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This is loads of fun — a way to get the kids out of the house during the winter, or make a cheap little ice fishing house that’s disposable.

Any type of snow can be compacted into this nifty device to quickly create hundreds of perfectly formed, slanted, stackable igloo building blocks. The Eskimold differs from other snow block kits in that one block edge is concave, the other is convex, allowing them to fit together end to end. The blocks also curve inward slightly (picture an igloo’s interior walls). The last block on each row has to be trimmed, since the igloo gradually leans in as it’s built, and the diameter shrinks with each row. The included plastic snow saw works well.

A skilled builder could mimic the traditional hemisphere igloo design, while the casual builder will end up with a taller, pointier beehive design, which you can actually stand up in. You can make the blocks in advance, let them freeze overnight on a scrap of plywood, stack them on a sled, then haul them to your building spot.

My teenage son slept in his own igloo creation one night, and was comfortable in –15°F weather. If you have a couple of kids, get two Eskimolds to avoid fighting. These plastic buckets are durable, and will last for years.

Reprinted from Cool Tools, kk.org/cooltools


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