You’ve probably seen it on television. Thousands and thousands of dominoes falling one after the other in an impressive display of planning, patience and meticulous execution. This is the hobby of domino toppling.
Perhaps you’d like to give it a try and see what you can do on your own? It’s a great hobby and a fun pastime for parents and kids to share. You might even consider it as a team building exercise for your business or corporation.
Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started.
Domino toppling as a hobby can be done using standard run-of-the-mill dominoes, although professionals use specially designed dominoes constructed of a special type of plastics. The key things to recognize is that different size and weight dominoes topple at different speeds so you can’t mix different brands or types of dominoes. So, whatever you use, stick to just one type at first. Perhaps later you can use different dominoes in certain sections of your design, for a desired effect.
Obviously it’s a good idea to sketch out your toppling plan beforehand. Put your vision down on paper. Then you can also mark lines on the floor or top of the table to assist in the final, accurate placement. This way you can keep lines straight and true and make sure that curves bend just the way you want them to.
Most dominoes can be placed by hand. But tweezers or needle nosed pliers are useful for difficult placements between tiles.
Here’s a trick used by the pros: use safeties. A safety is essentially a block or break that will prevent all the dominoes from falling accidentally during setup. By using safeties you will at worst only lose one section of dominoes should they fall unexpectedly. The easiest way to create a safety is simply to leave gaps between sections that you will fill in during the final stage of completion. Of course, during this final stage when you remove the safeties the pressure will really be on you to stay calm and steady!
To make your setup more exciting, consider using other elements besides dominoes. For example, you could use playing cards, marbles, ramps, or anything that fits with your plan. Be creative.
Once you have a few successful topples under your belt, perhaps you can take a crack at the world record?
The single-person record for most dominoes toppled is 303,621. The team record is 4,345,027. Good luck!