Christmas was fast approaching and I have set a goal to make at least one heirloom quality item a year for Christmas as a family gift, starting the previous year with the wagon. This was built in one day using maple and red oak, as well as 3/4” dowels from a big box store.
This came from an idea I saw online of similar design. Starting from one piece of 1X3×36” maple plank, I glued the maple planks cut down to about 3.5” with 1/4” red oak strips between them, and waited for the pieces to dry. I used the new quick drying Gorilla Glue to speed the build up. I forgot to mention, this was built on October 31st, and I wanted to be finished before the Trick-O-Treaters came. I started the build at 10am, and finished by about 5:30pm.
Once the glue dried, I used my table saw to rip across the panels. I planed to use the kerf of the table saw to help make sure it was completely square when I placed the strip of 1/4” red oak between the next pieces. This made for a nice nine framed squares for the tic-tac-toe board.
While this was drying, I went ahead and drilled the holes for the dowels. I estimated the center and used my battery powered Ryobi hand drill and drilled the 3/4” holes for the dowels. I cut the downs to be about 3” long, and glued them into place. I only eyeballed the holes, and unfortunately they were not all straight up and down.
Next, I cut out 3” squares using a plank of maple and also drilled holes in the center, but this time I drilled the holes to about 1” wide to allow the piece to fit well over the dowels. I then used my table saw to cut the corners off six pieces to make the “O’s”.
I used my jig saw to cut the notches to make the “X’s”.
Since I have a toddler and a newborn, I figured that inevitably they would stick the pieces in their mouths, so I finished everything with a coat of butcher block oil and wiped it dry.
I was not there this year to see the kids open up this gift as I was/am forward deployed, but my wife assures me that they loved it.
This project cost me about $45 dollars. It should last a long time.