Hey everyone! With the holidays around the corner I wanted to make some fun gifts for a few friends of mine, some with kids and some adults that are kids at heart. These block bots are made from recycled pallet wood and paracord.
First I began by cutting down and planing the boards to 2″x2″. I ripped the boards using my table saw but a bandsaw could also be used. I also cut down the stock for the arm and leg blocks at this time (about 7/8″ blocks).
I then cut my stock in half and used the table saw to cut the groove for the mouth which is about 1/8th inch deep on one piece. The second piece is left alone as the body has no details.
Next I setup a stop block on my miter saw and cut the stock down to 2 inch blocks creating a 2x2x2″. I found out in short order when cutting such a small piece against a stop block you have to let the saw blade come to a complete stop before lifting or you will kick that block out in a hurry!
Once I had all my blocks cut I quickly rounded over the corners on the sander and then to the drill press. I selected a bit big enough for the paracord to go through the hole doubled up but not so big a knot would pass through. I setup a fence and used stop blocks in order to drill out the eyes as well as the holes to run the cord through. Using the fence and stop blocks allowed me to keep my drilling uniform and helped control the small pieces.
In the head I drilled both eyes ~1/8″ deep, through the head for the “ears”, up from below through the “neck” I drilled 3 holes wide into the “ears” hole to give me some extra room to fish the cord through. In the body I drilled two holes through the sides and then connected the top one with 3 wide to match the 3 wide drilled in the head.
to get the cord through these small holes I used a strong thin wire doubled up as a flexible needle to get through the corners. Feeding it through the ear, down, into the body and out the arm on the same side. The cord was tied off and an “arm” block was tied in. This was repeated on the other side and then the legs were simply a cord straight through and tied off with blocks. Trying to keep things tied fairly tight to the blocks in order to make them less floppy was also key.
The final step was to add a little paint to the eyes and mouth to liven them up! And there you have it, the block bot. These were fun to make and have received positive feedback so far. I would suggest making at least a few at a time to make it worth your while as they are a bit time consuming. Enjoy and I hope you have some fun creating your own bots!