Sanding Blocks of a Different Kind

I have made some weird stuff in my workshop but my wife always seems to have one more request that throws me off balance.  In a previous life I was a musician and have formal training in pedagogy specifically relating to singing.  I was taught to use the Kodaly method of sight singing using solfedge (do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti) and it has always been very effective.  My wife however teaches a younger range of students and Kodaly is not always as effective as the methods that Carl Orff of Carmina Burana fame developed.  There is a lot of rhythm and unvoiced work with this so you find little percussion instruments like wood blocks and sticks (no cowbell, sorry guys).

So with her school’s open house approaching, Heather decided she would put on an Orff demonstration for prospective students and their parents.  The brightly colored, preschool looking instruments she has just look silly so she asked me if I would make a cool looking sand block.  This is really just a block of wood with sandpaper glued to it but it makes a great rhythm tool and a saucy, scratchy, beat to dance too!

To the scrap pile wood slingers!

Enter a small block of Mahogany, and a strip of Wenge.

Mahogany and Wenge scraps

Saw, plane, chamfer, saw, plane, chamfer…glue…

***no electrons were harmed during the making of these wood blocks***

Holdfast used to clamp the gluing sand blocks

…dance and sing a bit to the radio and ta-da!

Let’s make music, and I get wife brownie points.  Possibly the most important reason to take up woodworking ever.

2 Responses to “Sanding Blocks of a Different Kind”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. John Verreault (aka Johnny_Vee) says:

    Yes sir, brownie points are great (often exchangeable for karma points but that’s another story)… Hmmm, musical sand blocks, eh? My wife’s requests usually involve some garden related issue so my concerns usually revolve around Titebond III vs Gorilla glue or new red cedar vs scrap piece X that has been residing against the deck for Y years… still brownie points are brownie points. Good on you Shannon! See you in class (so to speak).



  2. Chris Allen says:

    I always get a kick out of knowing you studied music to become a woodworker because it seems that is becoming my path as well. Actually, I fell in love with woodworking when I decided to build a snare drum. I studied percussion in college and the familiarity with the instrument sort of made up for knowing nothing about woodworking. So when I came across this post I couldn’t help but chuckle. Love listening to WoodTalk! Thanks for all you share!
    - Chris from VA

Share Your Thoughts


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>