Recycled Builder Boards

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Project by Jack McKee posted 02-21-2017 05:19 PM 1917 views 9 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Recycled Builder Boards
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Builder Boards from Recycled Plywood

I made a new roof shape for a smaller house

I’ve made quite a few sets of Builder Boards which are like big Lincoln Logs, only boards. Mostly I’ve used marine ply which we all know is getting more expensive, harder to find, and comes half way around the world. A while ago, after I made a work table for my wife, and had quite a bit of good plywood left over I began thinking about all that plywood left over from other projects sitting around in every woodworkers shop. What about a set made from left over, and recycled, plywood? Looking around my shop I found a surprising amount of 3/4” that would work, at least for the smaller pieces. I pestered a few fellow woodworkers, found wood at garage sales, Craigs List, and went to the Restore and Habitat’s store.

These were the first test pieces.

I finally had enough pieces for a set. The hardest pieces to find were the 4’ long 10 notch pieces so I had to make some substitutes which I wasn’t sure were going to work. For those I made some new slightly longer 4 notch and 6 notch pieces with straight ends. These fit together make a 10 notch piece but a few 4’ long pieces are still necessary to go over windows or doors.

Pop up play at the park

I had always thought a child needed to be 4 or 5 years old to play with Builder Boards, but my 2 year old grandson proved me wrong:

If you try this I caution you to check the thickness of the plywood you find. 3/4″ plywood is not always 3/4.” I found out the hard way. Some older plywood can be too thick to fit in the notch widths of my patterns. This is unfortunate because some of the best finds are old plywood with nice thick surface veneers. I took some of the reject two notch pieces cut them in half and carried them in my car so I could check any plywood I happened to stumble across.

A playhouse from recycled plywood. The roof is from my wife’s old desk.

-- Jack,

5 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile


2356 posts in 3147 days

#1 posted 02-21-2017 07:54 PM

Great idea!

View woodify's profile


333 posts in 2581 days

#2 posted 02-21-2017 09:37 PM

That’s awesome that you brought them to a park. Looks like the kids loved playing with them. This is so much better the the plastic play house I have in my backyard.

-- Woodify ~~

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3530 days

#3 posted 02-22-2017 02:49 AM

I just love this idea and have since I first saw it. Thanks for sharing

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View muesli's profile


454 posts in 2017 days

#4 posted 02-22-2017 12:57 PM

What a genius idea! It brings a lot of joy to the children. Great!

-- Uwe from Germany.

View BurlyBob's profile


6507 posts in 2774 days

#5 posted 02-22-2017 04:55 PM

Absolutely! I’ve got a grandson who’s going to love that. Thanks for a great idea!

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