Wooden Dodecahedron

The Wooden Dodecahedron was an experiment in geometric woodworking to create a 12-sided pentagonal prism as a gift. It involved precise use of a Miter and Band Saw as well as some creative approaches to gluing and sanding.

Build Process:

The build process for this project took around 10 to 15 hours over two weeks, and it ended up being a wonderfully successful gift.

The design of this project was inspired by a 12-sided die. My goal was to recreate that shape with each face being one of three types of wood, with no two adjacent faces being the same type of wood.

The first step was to cut my original wood into blocks that would later become the faces of my Dodecahedron.

I used a template pentagon, seen in the top right of the image, to ensure each pentagon was the same size

After the pentagons were marked out, they were individually cut on a miter saw.

Once all the pentagons were cut out, it was time to lay them out. I had to make sure that they were ordered so that when the Dodecahedron was complete, none of the same type of wood would be touching.

Now it was time to glue all the faces together. Due to the complex angle, it would have been impossible to use standard clamps to hold the faces together without creating a jig. Instead, painters tape worked wonderfully.

I started by gluing sets of two faces together then glued two sets of two together. I eventually ended up with two halves that were glued together to create the final shape. Once the glue had dried, it was time to sand and stain.

After sanding, the Dodecahedron was stained using three to four coats of tung oil with a light sanding between each coat.

Lessons Learned

This project was great fun, and it let me experiment and learn a lot about geometric wood working. The biggest thing I learned was that as useful and powerful as a compound miter saw is, I would have had a much easier time using a table saw to get more repeatable cuts. One of the longest portions of this project was getting every single pentagon face to have exactly the same length (5cm) and angle on each edge. Even though the miter saw may not have been the best tool for this job, it was still a useful tool to grow my skills with compound angled cuts.