Friday, November 12, 2010

Alex's Blocks

Almost 2 years in the making, this project turned out to be much more of a pain in the ass than expected. Paw Paw decided to make Alex some letter blocks. Simple right? Sure, when all you have to do is cut the wood and give em a little sanding. Ship em off to daddy for finishing.

So here's how this "little" project turned into a colossal job.

1.5" cube blocks, edges sanded down and all the burs and splinters knocked off. First step, stencil the letters, numbers, shapes, and symbols on each side. 42 blocks x 6 sides = 252 individual numbers, letters, shapes, and symbols. UGH... So i decided to throw in some color blocks and make a few into dice just to cut down on at least a little of the work.

Once everything is stenciled, comes the time consuming process of woodburning out all the letters etc... This process seems like it would be pretty simple, right? Not when you're working with barn-dried MS yellow pine.

The sappy wood slowed the process to a snail's pace due to the resin gumming up the tool. It was almost like wood melting instead of burning.

Once that long painstaking process was complete, time to prime them.

Decided to make the top coat black so that the individual lettering would really stand out.

Here are some after the lettering was finished. For the color blocks, I burned all the edges to make separate color squares.

2-3 coats of shellac for a final seal. I gotta say I am extremely pleased with the final product. No other kid will have a set of blocks like these. Makes the hours and hours of work really worthwhile. I wonder if he'll ever really appreciate it all? Prolly not.... O well, that's just part of being a parent, right?