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AES

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Reply with quote  #1 
No excuses from me to come below, but a combination of factors kept me out of the shop until I ended up doing a rushed Xmas job for a 2 year old lad.

Things learnt:

1. Do NOT do the pix at 3 o'clock in the morning without a tripod and while the varnish is a still a bit tacky, and without checking that the background cloth hasn't fallen down. And especially not on the morning when it's GOT to get to the post by midday to assure it arrives on time!

2. "Shop bought" wheels are NOT necessarily round, NOR are their axle holes necessarily exactly in the centre!

3. When using "normal building pine-ish off cuts timber", this MUST be fully sanded down until all end grain marks have completely disappeared - artists acrylics do NOT cover well enough to hide any even very slight defects, especially not when thinned enough for air brushing!

4. Having some sort of plan before you start off is a MUST - even the back of an envelope sketch is better than nothing, but of course, ideally a plan from a recognised source. (I now have a proper plan. Guess where from?). For this I had nothing except "something in mind" plus a set of wheels - which turned out to be wobbly anyway. So I made a false start which ended up being scrapped half way through.

 

I'm still not entirely happy with the proportions now, but I guess it's somewhere near the mark (no feed back from the customer yet).

Here it is. It's my first go at a "proper" (i.e. model-like) toy, rather than simple pull-alongs for toddlers:

Trak 1-C.jpg 


Trak 2-C.jpg 


Trak 3-C.jpg 

Trak 4-C.jpg 


Trak 5-C.jpg 

Wishing you all a "Good Slide" into 2017. (English translation of typical local greeting).

Sorry to have been more absent than present on this Forum for the past few months.


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AES
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I arrive in an upstairs room and can still remember what I went up there for, I consider that a triumph)!
Bucko

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm very glad to see your post, I can see quite an amount of work going into this setup and a deadline would make that amount all the harder. The first impression of your Tractor /Wagon project is " this is nice".
I can add " things learned" to every build I do and most always it can be something to do with wheels. Nicely done and I'd like to ask if the Tractor is based on a local style from where you live?
AES

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Bucko. Nice compliment from someone whom I've seen on this Forum who definitely "knows 'is onions"!

I can't really say I had anything to work from except a "picture in my head", but we do see quite a few John Deere machines here - anyway, I like the colour scheme! But the shape isn't based on anything really, except what I've seen on the roads hereabouts.

What I had in mind didn't turn out exactly like I intended, and now I've got a plan from here I can see that it's miles out (talk about putting the cart before the horse in terms of finishing the job and THEN buying the plan)!

I still haven't had any feed back from the customer himself (it DID arrive on time though) but his Mum and Dad seemed quite chuffed with it on the phone the other day, so I guess it's OK.

"Onwards and Upwards"

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AES
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ed357sw

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Reply with quote  #4 
Very nicely done.
At 3 in the morning i would have been lucky to have the wheels spinning in the right direction
And with my luck the cart would have been before the tractor in this case
Still good job i cant wait to see what you do with an actual plan

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AES

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks Ed. Compliments from those "in the know" are especially appreciated.

Re building from a plan I'm afraid you'll have to wait a while. First we're on hols until 8th Jan, then a (hopefully) short trip to the hospital for a "special, targeted jab", then I've got to re-wire part of the shop (in my cellar) - all before end January/early February!

Ah well. 

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AES
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I arrive in an upstairs room and can still remember what I went up there for, I consider that a triumph)!
Rod T

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Reply with quote  #6 
This looks great and I am impressed with the paintwork.
I think you have done an exceptional job without any plan at all. I make mistakes all the time, even when I have a plan. But you are right with onwards and upwards. They are all lessons learnt.
There is also nothing worse than trying to meet a deadline, so well done.

Thanks for sharing the pics.

Cheers
Rod T
AES

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks Rod, I feel "fairly pleased" with the overall size/shape, but having now seen the Lewman plans I realise that the cab could be much better.

I did try hard with the paint job (but not hard enough on the prep part!!) and got a lot of very useful hints and tips from the painting section of this Forum, which helped a lot.

But it's clear that apart from NOT handling the varnish before it's really set off hard !!! (it seems min 24 hours is about right at normal room temps), I will need more experimenting with thinning ratios when using artists acrylics with an airbrush (Badger 350 in my case).

A lady who posts here regularly suggests that the best way is to paint BEFORE final assembly and I'll be trying that next time.

Happy New year.

AES

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AES
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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AES

1. Do NOT do the pix at 3 o'clock in the morning without a tripod and while the varnish is a still a bit tacky, and without checking that the background cloth hasn't fallen down. And especially not on the morning when it's GOT to get to the post by midday to assure it arrives on time!

2. "Shop bought" wheels are NOT necessarily round, NOR are their axle holes necessarily exactly in the centre!

3. When using "normal building pine-ish off cuts timber", this MUST be fully sanded down until all end grain marks have completely disappeared - artists acrylics do NOT cover well enough to hide any even very slight defects, especially not when thinned enough for air brushing!

4. Having some sort of plan before you start off is a MUST - even the back of an envelope sketch is better than nothing, but of course, ideally a plan from a recognised source. (I now have a proper plan. Guess where from?). For this I had nothing except "something in mind" plus a set of wheels - which turned out to be wobbly anyway. So I made a false start which ended up being scrapped half way through.



Great tractor and trailer. Building it the way you did produces a unique toy. No one else has one of these.

Reading you post got the gears to spinning in my head.

Use shellac instead of varnish. It will be dry in 30 minutes in average conditions faster if its warm and dry where you live. If I'm brushing it on several toys the first will generally be ready to recoat when I finish with the last one.

Surface preparation is the key to a smooth finish. The better you are at sanding the better finish you can produce. Pine is especially prone to tearing using very sharp tools helps but I have never been able to eliminate it. On the end grain you are probably better off cutting it a bit large and sanding to the line. I like to make extras especially when using pine because I expect some of the parts to be unusable.

What you did here I call prototyping or fabrication. Some of the best things I have ever made I built with out a plan. I've tossed plans in the trash because while they look nice in the picture they were almost impossible to build from. I've built from plans that had designs so bad that the assembled project was a piece of junk that got scrapped. I tossed a book in the trash just recently that I had purchased used on Amazon. Toy toys and plans were junk. Not even good enough to make an attempt at using. Store bought plans are not always good.

I built some flash light hooks/hangers strictly from an idea I had in my head as Christmas gifts. I knocked together a prototype and the started cutting. I made a pile of them starting on Christmas Eve and gave them out as gifts on Christmas Day about two hours after the last coat of shellac went on them. They were not complicated and did not have a fine finish on them but they worked great and they were such a big hit I'm thinking of making some to sell. Plans? Not even a photo of one could be found. My point is that lots of good things get made with no plans at all. Sometimes its the best way to do it.





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AES

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks for the post Bad Bob. Some good points there.

About pine end-grain, yup, you're dead right, and I knew it to be true before I started the job. But you know how it is - "perhaps I'll get away with it this time". Nah, you don't, do you?

Anyway, latest feedback is that the customer is chuffed with it, takes it to bed with him every night, and won't let his little sister touch it. So that's result enough in the end, eh!

Although I've had success with spraying (watered down) acrylic varnish before (IF I wait for it to dry hard!!!) I've been thinking about shellac (not tried it so far). Yet another "roundtoit" to add to the list, thanks.

But "better next time" is the goal.


;-)

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AES
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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #10 
Currently I make toys from what ever I have on hand for the most part. I have lots of experience working with crappy wood. I don't have a good local source of hardwoods. The closest place to me I is about 130 mile trip.

You really should give the shellac a try. The only complaint I have about it is that it's shiny. I much prefer a satin finish. I'm not using anything special just Bulls Eye (brand) shellac for Home Depot. It sprays well through an air brush. I thinned it a little  (15-20%) as recommended but I don't think I really needed to with the large tip I was using.

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AES

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks for that Bob.

I'll be giving shellac a try in the new year. What do you thin it with please, white spirit/turpentine? It's good that it needs only 15-20% thinning, with the acrylic varnish I was at 50% (as per the manufacturer's instructions).

I too prefer satin to high gloss. I guess that, apart from the final coat, one could give it a gentle rub over with really fine grade wire wool to reduce the gloss?

AES

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TheWoodsmiths

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Reply with quote  #12 
Shellac is cut with denatured alcohol.
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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #13 
Yes, you can dull the finish with steel wool or those nylon abrasive pads that 3M makes.

You thin it with alcohol. Denatured or not. Some people use Everclear.

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks for your help Bruce & Bob, much appreciated.

Meantime I've had feedback from the end-user's Mum. It seems he was delighted unpacking it on the day, has taken it to bed every night since, won't let his little sister lay a finger on it, AND it's all still in 1 piece! So I guess I must have done something right.

Thanks for all the comments. If it's not too late, a happy & Healthy New Year to all.

AES

The pix:

Xmas_Day_1-C.jpg 

Xmas_Day_3-C.jpg 

Xmas_Day_4-C.jpg 




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Peter B

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Reply with quote  #15 
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