Lucas bb 8

My grandson (he is just two) making a house in my shop with the recycled Builder Boards


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.


I now have enough pieces for a set. The hardest pieces to find were the 4’ long 10 notch pieces and 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.

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 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.