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Posts: 281
Reply with quote  #1 
After a couple of years making wooden toys for my grand-daughter ( and realising that it is only now that she is old enough to appreciate them, ) my daughter presented us with a new grand-son last month.
What to make him first?

AJ from Tassie, with his post on "Using Offcuts" provided the inspiration.
Having just spent the past few autumn months taking time off toy-making to tear down and rebuild a 5m x 3.6m deck and a 1.2m x 4.8m set of steps and landing in 140mm x 19mm Merbau, I had plenty of offcuts to work with.
 I wanted to experiment with using different timbers and in particular using a laminated pair of contrasting woods and beeswax finish.
 His helicopter had just the jaunty look to sit nicely in the nursery as an ornament until the grandson grows old enough to play with it.

 A piece of Cypress fence picket provided the contrast to the darker Merbau.
Over a weekend I made the helicopter and also the pickup truck from the PlayPals set  ( scaled up to fit the 1" wheels I had in stock).
 I must admit to being impressed with how easy it was to get a great finish with the beeswax paste ( sorry Cynthia, mine was shop-bought) and how quickly it dried/set.

 According to my daughter, my grandson loves it.  Hmmmm.

I will be making a few more toys in this style as everyone who saw them loved the look, and they were a lot easier than  the complex multi-part painted toys I prefer to build as a challenge.
 The natural finish also challenges me to be more exacting in my sanding and edge radii as I cannot cover over mistakes.
I can see the lessons learnt here coming to fruition making the about-to-be-released Road Crew Set.

20190518_132917.jpg  20190518_132934.jpg  20190518_151607.jpg 


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Posts: 1,626
Reply with quote  #2 
Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.
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john lewman

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Posts: 2,870
Reply with quote  #3 
These are really well done and your chopper is flawless. Thank you also for the detailed write-up. I enjoy a geeat toy story.

Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #4 
G'Day Alan,
First congratulations on the arrival of the newest member of the family.
I have five grand children ranging from 6 to 17 years of age.
They have all spent time in my shed with me Building toys and the The occasional pet cage for mice and Guinea pigs.
Started off using off cuts but eventually moved to larger projects.
My eldest grand daughter the 17 year old has secured a joinery apprentice for the end of the year when she leaves college and is now looking at how much room I have in my shed, She thinks she might be able to fit a bench in there for her to work on instead of sharing mine, I think she is more looking at my tools than my company but that is fine I am glad she has a love of working with timber and I might be able to pick up some techniques from her.
Glad you found my post of some interest and I hope you get to spend time sharing your interest with your grand kids like I have.  

Peter V

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Posts: 285
Reply with quote  #5 


congrats with your grand/son.

I myself (and my wife') are since 11 weeks grandpa and -mom from a grandson.

I was making toys, still doing that but made some things for him already. 

the 4 coloured ones are for a - as we call it in the Netherland - 'mobiel' for above his face when he is laying in bed (with a little music at the background).
DSC06816.jpg  The cars and animals .... when keeping them in front of him, he is watching but far to young to play with them. But ..... much fun to make.

DSC06814.jpg  Need to give those some colour, thinkg about coloursceme.

Peter V
Rod T

Posts: 649
Reply with quote  #6 
Awesome helicopter

I was asked to make some simple helicopters, so came up with this one. The body shape was just hand drawn by me. I made a template so I can punch out multiples. 

I too had a bit of Merbau and used it for the props as it is nice and strong. 

Super quick to make multiples and sell for $20 a pop. 

IMG_4177.jpg  IMG_4178.jpg 
Rod T


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Posts: 856
Reply with quote  #7 
These are all simply “ fantastic “, great looks and will provide great play time without electronics.

Posts: 274
Reply with quote  #8 
Wombat - I love the contrasting woods. The finish is beautiful.

Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #9 
Love your helicopter, Alan
they look great thanks for sharing John.
john lewman

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Posts: 2,870
Reply with quote  #10 
That is a sweet and playful design. Kids will love this one. The top level workmanship makes it extra special!
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