Wood for kids blocks

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Use a good Grade of Sugar Pine, Go for it, Good Luck, George

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Before you get too scientific, some observations on my experiences of children and 'bits of wood'. In the past i sold my offcuts 50 pence/plastic shopping bag full for kindling. Result - mothers coming back for more, not for the fire, for their children who preferred the offcuts than all their plastic toys. If you make blocks all they do is stack, offcuts of all shapes have endless possibilities. Splinters ! Part of growing up.
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My wife and I just made a set of blocks for our grandkids. They were patterned after the building blocks you see in toy stores and a lot of educational toy sites. The include squares, rectangular shaped ones, arches, slabs, shingles, etc. Also some cylinders of a couple of sizes. Even threw in odd cuts of some scrap maple stair rail. We selected three pretty clear 8' 2x4's from the local lumber yard for most of them. Scrap 1-1/4" dowel and stair rail for the rest. Made about 130 blocks and the kids love them. It took about 3-4 hours to cut them out and sand them (two of us working). Biggest deal was application of one very wet coat of mineral oil. They had to be supported on the edge of scraps and flipped several times before they dried. The set pretty well fills one of the large Tupperware storage containers. I'll post some pics on abpw.
RonB
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RonB wrote:

I just made a whole bunch out of scrap hard maple for my 1-1/2 YO grandson. I was thinking of using walnut oil to finish but LOML said unfinished was fine. Used a roundover router bit in my shaper on most edges before cutting final lengths. Did the rest on my belt sander as well as touchup.
I got the sizes out of an article about making kids blocks in the September, 2005 issue of WOOD magazine. The article also talked about dying and finishing them. Basicaly, everything is based on multiples of 3/4" and 1-1/2. Thickneses are 3/4, 1-1/2, 3. Widths are 3/4 and 1-1/2. Lengths are 1-1/2, 3, 6. Also made some with half circle cut out, some triangles, some with casselated tops.
BTW, LOML and I had fun "testing" them out before she wrapped them.
-jj
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I wish All you Wreckers and your Families a Very Merry Christmas.
Wow, can't believe the response. Thank you all for your input. We have such a great bunch of people here. I guess block making will start after the holidays. The daugther with the 7 mos old has been telling her sisters that Gpa is making blocks for Breanna. Phone rings, "Pop, your grandkids here would love some building blocks." "O-K, Honey I'll just make a few more." Didn't end there either, can you believe, I now have orders for 5 sets of blocks. One set for Great-Great Gchild. Mmmm, didn't think I was that old ?
Don't have enough maple for more then 2 sets (if I make 130 pcs. like RonB). I do have a lot of Alder and will do some checking to see if it's safe for the little munchers. All No. 1 grade up to 8/4.
So I have my work (fun) cut out for me. SWMBO just came out to my shop (Doghouse) to say some of the kids are here so better say, Merry Christmas and Good Night.
Al in WA
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Al wrote: snip< So I have my work (fun) cut out for me.<snip So, you gonna inscribe all those blocks? Tom
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