I'm not sure if this has already been suggested or implemented, but here goes:
Place a block (wood, stone, etc,) into the middle of a crafting bench and surround it with 8 redstone. The block becomes energized and can be used as a Redstone power or transmission component. As an option, you can craft with more redstone to increase the signal strength.
Energized blocks would be good to send signals through walls and such with out having to leave a hole for the redstone dust.
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