Thursday, February 07, 2019

building blocks

The large Froebel blocks we've made at Clear Spring School are hollow and made from 1/2 in. treated plywood with an interior frame of 1 in. square strips cut from 5/4 treated deck boards. We use Titebond 3 water-proof glue and 1 1/4 in. narrow crown staples to hold the corners together.

The secret to building them is to build a frame around the perimeter of certain parts, that then allow for other parts to be added. So along each inside edge is a 1 in. square block. The 1 in. square dimension for interior blocking was selected to keep weight and material expense low, using commonly available material, while offering sufficient gluing and stapling surface area to form strong joints. The students have told me that they need more 4' x 2' x 1' blocks to be able to build what they "have in mind." Perhaps we will add to the collection over time.

A reader sent these links to "apple boxes" that are commonly used in movie making and theater to have the same kind of fun our kids have on the Clear Spring School playground, and

Unlike apple boxes, ours are made to Frobel's proportions, and of weather proof materials for out of doors use.

The interesting object shown in the photo is made using a flip car body as the base for construction with small band sawn dogs added. I cannot explain what it all means, or why certain parts were added, but each addition was carefully conceived. The student was very proud of his work. I helped by using the band saw to cut shapes the student had drawn and by close examination you can see the pencil drawings on each part.

Make, fix and create. Adjust schooling so that others learn likewise.

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