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Peter A

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,
This is my first posting here so I hope I can follow through how to do it.  I've browsed several of the posts and I'm amazed at the work others do and the quality of the toys they create.
I started doing some woodwork a couple of years ago and enjoy the chance to create something.  I have no plans to sell any of my work for fear that time taken becomes a consideration rather than results.  I don't get a lot of time to spend on it so I've only made a couple of things from the Toymakingplans catalogue but I love them and have purchased many so at times think I'm more of a plan collector than a toy maker.
With Christmas coming up I wanted to make something for my 2 grandsons (2 & 4) and decided on a castle.  I was going to use the King Henry's Castle plans but felt they were a bit "basic" since I wanted something that would keep them interested for many years to come.  I searched the Internet and found ideas but nothing that suited my needs.  I wanted something that had all those things I imagine a castle should have but also have scope for the boys to create their own design as they got older.  It also needed to be capable of being packed away to allow them to use the area for other toys.  They already had a table for their Lego and I thought that was an ideal platform for it to be set up on.
The material is 9mm MDF (3/8") and I've painted over in a textured paint to give a stone appearance and feel.  The design evolved as I worked and the base was part of that evolution when I decided it would not only create the whole castle world but assist with the assembly.  The photos should show the outcome.   I hope you like it. 

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Udie

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Reply with quote  #2 
Peter A - Excellent job Peter [thumb] - you have it all. Besides the castle you have dragons, flags, stairs, trees and a draw bridge. The storage box is a great idea. I am going to guess that the walls of the castle are held in place with half lap joinery. Using printed labels certainly will allow you to quickly add new characters to the existing character set. I vision an army to protect the King and Queen of the castle and an invading army with foot soldiers and knights on horse back just might be future additions. Thanks for joining us on the Forum and for posting this exciting play set.
joepeto

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Peter A,
   If it is your first post, I am lookig forward what you will create in the near future. Very cool job, you got it. Congratulations,
Joepeto
Douglas

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Reply with quote  #4 
I see your imagination is running wild here Udie [smile]    A very nice job ,  Douglas
Sdaupanner

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Reply with quote  #5 
Peter;
   I was wondering if a draw bridge with a wind up would be added in the future .... one such as the wind up that is used on the Mega Wrecker it has the crank up and also the geared stops to hold it where you crank it up to. I can't wait to see what you can do in the future another mind that is fresh with new ideas. John was designing a castle maybe you to can brain storm on a design.
   Anyway welcome aboard and have a great time there is a lot to offer here and we are always looking for new offerings and you have a great start.
The Guild of Wood Butchers & Saw Dust Makers
Don
Peter A

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Reply with quote  #6 
Good morning everyone,
Your comments are all very encouraging.  When I read Udie's ideas of expansion to the set I realised I'm not the only one that gets carried away.  I started out with a basic idea and planned to do some characters but before I'd finished that, we were browsing a book shop and found a book on Mike the Knight, which I've since found is the replacement character to Bob the Builder (who I believe is now retired and just called Bob).  Mike is a 10 year old "trainee knight" who tries to help everyone.  When I found their web site I found they had play sets with the characters you can download and print.  They are designed to be cut out and stuck to cardboard but as luck would have it, they were about the scale of the castle so I stuck them to timber and came up with a bundle of characters that related to the stories that the boys can watch on TV and videos.
I used the dragons from the King Henry's Castle set and printed that pattern at 75% and it worked well.  I had started with a knight and his horse so I adapted them to the style and colours of Mike.  When my wife said I looked like I was getting right into building the set I told her the boys would have years of fun playing with it but "probably not as much fun as I'm having building it".
The drawbridge is drawn up using an old necklace from jewellery my wife has accumulated over the years.  It feeds through slots in the wall and wraps around a length of 12mm dowel with short pieces of 6mm to hold.  The photos below might show it better than I can explain it. The bridge isn't heavy and there's quite a bit of drag on the movement so it stays where you put it so you can wind it up or pull it down.
As far as the overall construction is concerned, I don't know the name of how it's fitted together but that sounds about right.  The photos should also confirm that.  To confirm the size and layout would work I set the top and bottom rails out then built the rest from there.
As you can see, it's all fairly basic and easy to build so no major achievement but the outcome was very rewarding.
Peter

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Udie

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Reply with quote  #7 
Peter A 
   Thanks for posting the 2nd group of photos and a better look at how your castle was constructed. Mike the Knight is a couple decades after my children were born. So I did an internet search for Mike the Knight and searched for images. Now I remember who he is. I found hundreds of great images of Mike and his companions which you can download enlarge/reduce, perfect for printing and attaching to wood for additional playtime characters. 
   So, let me see if I understand this correctly ... you went to your wife's jewelry box to find some chain for the draw bridge ... are you kidding me?  
     Does she know?
          Do you have to replace any jewelry?
               Are you aware of today's current costs for precious metals?
   Just kidding my friend ... similarly there are a couple pairs of earrings in my wife's jewelry box that would make great lures for summer and now ice fishing, but borrowing them any time soon is not going to happen.
   Your wife sounds like she is from the same planet as mine, always asking "Are you ever going to finish this and give it away?"
phantom scroller

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Reply with quote  #8 
Peter I can see the kids and you having fun with this one just the soldiers to put in now.
Just spotted a couple in there, NICE.

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Peter A

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Udie
I think you're confusing me with Fearless Fly or someone!  I wouldn't be game to raid Robyn's jewellery box.  Her dad lived with us for the past 5 years or so until he passed away in July.  He was a bit of a bower-bird and scavenged all sorts of things and I had the job of "distributing" the things no one wanted.  That included a box of old watches and jewellery and I put some things aside that might come in handy like he had done.  Who knows where he found them but none of it was heavy enough to be valuable but still, I doubt we need to worry that it will corrode.  It's probably serving a better purpose than it ever did previously.
One thing I forgot to mention but you have probably seen, was how I held the drop gate open. I drilled a couple of holes in the gate and set in small rare earth magnets and put screws into the wall section in line with the magnets.  That holds it up but allows it to drop easily if you start to push the gate down.
Peter
garywisbey

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Reply with quote  #10 
that looks great there love the coulers
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sjc5454

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Reply with quote  #11 
Wow, what more can I say, this is great. My grandsons would enjoy something like this as well. I'll have to tyr to find time once it warms up to mkae one. It's -2 right now in Colorado, so a little too cold to work in the garage. thanks for sharing some of the details and showing how you build it.
Steve Currier
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