A step-by-step guide to making your screw-thru-wood block

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Project by ChuckM posted 09-11-2011 01:47 AM 2835 views 15 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Several LJs and others have made one of these nail(or screw)-thru-wood blocks. It was my turn to make a few for fun.

It’s all about absorption, compression, and expansion; we aren’t much smarter than a 5th grader.

1) Immerse one end of the block in boiling water (for about 5 mins) which is absorbed into the wood fibres and cells, making the wood soft.
2) Compress that end on a vise and leave it in the vise to dry for an hour or two.
3) Take out the block and drill a hole in the middle fingers and insert a screw or nail into the hole
4) Place the compressed end in boiling water again which will expand as water is absorbed for another 5 – 10 minutes.
5) Let it dry for a couple hours (and sand the surfaces if needed)

Voilà! You have just made a magic block (or two) and a conversation piece.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

7 comments so far

View DurocShark's profile


65 posts in 2796 days

#1 posted 09-11-2011 03:58 AM

I always wondered…

-- -Don

View Gpaw's profile


65 posts in 2713 days

#2 posted 09-11-2011 05:12 AM

I made some and took them to work , what a blast——they ask how did you do that—they did not believe it when I told them.

View abie's profile


875 posts in 3797 days

#3 posted 09-11-2011 05:16 AM

Now that the secret is out…
It is important to use soft wood and the grain direction is important .
Otherwise the squeeze will break the end.
TNX for Listening.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Bricofleur's profile


1445 posts in 3219 days

#4 posted 09-11-2011 08:09 PM

I used to spoil my projects. Being wiser, you boil yours. LOL



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View Rob Mammen's profile

Rob Mammen

67 posts in 2718 days

#5 posted 09-12-2011 01:06 AM

I never would have thought of that. Great idea. I’ll have to make some for the grand kids.

-- Rob, You have failed if you have not tried.

View FlairWoodworks's profile


71 posts in 2565 days

#6 posted 09-12-2011 11:44 AM

Does the wife know you were boiling pressure-treated lumber in her nice pot?

-- Chris Wong -- --

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3692 days

#7 posted 09-13-2011 08:54 AM

The “nice pot” has long been retired from her kitchen and has since been used as my shop pot—for melting beeswax, etc. Never thought I would make such good use of a pot designated for the trash bin.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

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