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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a question about hardwood again. I have been reading that when a toy made with oak splinters it is going to be an accident worse than other type of hardwood like maple/cherry/poplar. Does it matter even if it sanded with rounded edges ? I am talking more like a toy pull wagon which going to be dragged around a lot. Also, is poplar a good choice of hardwood?

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Posts: 1,179
Reply with quote  #2 
Proudma - Very interesting and at the same time a difficult question to answer.
Personally I have never really experienced a splintering issue with hardwoods, oak, maple, cherry etc. Reducing the possibility can be done by a high level of sanding.
Yes they can splinter as opposed to softwoods which are more subjective to dents. Similar to the posts on your question about "Hard maple alternative".
Hardwoods love sharp tools and not dull tools when cutting cross grain.
After doing a focused internet search on wood baby toys, teethers and pull toys the selection of woods used included both hardwoods and softwoods.
What I did notice was one common fact on most of the handcrafted toys material descriptions was that the all preferred to finish the toy with some type of bee's wax and non-toxic oil combination.
Even the painted toys received a similar finish.
One vendor who displayed teethers specifically mentioned a high degree of sanding before applying a finish. His description included abrasives in the order of 400 and 800 grit sandpapers before applying any finish and obviously not sharp corner/edges.
Pull toys will get dented, they will expose rough edges and gouges when pull over stone and concrete.
As a parent, you must always, on a regular basis check the conditions of all your child's toys for loose components, cracks (in plastic/wood) and certainly damaged wood.
Most are easily fixed with some focused sanding and the reapplication of a finish of your preference.
Popular is classified as a hardwood but in the same breath it is considered one of the softer hardwoods.

I would really be interested in hearing inputs from our Forum members who have the same concerns and who can share their experiences with this age bracket of toys.
How they prepare and finish their toys would be a great asset to this post and the Forum.

Ken Martin

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Posts: 988
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you Udie for all the good information.

I don't have much to add, except Sanding, Sanding, Sanding.
For small inside corners and edges, I like to use very small sanding sticks.  Ladies nail files work great.
If the nail file is to wide, just wrap it in masking tape to make the surface smooth, and cut it in strips on your band saw or scroll saw.  

If doing a lot of real fine scroll work be sure to sand the surfaces before cutting.  This will reduce the sanding needed when finished.

Kenneth W Martin
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