Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Central Florida
Rob - a plastic rattle, a warm bottle and fresh diapers
is all that is needed to keep a baby happy for the first year.
you may be overthinking this one just a little.
IMO - a nice set of wood blocks with visual elements,
clear coated with Tung Oil and food safe paints would be
most appreciated and treasured by the child into adulthood.
especially if you make a custom wood box to keep them in.
I would make them larger than the generic off-the-shelf blocks just to
make them different and show that they were HandCrafted by you.
maybe 3.5" square. get some quality 1/8" flat bottom bits and a
laminate trim router (I have the ole Roto-Zip), make a jig so that
the blocks will be recessed in a table of sorts for easy routing and
just have at it.
you can make some nice templates with your own printer.
and in the box, have a section that will accommodate some 1/8" x 3.5x7"
wood strips the size of two blocks for building things with the blocks.
this would be a nice winter project.
and to answer your question of: "has anyone ever done this"?
yes, I have . . . . not wood blocks for babies, but, as a sign maker
for over 40 years and custom woodworker, I have done my fair share
of routing many unique things by hand. (I don't have a CNC).
through the years (decades) I have perfected my skill set of carving,
routing, painting and finishing. it takes TIME and SKILL to pull off
good projects that the customers will pay for.
SHARP TOOLS is the secret to what you want to do. a chop saw
with a dull blade or the wrong tooth setup is asking for trouble.
regardless if you use painter's tape or not.
a quality wood to start with. a comfortable workstation,
good lighting, PATIENCE and a steady hand is required.
after you get them all made, I can help you with the mass painting
project that will go painless and quickly and look professional.
(do not pre-paint anything). [I would use basswood over HD pine].
and IMO, the "Cooper Black" type style is the easiest to route freehand
because of the rounded corners of all the elements. clear plastic templates
are available in different sizes from your local art stores or online to make
tracing the elements consistent in size. after you purchase the wood that
you want to use, practice on your technique and tool handling.
an option to doing the recessed background and raised letters is to
cut the elements with the 1/4" "V" bit to have recessed graphics.
much easier to make and paint for the novice.
(practice ~ practice ~ practice).
looking forward to following your project.
-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 01-04-2019 at 10:48 AM.