With Revati and David for Ander and Lucas Rae
With birthday week coming around the corner – I set forth to get gifts for both of my nephews rolling. I believe that children’s toys like most things, should strive for simplicity and leave a lot to the imagination.
As I recently discovered Ander really likes trucks! Each car is shaped from a different type of wood – its mostly the scraps from my last year and a half of work: The entire fleet consists of walnut, zebra wood, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, pine, long-leaf pine, cedar & cherry. The hope is that all of this will give young Ander a leg up on his wood identification.
Lucas got a mix of cars and safari animals. My personal favorite is the lion – whose mame has a blond streak of sap wood running through it.
Building the Toys
Where I used dimensional scraps – David used his broad ax to hew and prep the maple and hickory. David pulled the maple round out of a fire pit pile. I was impressed with the clean faces he achieved with just an ax – I cleaned up the faces with my jack plane and than they were ready to go. It hasn’t been since another tall gangly man occupied the white house that someone in DC spent so much time swinging axes in his business attire. I cut the shapes of the car with a combination of the bow-saw and jig-saw.
So it turns out this was a two man job. David used the brace and I ensure that the bit cut square to the car in all the directions that matter. I tried one without a spotter and it turned out a little wobbly – more of a circus car than a roadster.
We used rasps, chisels and files to help bring shapes to the animals – here a ferious lion is getting a hair cut. Revati is rasping its mane down to a handsome cut.
I applied a little bit of beeswax to the inside face of the wheels. The thought is that this will reduce binding and let them roll more smoothly. Who knows. I made enough of these things that I could have done a randomized control trial – the great toy auto race.
Megan made a toy giraffe!