Making wooden children’s blocks – 15 minute prototype

A friend asked me today about how to make her child some wooden blocks with limited tools. To answer her I had to go and try it myself. I managed it with a mitre box, a tenon saw, two clamps, a ruler, a pencil, a block plane, a bottle of PVA glue and two pieces of sandpaper – 40 grit and 120 grit.

I grabbed a few scraps of wood and started to work. There’s a bit of maple and a bit of pine that I laminated together for the larger block.

Start by marking out the length. I went for 7cm, seemed a good size. Then cut it to length in the mitre box. Cut two lengths of the pine so you can glue it together.

Glue the two bits of pine together and clamp them. Photos got a bit blurry somehow, will retake when I get time.

Then just use the block plane to take a few 45 degree shavings off each edge of the block to soften the edges, then use the 40 grit sandpaper to soften it some more. Finish up with the 120 grit sandpaper to make it all nice and smooth. You could then paint or oil the blocks with something non-toxic.