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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everybody, 

I am totally new to toy making in as much as I haven't made one yet.   I do big projects or turning projects so far.  I really really want to make toys but have no clue what jigs and fixtures I need to cut and sand small parts safely and accurately.  I got couple of plans from our host, but haven't built up nerves to tackle them yet.  Toy parts  need to be a lot more accurate than big cabinets.  I'd appreciate any tips, suggestions, pictures or videos of the jigs and fixtures and all.   One pressing question is how do I plane small parts to get to right thickness.  Contrary to other places my area home centers do not carry right thickness stock that shown in project plans.


Munawar Soomro

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Posts: 724
Reply with quote  #2 
Hello Munawar,

For my part I just use what ever scraps I have from other projects. Most of the toy's are built for serious playing so you don't have a huge amount of detail on them as a general rule. All of the plans from toymakingplans are not etched in stone. There is a good deal of fudge factor for you to use your own ideas.
Now if your building toy's for display then that's where you get into the more precise cutting and shaping.

If you look through this section alone there is a wealth of information just in the part. I have learned so much from the folks here. If it where me i would get the free plans John has listed here and know them out using scraps  and just see where it takes you. It sounds like you already do bigger stuff and turning so you should feel right at home.
If you make your own wheels there are a couple of sections here that show some jigs for that after using a hole saw to knock out the size you want then sanding down to shape and final size.
Jump in and show us your toy's we all like to see lots of pictures and learn from each other (although it more me learning from the other folk's here LOL )
Most plans here require very little in the way of tools, in some cases just a drill and a jig saw or scroll saw.
Anyway sorry for the log winded post and probably did not tell you anything that you did not already know... Stop by often and check out the group.

Ed - Making sawdust in the shop [wave]
Ken Martin

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Posts: 988
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Manny

Welcome to the forum and our little world of toy making.
You already sound like quite a woodworker to me, and I always thought making toys would be a breeze for you guys.

You ask about using a planner on small parts.  I know nothing about planners, but if it were me I would mill down long boards to 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", and 1".  After you have the boards milled down you can use the wood cutting with the tool you like most.  Most of our stuff can be made from these sizes.  I do buy 1/8" plywood for the really thinner parts.
Like Ed above; start with the free plans from  The play pals are scroll saw cuts (which I do) or router cutting.  The truck is some table saw and some scroll saw work.

You also asked about holding small parts.  So I took some photos around the shop today to get you some ideas.  All these ideas have come from the forum.

For parts only painted on one side, I like to use a nail, and hot glue to hold the part together while painting.
DSC07544_mini.JPG Note the Styrofoam, great for holding the nails.


For larger pieces I like to hot glue a larger piece of wood to the unpainted side.  Put on a turn table and paint away.
Here I needed to Clear Coat the front and sides only, so I put the two dowels under the barn to keep it from touching anything and causing drips. 
When doing axle ends I like to use a peg board to hold them.  Note the different hold sizes.
The peg board also works great when holding a vehicle.  Just put a dowel in the axle hole, and it works great.
When painting wheels;  Sharpen some dowels, drill corresponding holes in a board.  Now you can put the wheels on the pointy dowels and set the board on a turn table and paint the wheels all at once, then flip the wheels over and paint the back side.   Note:  as you can see I use pre made wheels, from  
The barn below was already painted but I wanted to Clear Coat the sides and back.  I used yellow painters tape and hot glued the block of wood on to make a handle.  Now I can turn it over and put it on a turn table and spray away, and the yellow painters tape does not mare the finished surface.
These are just a few simple ideas that have been presented here on the forum.

Hoping some little thing might help.  
Let us know how your toy making goes.  We love to see photos.

Again Welcome

Kenneth W Martin

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Posts: 1,179
Reply with quote  #4 
munawar (Manny)
Great question on thin stock.
No need to plane - just use your table saw.
I would like to direct you to two sections on this web site "How-To-Videos' and 'Wood Toy News'.
There are articles and video on just that topic.
Here's a couple of links.
Make Thin Wood Strips
Make Wide Boards
Cutting Thins Strips
Wide Board Glue Jig

The articles in the Wood Toy News section are a great read and a cornucopia of tips and tricks from featured members.

So, make yourself a pot of coffee, get comfortable and spend some time viewing some great toy makers in action and learn a few tips and tricks on the way.

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