No routing involved, just making use of wood that got messed up in other projects.
While working on the fort ladder for my granddaughter, when screwing the structural screws into the end grain of the treads, they split
. I remade all of them, with pre-drilling and that all turned out fine.
I wasn't sure what I'd ever use the split tread wood for, but just this week, while playing with my 6-yr old granddaughter, building "Kapla" blocks
, it struck me. We had exhausted our supply of 200 blocks in the set she has had for several years but until recently had not shown much interest. She said "we need more blocks". DING! I said "I can make some". So I did. Kapla blocks are approximately 5/16" x 1" x 4-5/8".
I could not tell exactly what kind of wood the Kapla blocks are; they looked almost to be pine. I started looking at the pine I have, but it seemed too soft. So I looked at the Douglas fir I had, including the split tread pieces. Looked like a decent match and I though of the split ladder tread pieces because of the close-to-quarter-sawn grain.
I had selected the tread lumber for as much quarter sawn grain as I could, but it still had a lot of angular grain. It looked like I could get some very perpendicular grain if I cut out sections from the treads at an angle. So, I took to the table saw. Not difficult. They turned out trapezoidal, so I squared them up.
Then it was to the planer to get the blanks to the right width, followed by sawing into strips about 5/32" thick. This required resawing on the bandsaw. Then planing to a width of 0.305", to match the originals. Cutting to length was done with my Incra 1000SE miter gauge. Matching dimensions was initially done using calipers, but final dimensions were matched using what I'll call the "finger slide", laying the blocks on a smooth, uniform surface and feeling for differences in thickness, something that can be much more sensitive than even precision measuring tools.
I am very pleased with the match between the originals and my blocks, in dimensions, color, firmness and weight, so I think the D. fir was a good choice. Due to the split sections and other flaws in the tread material, I was only able to get 110 new blocks. Comparing the grain patterns between the originals and my blocks, I think I can relax my standards for the amount of angular grain and get more out of some of the treads I chose not to use, plus some other scrap I have lying around. It just needs to be long enough to run through the planer. I want to get another 90 blocks made at least, so I'll give this a go soon.