the range of most saws. A bandsaw would be the best bet, followed by a scroll saw (if the wood is relatively soft) and finally a handheld jigsaw. Simply mark the curve and cut.

Ideally you would cut the profile from a longer piece of wood (so that you have something to hold on to or clamp), and then crosscut to length, with the off-cut being your finished piece.

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These curved blocks can be carved with a router, using a template and a template bit.

Make a template, and screw it onto the end of the work piece. Mount the work piece vertically; use a Workmate, vise, or clamp it to the bench. Remove material 1/4 inch at a time. After removing some of the material, take the template off and finish to the full depth.

This method will result in a better finish than a bandsaw or jigsaw. Template bits are much less expensive than a 2" cove bit.

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