Building a Wooden Periodic Table
When it comes to collecting elements, we need a place to put them! I began building a periodic
table to collect as many elements as is possible given that some cannot be obtained. Each individual
element cubby is 2"x2"x2" (I should have made them 2.5" cubes, but
hindsight is always 20/20...). The wood itself was purchased from a
local old-time lumber mill, this place was literally right out of the
1800's with the exception of a 1950's table-saw and planer. If you have
such a place locally, I highly recommend going there if you decide to
replicate this project. Its such an awesome experience, and the wood
itself is much less expensive than from places like the big box stores.
Theodore Gray for the inspiration on this project. I have read your
colum in popular science ever since I can remember, you inspired me to
pursue engineering and chemistry in my college education. Check out his
site if you havent already seen it: The Wooden Periodic Table
I went with some beautiful 2"x.5" red oak and assisted in planing
and rip cutting it at the mill. Local
lumber mill prices are
astonishingly low too for incredible quality. Lowes has been ripping me
Here is the CAD drawing I created to determine how to cut each piece of wood most effectively.
Now to cut each piece of wood to the correct length. Remember: measure
twice, cut once!
Finally all the parts are joined together using butt-joints with dowel
inserts for added
strength. I'm not done the project yet, but you can
get the idea of where its at.