Have you guys heard about Kapla blocks?
"Kapla is a wooden block construction toy for children and adults. Each block is an identically sized and shaped piece of pine, with dimensions in the proportions 1:3:15"
Checkout out this site for a gallery of creations.
I have always wanted to get a set of blocks for myself. Its a great way to be creative. So yesterday while I was in the garage an idea popped into my head. I had a lot of scrap wood laying around from other projects that I have been working on. I was going to eventually throw them out anyway. So I decided why not just take those scrap pieces and cut out Kapla Blocks.
Hey its a cool project. Something that can be done on your free time. And in addition you are recycling and saving money. This could be an excellent Christmas gift for someone.
Lets get started...
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Step 1: Required Tools and Material
So to design these Kapla Blocks you will need the following tools and material.
A table saw. You can also use a CNC machine to cut out the pieces. If you don't have either you can try cutting them out with a handsaw, but that's going to take a long time.
If you don't have the tools at home. Call your local high school, middle school, or university art department. Introduce yourself and tell whoever your talking to about the project your working on and that you would like to use their cutting tools. I'm sure they will be more then happy to help you out.
I borrowed a portable table saw from my uncle's place. It was nice of him to let me use it.
You will also need a wooden guide to push the blocks when cutting. I would not recommend that You use your fingers. You might accidentally hurt yourself.
WARNING!!! Be very careful when using the table saw. Have someone around to help you. And just to let you know if you hurt yourself I do not take any responsibility. You are taking part in this project at your own risk!!!
Materials you will need. That's simple, scrap pieces of wood. If you don't have any, don't go out and buy a new piece of wood. Call your local high school or university wood shop. They have a lot of scrap pieces laying around.
Step 2: Block Dimensions
The original Kapla blocks have dimensions of 4.5"x1"x.25". Because of the difficulty of cutting them using a table saw I have slightly tweaked the dimensions. I decided to use the following dimensions: 4.5"x1"x.5." These dimensions worked out great!!!!
Step 3: Using the Table Saw
If you don't have experience using a table saw I would recommend that you talk to someone who has had previous experience. They will guide you through some basic steps so that you don't hurt yourself.
So to use a table saw you will need protective eye wear. A dust mask so that you don't inhale all those wooden dust particles, and don't wear any loose clothes. You don't want anything getting hooked onto the blade and pulling you in while cutting.
Anatomy of a Table Saw
Refer to the Images
1. This is the Power Switch. You pull it to turn on the table saw.
2. Allows you to raise and lower the blade.
3. Allows you to rotate the blade up to 45 degree's. For our project it will stay at 0 degree's
4. Slide rail. Allows you to set the cutting length of the wood.
Cutting a Piece of Wood
Step 1 -- Grab a piece of scrap wood
Step 2 -- Adjust table saw slide rail to 4.5 inches
Step 3 -- Adjust the blade height so that it just cuts the wood. For safety reasons we don't want the blade sticking out any higher.
Step 4 -- Wear protective eye wear, and don't wear loose clothes
Step 5 -- Turn on the Machine
Step 6 -- Place wood against slide rail.
Step 7 -- Using the wooden guide, guide the wood along the rail and cut it at 4.5"
Step 8 -- To cut the other dimensions adjust the slide rail to 1" and then to .5" and then run it through the table saw using the wooden guide.
That's it. Wasn't that Easy!!!
Step 4: Wooden Blocks
So here is a set of blocks that I was able to cut out.
Now that I'm done cutting its time to build. Check out my creation. I call it the "Wooden Christmas Tree." What do you think?
For more of my Wacky Idea's checkout my blog. http://openhead.typepad.com/
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