Toy Wood Blocks




Project Overview:

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”.

Materials Needed:
  • 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)
Tools & Equipment Needed:
  • 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
  • Chisels
  • Bar clamps

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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I just finished a 600-piece block-set for my Great-Grandson. I used 23 different kinds of wood. (Zebrawood, Wenge, Mahogany, etc.) Each piece (unfinished) has the first (or first two) letters of the wood type stamped into the wood. (Might as well learn something while playing). M=Maple, MA=Mahogany and so on. 60% in Pine, Maple and Birch as that is what I had the most scrap of.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome project...Just the instructions that I need.Thanx


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Personally I think it would be a waste to paint them.
    I would buff with carnauba or beeswax.
    If you're going to paint them just use MDF.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    If they are maple or any other hardwood, I would sand, then buff with a wax. Our hardwoods are going fast so its good to enjoy the natural state of the wood. Then there is no prob with chemicals and the child knows what they are feeling. Keep it real, for the screaming trees and the children.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the compliment. I considered painting the blocks but I have a concern that kids would chew on the blocks and I think that most paints are not safe if ingested.

    Appreciate your comments.

    Take care.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I have been considering doing this, and have read on a few woodworking sites that real milk paint (not the latex imitation) is safe to use on toys.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It is a great idea. You can get milk paint from most woodworking suppliers. Woodworkers Supply has a good product offering. paint&searchmode=2

    Thanks for the comment. Contact me if you have any questions.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    When I was a kid my dad made me a set that was almost exactly like this, think ihey were pine though, not sure cause they were painted alldifferent colors. I like this set though, think I'll make some for my grandkids. Thanks for posting!