Introduction: Sugar Cube Maker

I've always wanted to buy brown sugar cubes but could never find them. So, I decided to make this simple sugar cube maker.

Thanks to all who voted for me for the Sugar Contest! :)

Step 1: Tools & Materials

To make my version of the sugar cube maker you'll need:

2 pieces of wood approximately 1" x .75" x 3"

Tools:

Vise
Bench grinder
Drill and drill bits
Files
Sandpaper
Pencil
Sugar cube sample (optional)

Step 2: Make Markings

Place and center sugar cube on one of the blocks of wood and trace around it as shown.

Step 3: Drill Hole in Block

Place block of wood in vise and mark center of square as shown. Next, drill a small guide hole as straight as possible all the way through. Using a bigger drill bit (no larger than the square), drill half way through, flip block and using the sugar cube, trace the other side of the block, (as centered as possible) and finish hole.

Step 4: File Hole Into Square Shape

Place block in vise at an angle and file down until the hole becomes square and sugar cube slides through freely as shown.

Step 5: Shaping Plunger

Place sugar cube on end of second block and trace around it as shown. Continue lines on the sides for use as guidelines. Using a bench grinder, grind down block as shown until it fits freely through the first block. (see photos)

Step 6: Sanding

Using the bench grinder and/or sandpaper, smooth and shape blocks as desired. If you have any wood oil, it's a good idea to apply some all around for a nice protected finish.

I didn't have any but used petroleum jelly (vaseline), which seems to work nicely.

Step 7: Making Sugar Cubes

Place block on a small cutting board and using a teaspoon measure, fill the square hole with brown sugar and using the plunger, press down with a slight circular motion for a few seconds. Next, place the cube-maker on its side and push the plunger until the sugar cube comes out the other side. Repeat as desired.

Notes: (update)

I thought that it would also work with regular sugar by adding a few teaspoons of water and mixing... but, I just tried it and it doesn't work. :(

Also, be sure that the brand of brown sugar you use has enough molasses it in it to hold the shape. I tried one brand from Costco that was too dry and didn't work.

After use, clean with slightly damp cloth trying to not get it too wet so as not to have it absorb moisture which may cause warping and expand, thus causing the plunger to stick. Apply oil or petroleum jelly if needed for continued protection.

Comments

author
MaskMarvl (author)2015-12-05

Thank you to all who voted for me in the Sugar Contest!

Although I didn't win one of the big prizes, I did make it to the finalists and won an Instructables Apron which is still awesome. :)

author
bsiddiqui2 (author)2015-12-04

very good

author
MaskMarvl (author)bsiddiqui22015-12-05

Thank you :)

author
MekinizemX (author)2015-11-22

Why not 3d print?

author
MaskMarvl (author)MekinizemX2015-11-23

I would love to 3-D print stuff... unfortunately I do not yet own a 3-D printer. :)

author
MekinizemX (author)MaskMarvl2015-11-23

One of the best investments i have ever made in myself :)

author
Ninjafreak22 (author)MekinizemX2015-11-29

I'd like to buy one myself but they are just too expensive, this wooden one though is something I can make with the stuff in my grandpa's shop. Either would be great but the wooden one here is a good alternative for those who can't afford a good 3D printer. Cheapest I've found is a free hand pen for 80 bucks, but that is more of a fancy toy than a real 3D printer.

author
emason (author)MekinizemX2015-11-27

Extension; why not 3D print THE SUGAR! Yum.

author
MaskMarvl (author)emason2015-11-27

Hahaha... :D

author
acarnes3 (author)MekinizemX2015-11-22

I would assume that would be super simple. However this was made with classic tools many old school tinkerers would have. Both approaches would end with a nice product however.

author
MaskMarvl (author)acarnes32015-11-24

Agreed... :)

author
Gartholameau (author)2015-11-27

Might steam be used to gently moisten the sugar, whether white, brown or demerara, enough to allow it to stick together?

author
MaskMarvl (author)Gartholameau2015-11-27

I don't think so... the molasses in the brown sugar is sticky and works as a perfect binder. Plain moisture or water works only if you use something like ice-cube trays to shape them and wait for them to dry. But it won't work well with my device.

author
Engineering (author)2015-11-23

Use cooking oil, petroleum jelly is not good (healthy) to ingest.

author
MaskMarvl (author)Engineering2015-11-23

I thought it would be okay since it's used as lip balm for chapped lips etc. Also, it mostly gets sucked up by the wood anyway. :)

author
jdenslinger (author)MaskMarvl2015-11-24

There's a difference between what is safe to put ON our bodies and what is safe to put IN our bodies. Though lips are the very boundary of IN vs ON, the amount of lip balm which is actually consumed (IN) our bodies is much lower than what is ON our lips.

As for the wood absorbing most of it, you are correct, and as such, very little would be transferred to the sugar cubes to be ingested.

Either way, FOOD GRADE mineral oils, such as found for cutting boards and butcher blocks are much safer to use. These also can "go bad" on the surface, and the wood should still be cleaned (damp soapy cloth followed by damp clean cloth, followed by dry clean cloth) and new oil applied before use. The use of very hard woods, such as Mahogony (I think is food safe) can be polished and no release agent would be needed, but oils would still be required to keep the wood from drying out and splitting.

author

You could try beeswax. it creates a very nice finish, and is completely edible.

If you're having trouble spreading it, just melt it into a liquid or almost liquid, and then apply it.

author
MaskMarvl (author)Bentley_Maniac2015-11-25

Great idea, thanks! :)

author
MaskMarvl (author)jdenslinger2015-11-24

Thanks for the great info!

author
rybitski (author)Engineering2015-11-24

cooking oil will go rancid in the wood. mineral oil is a food safe alternative.

author
MaskMarvl (author)rybitski2015-11-24

Yes, I was also thinking of mineral oil, and I also thought about using cooking oil but thought it would become rancid too.

author
vincent7520 (author)2015-11-13

I vote. Period.

author
MaskMarvl (author)vincent75202015-11-24

Thanks! :)

author
Tecwyn Twmffat (author)2015-11-21

What a fantastic idea! Do you have any plans to automate it at all?

author

I thought this was a minecraft device for a moment when I read your comment/question. :O

author
MaskMarvl (author)jdenslinger2015-11-22

Hahaha... maybe I should call it "The Minecraft Sugar Cube Maker" :D

author
laycelance (author)MaskMarvl2015-11-24

love :)

author
MaskMarvl (author)laycelance2015-11-24

Thanks... ;)

author
MaskMarvl (author)Tecwyn Twmffat2015-11-21

Thanks, glad you liked it! I did have a more complex idea in mind but I also wanted to keep it as simple as possible.

Perhaps I'll try my other idea at a later time. :)

author
Marcos_El_Malo (author)2015-11-22

It's a great idea. Muy genial! One could adapt your instructions to simpler or more complicated tools.

How well do the cubes hold together during storage? Do they want to crumble?

author
MaskMarvl (author)Marcos_El_Malo2015-11-23

Thanks... :)


So far they seem to hold up quite well. Brown sugar tends to harden and compact on it's own anyway so I don't think they'll crumble with time.

author
sourdoughjoe (author)2015-11-22

It would be easier to use a drill a 1" round hole and a use a 1" wooden dowel...just saying! Still a very good idea...thanks, I'llk make mine round!

author
MaskMarvl (author)sourdoughjoe2015-11-23

Be sure to post a picture of your "round cube" version if you make it! :D

author
MaskMarvl (author)sourdoughjoe2015-11-22

Yes, that would be easier! :D

But, I thought I'd go the "extra mile" to make the classic cubes. :)

author
Howder1951 (author)sourdoughjoe2015-11-22

Excellent suggestion, cylindrical "cubes" would be unique if nothing else, I really like this suggestion.

author
sourdoughjoe (author)Howder19512015-11-22

I'd call them discs...but cubes works. It would just be easier to make.

author
LP2 (author)2015-11-22

Cool !

Thanks for your idea !

author
MaskMarvl (author)LP22015-11-23

You're welcome, glad you liked it. :)

author
betanner76 (author)2015-11-22

WONDERFUL !! I have always wanted brown sugar cubes also. To bad I do not have the talent you have to make things with your hands and some tools. Let me know if you make any more, I would love to have one.

author
MaskMarvl (author)betanner762015-11-22

Hahaha... glad you liked it! If I DO make more, you'll be the first to know. :D

author
DEEJAY642 (author)2015-11-15

very cool idea

author
MaskMarvl (author)DEEJAY6422015-11-16

Thanks, glad you liked it! :D

author
ArticAkita (author)2015-11-15

AWESOME!!! you have my vote!

author
MaskMarvl (author)ArticAkita2015-11-15

Hahaha... Glad you liked it. Thanks!

author
rafununu (author)2015-11-13

Where do you live ? Brown sugar in cubes isn't rare, I mean "real" brown sugar of course.

author
MaskMarvl (author)rafununu2015-11-13

I live in Mexico.

author
BeachsideHank (author)2015-11-12

You're right, come to think of it I don't recall ever seeing brown sugar cubes either, nice idea!

author
MaskMarvl (author)BeachsideHank2015-11-12

Thanks... glad you liked it :)

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Bio: Jack of all trades... master of none. :)
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