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Ken Martin

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Posts: 988
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Friends

I know none of the great wood workers here on the forum ever have a bad day. or like in my case a whole week.

I started the project below just to make a simple strong toy, for my Grandson Jacob, and to experiment with some different woods and painting with Poly.

From the time I started until I finished I could do nothing right on this project.
I put it in the trash three or four times, then went back thinking maybe I could save it.

The one thing I wanted to experiment with was the wood on the top of the trailer.
It is not wood, but MDF flooring, that was given to me by a carpet and flooring store.
The top wood of the trailer is from a sample board the carpet store was going to throw away.  I was amazed at how nice the board looked with a coat of Poly.

DSC07603_mini.JPG  The stripping is auto body pin stripping.  Gives the project a nice look.

DSC07604_mini.JPG  The truck itself is made of all scrap wood.  Bottom is redwood, and to cut the wheel wells out I cut a 1/2" piece off each side then cut the wells out with a scroll saw and glued them back on.  Bonus, by doing the above, I had straight lines on the front and the back to line up the tail lights and head lights.  The spare tire was added as an after thought.
Also, I wanted to inset the doors, that is why I used the 1/4" MDF on the sides of the truck body, but as you can see I did not do a good job cutting the doors out straight.

DSC07605_mini.JPG  I did not like the windshield and will replace later.
The main body is just a construction grade 2 x 4. and the middle piece is MDF.
Even the back gate I cut wrong, it was uneven, so I made it into a half door that swings up.  
Although, I am not happy with this toy, and would never sell it or take it to a craft show, when I gave it to my Grandson, my mistakes did not matter.  He played with it anyway.

Sharing this with you because I just can not be perfect all the time, and as my wife always tells me "if it was perfect, it would not be homemade".    

Even mistakes can sometimes make good toys.

Kenneth W Martin

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Posts: 724
Reply with quote  #2 
Hey Ken,

You know at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the smile your grandson had when you gave him the big rig. We are almost always our own worse critic when it comes to woodcraft.
You learned some good things from this build and will make the next one almost perfect.
I look at some of my first toy's from a year ago (which are still going strong ) and notice little things like not sanded as smooth as I would have liked or even uneven wheel holes.
But my grandson still drives them all over the house with out a single complaint LOL

I got a toy I'm currently working on that i will post soon and there are things I just do not like about it. But my wife and nephew and daughter thinks it fantastic.

If you where perfect all the time you would be the man up above and he is the only perfect one I know..

So take it for what it is, a good looking toy that your grandson will enjoy for a long time to come LOL

Ed - Making sawdust in the shop [wave]
Peter B

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Reply with quote  #3 
I love it cause you had some lateral thinking which i love to do when making furniture.

Creativity is the imagination having fun - Albert Einstein.

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Posts: 265
Reply with quote  #4 
i don't think there are many people that use wood have not made a mistake, I certainly have made some right bloomers. You have done a great recovery job on this one and as long as the grandson is happy then it is a good job
I have so much fun playing with wood.

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Reply with quote  #5 
When you make a mistake just adjust the plan so it looks like you did it on purpose. [smile]

I recently made a small airplane for my grandson that went wrong. Some hole I was drilling were to crooked to use. I plugged the holes and changed the design so I Didn't need to drill the holes. To my surprise, people like the plugs and think I did it intentionally.


Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.


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Posts: 856
Reply with quote  #6 
Nice truck Ken, great features highlighting the truck. Is your truck full size? The plan says it's close to 2 feet long which has my attention.

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Reply with quote  #7 
Nice looking mistake

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Reply with quote  #8 
That toy will always be special to your grandson, because it was you that made it for him!

Jeremy Talbot
Little Al's Garage

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Reply with quote  #9 
Looks like a great "mistake" toy to me.  Still lots of fun in that toy.  Glad you dug it out of the trash. 

Posts: 225
Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Ken looks good for something that want into the trash.

Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #11 
I agree with the above comments. You gave your grandson something unique that you made, and will have much more sentimental value than a plastic mass produced toy. Thank you for sharing!

Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Ken, your grandson is very lucky to have very talented grandfather. I think the truck look very nice.
I read your Toy news about wood baking. I have bought a toasting oven and currently experimenting with wood baking. My first attempt was disastrous. My second attempt was better but not quite good. I am going to continue experimenting until I get it right. Many thanks for your advice in the article in Toy News.
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