I always loved playing with wood building blocks when I was a kid. I thought I would make a set for a friend's 4 year old daughter.
This project requires basic woodworking skills and access to woodworking machines. Woodworking machines have sharp cutting edges and are NOT forgiving. You should be properly trained in the use of these machines. Ensure that you wear safety glasses and hearing protection, use push sticks, hold-downs , clamps and a cutting sled to cut the blocks safely.
A step-by-step process is documented in the attached PDF file.
This wood block set is made for children. It is made from hard maple which is dense and does not splinter. These blocks DO NOT have any applied finish. They will take on a patina from handling after time. The sizes and shapes can be customized to your specifications.
The blocks in this set are all 1” thick and sized in 1” increments. Keeping the sizes in 1” increments allows for uniform stacking arrangements. There are between 4 and 6 blocks of each size and shape in this set. NOTE: Precise measurements are not important. This is a toy set.
An important consideration is child safety. The edges of each piece is “eased” (rounded off) to eliminate sharp corners and edges. Children love to put things in their mouths, so the size of the smallest piece in this set is 1” x 1” x 3”. DO NOT SIZE PIECES THAT MIGHT CAUSE A CHILD TO CHOKE.
Rectangular blocks are sized accordingly: 1” wide blocks are 3”, 4”, 5” and 6” in length; 2” wide blocks are 2”, 3”, 4”, 5” and 6” in length: and 3” wide blocks are 3”, 4”, 5” and 6” lengths. Angled blocks are at 45 degrees in 6” and 8” lengths. The 30/60 degrees blocks are 6” in length. The round dowels are 1” diameter. Holes and arches vary in diameter between 1 1/8” to 4”.
- Approximately 15 linear feet of rough sawn hard maple. 1 ¼” thick and 6” to 8” wide.
- Approximately 6 feet of 1” hard maple dowel.
- Approximately 12 feet of ¾” thick, 8” wide poplar (for box).
- 150 and 180 grit sandpaper
- Shellac (spray can)
- Table saw with a cross cut sled and a very sharp blade.
- 8” jointer
- Miter saw
- Biscuit jointer
- Drum sander
- Disc sander
- Drill press with large (1” to 4”) diameter Forstner bits.
- Router (hand held and router table)
- Block plane
- Bar clamps