Bring Minecraft into the real world with the Magnetic Minecraft Blocks. All you need is some wood, magnets, and sticky-back inkjet paper.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
- Wood: I used some leftover oak from another project. The blocks are 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" X 1 1/2", so you can use anything that will let you cut those out.
- For the drilling jig, I used some scrap plywood.
- Saws: I used a table saw to cut down the 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" strips and a chop saw to cut out the 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" cubes. This could also be done by starting with a 2X2 and cutting the cubes with a hand saw and a miter box.
- Drill: I used a drill press because it's much faster for doing multiple identical holes using a jig. You could also do this with a hand drill since the holes are really shallow.
- Rare Earth Magnets: I used 1/4" x 1/16" Disc Neodymium Magnets
- Super Glue
- Sticky-Back Inkjet Paper
- Photoshop to make your own decals, or you can download the ones I made in the Photoshop step.
Step 2: Photoshop Contact Sheets
To make the decals print at the right scale and easy to cut out, I used the Contact Sheet function in photoshop. First, you have to download a Texture Pack.
You can get the basic one here: http://www.6minecraft.net/faithful-texture-pack/
And here's some additional info on where the texture image files are found: http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tutorials/Custom_te...
In Photoshop, go to File > Automate > Contact Sheet II. This brings up the contact sheet dialog, which is where you specify the source folder of images, size of the sheet, number of rows and columns, and margins.
Making a 5X5 image grid, you would make a 7.5" X 7.5" sheet with 5 rows and 5 columns, and 0" margins to get 25 decals at 1.5" X 1.5". I decided to make mine slightly smaller to make up for inconsistencies in the size of the blocks and to avoid the edges pealing up, so I went with a 7.2" grid instead.
Having made multiple copies of the images in each folder (enough to get 25 images for each sheet), repeat the process for each Minecraft block.
Step 3: Making the Blocks
- Using a 2X2 strip, I set a block on the chop saw to make 1.5" cubes. This isn't ideal because the small blocks catch on the teeth and fly away, but it does the job quickly and no one's going to get hurt by a 1.5" cube
- In order to place the magnets centered on each face of multiple blocks, I made a jig. The blocks needed to fit snugly and be able to be repositioned quickly, so I placed a block on the base board and screwed in the larger side pieces so that it would hold the block. Then I added the 1.5" strip of plywood to make a consistent stopping edge.
- To mark the center of a face, I used a combination square to get diagonals from corners.
- At this point, all that's left is to carefully align the jig with the drill bit (I used a forstner bit) and clamp it down to the drill press bed. If it stays put, you should end up with a hole on center on every face of each block.
- I set the stops on the drill press so that I would get a 1/16" deep hole.