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Making wooden toys

Throughout the ages wooden toys have been made at home for children.

Zany wooden toys that whiz, spin, pop, and fly
by Bob Gilsdorf.
East Petersburg, PA : Fox Chapel Pub., 2009.
You get 28 of the coolest, easy-to-make, Wooden action toys that will keep you entertained for hours and hours. With these top-secret plans from the Toy Inventor's workshop, you'll Whiz a marble at warp-speed, Spin a nickel until it's dizzy, Pop a gumball in the air, and fly a tissue to your sneezing friended. The best part is they can all be easily made using this simple-to-follow guide that includes detailed patterns, step-by-step instructions, and good ol' engineering know-how. Book jacket.
     
Wooden puzzles : 31 favorite projects & patterns
from the editors of Scroll saw woodworking & crafts.
East Petersburg, Pa. : Fox Chapel ; Lewes : GMC Distribution [distributor], 2009.
Collecting the most popular designs produced byScroll Saw Woodworking & Craftsmagazine, this authoritative guide offers 28 creative and colorful patterns for upright and interlocking puzzles. Separated by skill level for easy selection, woodworkers will find pieces ranging in themes from animal to religion—including cuddly cats, Jonah and the whale, a wooly mammoth, and the “world’s most difficult” four-piece puzzle. Each project features a color photograph of the finished piece, a pattern, and detailed, step-by-step instructions for easy completion.
     
Great book of wooden toys
by Norman Marshall.
East Petersburg, PA : Fox Chapel Pub., 2009.
Detailed and copiously illustrated, this in-depth handbook offers instruction for constructing more than 50 wooden toys designed to appeal to a child's sense of imagination and playfulness. A brief introduction covers the basic techniques--gluing, sanding, and making wheels--and each project presents a meticulous diagram, a handy materials list, step-by-step instructions, and a photograph of the completed toy. Designs include stylized versions of a Model T car, a crane, and the "Spirit of St. Louis" airplane, as well as projects specifically for beginning woodworkers, such as pull-along trains and circus animals. Instructions for finishing and detailing ensure that the completed crafts will last for years.
     
Manual training toys for the boy's workshop
by Harris W. Moore.
Fresno, CA Linden Pub., c2009.
Featuring projects from the 19th and 20th centuries, this woodworking handbook presents family-friendly shop projects from a bygone era. Each project--many of them toys from a simpler time when boys were trained to use tools to create useful objects--comes with a cutting list and dimensioned drawing. Projects include a New Year's Eve rattle, a cannon that shoots marbles, a kite string reel, a pop-gun and whistle, a bow and arrow, a sword, and a magic box. This evocative guide not only instructs aspiring crafters to construct, but also provides finished products that entertain.
     

Wooden toys become keepsakes

Safety tips

Think before cutting

Keep a clean shop

Pay attention to your actions

Don't rush

Wear appropriate clothing

Take extra care with power tools


More woodworking safety tips

The reward of creating a toy from a block of wood, along with the excitement of the child who receives one, is enough to encourage toy makers to keep this hobby alive.

Materials needed to construct toys include: plywood, hardboard, wooden moulding, hardwood, dowel rods, abrasive paper, sanding sticks, wire wool, glue, pins, and wood filler. Tools that are useful include: pencils, rulers, retractable measuring tape, try squares, knives, planes, chisels, handsaws, hammers, pincers, screwdrivers, and hand drills.

Wooden toys and games you can make

Toys, and even games, made out of wood might be a play castle, an acrobat that flips and does somersaults on a high wire, yo-yos, a theatre, a wall-mounted chessboard, a butterfly mobile, or race cars. A more advanced builder can even turn a set of skittles or spinning tops. Woodturning is another method that can be used to make wooden toys.

Scrollsaw toys are another type of wooden toy that can be built. Cutting wood to different shapes, such as a fire engine, or a railway station, will offer hours of fun to a child. Using a superb quality of plywood, the woodworker can create enticing wooden toys for a child.

Wooden toys can be colorful

Learning construction techniques, such as rivet jointing or fretsawing, will help the new wooden toy builder. Workshops from local woodcraft stores can assist in teaching this information. Step-by-step instructions offered in books and on websites also are a very good place for the beginner builder of wooden toys to start with.

Over time, a woodworker can become a master wooden toy maker. This art provides hours of entertainment, both in designing and building the toy, as well as creating a finished product that can be enjoyed for many generations. Simple designs and sturdy construction methods, plus handy books with clear, complete instructions, will all encourage young and old to try their hand at making wooden toys.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff