My Icehouse Pieces

One Stash of Handmade, Wooden Icehouse Pieces

The first Icehouse pieces I made

December 1997

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The pieces

In the time period between when Icehouse Games went out of business and Looney Labs started producing hollow plastic pieces, it was impossible to purchase high quality Icehouse pieces. Those of us who wanted pieces that weren't made of paper were reduced to making them ourselves. This is the first set I ever made, serial number 0010101.

The Process

Here's a post I made in 1997 about making these pieces:

I spent a few hours last night making wooden icehouse pieces in my
basement. My, what an incredible pain in the butt.

So anyway, I've thought for a while, "Hey, if I only had a disc sander
on my workbench I could sand pieces out of pine pretty easily."

Then, at PhilCon, #12 enlightens me by telling me that the gnomes at
Icehouse games used a handheld belt sander to sand the xyloid sets
after receiving them raw from the manufacturer. D'oh! I have one of

So, what I did was I used a box saw to cut square wooden rods from
from planks of nearly the correct thickness. Then, I sanded points of
approximately the right angle onto the end of each rod using a coarse
belt on the sander. Point made, I cut pyramids of almost the correct
height from each rod.* I used fine sandpaper to polish each pyramid to
a dangerous point. I found that tacking a sheet down to the workbench
and just rubbing pieces on it worked very well.

I now have a handful of 2-pointoids and 1-pointoids on my workbench,
stained in a nice maple. They're not perfect, but with some practice
and inch thick wood for 3-pointers, I might eventually be able to make
sets. Once I got going, I was pumping out pyramids about one every
five minutes. At that rate it would only take me about 2.5 hours each
per set; less, if I can get a decent jig built.

* Now that I think about it, if the points have the correct angle,
  and I cut pyramids of the correct height from them, the thickness 
  of the wood doesn't matter a single bit. It doesn't even have to 
  be square. 

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