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  • Mah Jong Tile holder

    I have been asked to make 10 or 12 Mah Jong Tile holders similar to the one in the photo. They are used to hold Mah Jong or Domino tiles and can also be used to hold playing cards. (Us old farts have problem trying to hold to many card in one hand).

    It looks simple enough. Could be made from any wood.

    I picture 'ripping the profile into a 5-6 foot plank and then cross cutting them to the appropriate length.

    I have a table saw and router as well as some other wood working tools (sanders, drill etc)

    The problem is I cannot envisage any series of cuts that will give me this profile.

    The back side of the cut needs to lean back 10-15 degrees and the base of the slot should be 90 degrees to the back so that the tile slides easily into place and stays there.Otherwise none of the dimensions are critical.

    Any suggestions Click image for larger version

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  • #2

    Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

    It's pretty simple if you own a dado blade for your table saw. It's a little time consuming but simple.

    Start off with the card slots. Tilt your blade to about 10 degrees and then do cut every 1 1/2 inches or so. Just make sure you keep your measurements because you will use the same ones in a bit.

    After you cut all your groves for the cards then put in a dado stacked up to 1/2 inches and then repeat the same passes as you did before. You can make a practice run on a piece of scrap just to make sure it works out.

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    • #3

      Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

      To improve accuracy of the slots in card and tile slots in relation to each other, set the fence at the furthest position and some material with parallel edges against the fence to cut the other grooves. To make the 4-row rank shown, you would need three auxiliary fence blocks, perhaps 1”, 2”, and 3” wide.
      bogmer likes this.
      Chris Wong
      http://flairwoodworks.com

      If you have a hard time getting things perfectly level, maybe you need a First Guess Gravity Gauge.

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      • #4

        Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

        Originally posted by flairwoodworks View Post
        To improve accuracy of the slots in card and tile slots in relation to each other, set the fence at the furthest position and some material with parallel edges against the fence to cut the other grooves. To make the 4-row rank shown, you would need three auxiliary fence blocks, perhaps 1”, 2”, and 3” wide.
        That's a great way to make it faster and repeatable.

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        • #5

          Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

          Thanks for the suggestions. However I don't have a dado set.
          Can't justify the cost of one just for this job.
          I will check with some neighbors or maybe KIjjii - but at this time it may be difficult to get out to get one.

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          • #6

            Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

            Why does it have to be made out of one block of wood? Make one shape, stack 5 together and glue them to a base. You'll only need to make three table saw cuts to relieve material. You can make several long strips of this profile and crosscut five to same length. Then stack and glue these to a thin base. Done, and without trying to reinvent the wheel.
            Last edited by Scott Walsh; 03-22-2020, 07:45 PM.
            flairwoodworks likes this.

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            • #7

              Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

              Bogmer's method can be used without a dado stack, just make multiple cuts with a regular saw blade (flat bottom blade if you have it) and then clean it up with a chisel or rebate plane. To space the multiple saw cuts use Chris's idea of spacers the same width as your blade kerf in addition to the 1", 2" and 3" spacers. A bit time consuming but should work.
              Last edited by Doug G; 03-22-2020, 06:59 PM.

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              • #8

                Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

                Sometimes you have to build something to make something . Lacking a dado stack I think Doug G above has the right idea, it would sure require a lot of time making all those passes and the huge number of spacers you will require to safely make every pass. You can make fewer passes but that will require lots of chisel work to get a nice finish on your dado bottoms.

                In these testy times you may have more time than access to the outside world. If you have a 1/2" chisel and a few scraps of wood around the shop you can make one of these, No need for a Stanley 55 .

                Click image for larger version

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                I should say here Frederic Hanisch came up with this idea in a Rodale book idea. He calls it a rabbet plane but it will do dados as well or any shape you want to grind your chisels too.

                If you accomplish this the rest is even easier, make two cuts per slot, the deep cut and the opposite side shallower cut. Take your chisel rabbit plane and plane out the waste material, easy to maintain the angle , just follow the sawcut. Should speed things up on the saw and be a safer operation.

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                • #9

                  Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

                  I was thinking and I did come up with a jig that will do those with a router. Keep in mind that you will likely have tear out on both sides of the boards so make them at least 1/2 an inch wider than the finished size. The Jig itself needs to be at least 3 inches wider but really a very liberal amount wider is better for this. The router bit for this is a Half Inch straight.

                  Do you know what a bench hook is??? If you don't look it up.... It's a plank of wood with a shoulder on opposite sides.

                  Now install one shoulder going all the way the full length of the jig right up against one edge... This will end up being a fence that your router will ride up against so make it about the same size as the base of your router maybe a little thicker but not too think that it will hamper the router from going across it. Call this side the TOP.

                  With the TOP up flat against the table bring up two blocks of wood on ether side of your jig until you are comfortable with angle and screw in those blocks on the edges of he jig.

                  Use your router against the fence and cut a grove along the length of the jig leaving about an inch on both sides.

                  Then take a piece of scrap from the material you are using for your tile holder. Cut two strips about 1 1/2 inches wide that can span where your fence is and the block and screw one on both side.

                  bring the jig to the table saw. Use the back edge( where the Fence is) to give you the angle on your blade to cut the card slots. All of them.

                  Then use double sided tape and affix the jig to a straight surface where you will be able to clamp your holders some how. You want to stop it from moving around it will want to. If you can put clamps on the jig but not on your project then use the double sided tape on the project and clamp both sides of the jig. Go ahead and cut your tile slots.


                  PS... Make two extra holders... You will screw up everybody does it's normal but nobody will see the bad ones if they are ash in the fire and if you are better than everybody ever... Then you can invite two more friends over. "tell them to bring the booze"



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                  • #10

                    Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

                    Originally posted by Doug G View Post
                    Bogmer's method can be used without a dado stack, just make multiple cuts with a regular saw blade (flat bottom blade if you have it) and then clean it up with a chisel or rebate plane. To space the multiple saw cuts use Chris's idea of spacers the same width as your blade kerf in addition to the 1", 2" and 3" spacers. A bit time consuming but should work.
                    It's a lot of work if you are not using a dado stack. The problem is getting that straight edge on the bottom. With a dado stack the entire stack tilts so the outside edge is a little lower than the inside edge. It would be really hard to get that dead on with multiple cuts and the clean up would be back breaking. At least for me with my bench set up I am crouched over when I use hand tools and it's awful. I still do it... Because I love it but in very small bursts.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

                      Bonjour Marc
                      I did 3 of that tiles holder to complete a set, couple of years ago. It is 16 “ long , with pine wood, and to complete the set of an old Mah Jong game of my grand father. It is not with good wood as you want to do...

                      Click image for larger version

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                      And If I remember I did it on the band saw only.

                      But I work harder and better on the tile storage... made in Sapelli!


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                      By the way, do you have a way to play that game with only 2 players?

                      Hope it help you a bit !

                      planeur

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                      • #12

                        Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

                        Bonjour Planeur

                        i used to play this with a buddy in high school. We played a two person game - in fact I have never played it any other way. This was a long time ago and i have no idea if there are "special" rules for this.
                        One thing I have found out is that there are two games - the Chinese/Indonesian version and the "American" version which uses "cards" that set the values for point counts which change from game to game. I know we played the Chinese version, maybe the American one has one limitations on the number of players.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

                          Originally posted by planeur View Post
                          Bonjour Marc
                          I did 3 of that tiles holder to complete a set, couple of years ago. ..........................................And If I remember I did it on the band saw only

                          planeur
                          Planeur, I'm struggling to see haw you could make that shape with a bandsaw, are you sure you didn't use a table saw or router table?

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                          • #14

                            Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

                            Doug G I’m assuming he cut the shapes on the bandsaw and then glued them together.
                            Chris Wong
                            http://flairwoodworks.com

                            If you have a hard time getting things perfectly level, maybe you need a First Guess Gravity Gauge.

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Mah Jong Tile holder

                              Originally posted by flairwoodworks View Post
                              Doug G I’m assuming he cut the shapes on the bandsaw and then glued them together.
                              I think your right, looking closer I can see the glue lines when I blow up the photo. Good call.

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