my first falling blocks #1: my first tumbling blocks

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Blog entry by Philzoel posted 01-18-2012 12:14 AM 9261 reads 34 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of my first falling blocks series Part 2: some thoughts »

Started this project in early Jan when i saw them by degoose.

Made this drawing immediately to see if I could figure the angles.

60 degrees () to make 6 sided figure was the clue. 360/6 = 60. Took me awhile and drawing the box in bottom right of this drawing.

Next hurdle was how much wood of each type (color)? In The drawing top middle, shows board 1.6” thick. Cut on 60 with all sides equal to hypotenuse. in this cause sine 60 = 1.6/x or x= 1.85”. all sides need to be 1.85” in length. set saw at 60 cut end off at 60 and move fence 1.85” + kerf(K).

Also need length of boards to decide how much of 7” cherry, 7” wide walnut and 7” maple.
From drawing I counted 32 octagon pieces. I can get 3 cuts from 7” so I need 12 pieces from each board. 12 pieces times 3 is 36. I have 4 left over. I may need them. 12 pieces from each board and each piece is 1.25 ” thick for final board plus K. 12×1.25+K= 15+K = 15+12/8ths = 16.5 inches long. I treat this as minimum length and cut more.

I cut and planed a piece of cherry, maple and walnut 17” x 7” x 1.6”. And then cut them at 60*. I use a block of wood to set fence then spacers and feller gauge to move fence closer for next cut. Should have show the set up. It is exact to get the fence moved accurately.

All that is left is gluing up sets:

cutting 32 pieces off:

and gluing and sanding and finishing.

Gluing up was a learning. Thought I could simple stack them in square corner and glue whole board at once. THAT DID NOT work.

Ended up gluing up a row at a time with pretty good success. Wish I had taken more time and fit each piece, but by the time I ended the gaps were getting bigger. I don’t know if it was accumulating error or last stack was off from glue up.

At any rate here is sanded result:

I’ll be back

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

6 comments so far

View Rob_n_Wood's profile


109 posts in 3378 days

#1 posted 01-18-2012 12:48 AM

Nicely done I have yet to make a cutting board like this
and if you don’t mind I would like to emulate yours
Again well done


-- "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3383 days

#2 posted 01-18-2012 12:56 AM

Hey Phil… not bad for a fact pretty darn good..see, you can do Louis Cubes in end grain…lol
(referring to statement you made awhile back)

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3212 days

#3 posted 01-18-2012 02:29 AM

Very nice Phil..I like the pattern and it looks like you’ve got tight joints. Please post more pics. Thanks for posting.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Philzoel's profile


302 posts in 2372 days

#4 posted 01-18-2012 03:10 AM

@ degoose: you have good memory. It was fun and only cost me $1359 for a Jet drum sander. Expensive? Now I can make all the boards I want without the major sanding headache. The cost will be cut in half with my next board.

Joints came out better than I thought they would.

@Bob. I would be honored. Any questions I would be glad to collaborate with you.

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2406 days

#5 posted 01-18-2012 03:36 AM

No CHOPING on this board. It is way to nice for that.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3218 days

#6 posted 01-31-2012 02:53 AM

Great work these are so much fun, Larry ( degoose ) is one of the Masters on here. He has become a friend and a joy to chat with. Keep up the great work.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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