Woodworking is an age-old hobby that is enjoyed by both young and old alike. Youngsters especially enjoy the items made of wood when they turn out to be toys. There is a major advantage in building toys from wood: they are sturdy and durable, and therefore, they can handle a lot of abuse. Since they last longer than plastic toys, they can be passed down from generation to generation.
You can build a wood toy for a grandchild or a favorite niece or nephew in just a few hours. One of the most popular wood toys is the Pull Along with Duck. To build this, you will need to start by finding a pattern for the body of the duck. You may be able to find a free pattern on the Internet, or, you can look in a young child’s coloring book. Pictures out of coloring books make great patterns because they are large and rather simple. You will need to find a side view of a duck, either standing or sitting down.
The next step is to gather together three pieces of wood that are a half inch thick each. (Pine is a soft wood that is easy to work with, while Oak is a much more durable choice.) Place the duck pattern on top of one of the pieces of wood. Tape or pin the pattern down securely to the wood so it cannot move. Now, use a ball point pen and outline the picture of the duck. Press hard so that the pen makes an indentation into the wood.
The next step is to use a table saw with a fine – toothed blade to carefully cut the duck out of the wood. Then, use the cut out as a pattern for the other two pieces. Place the cut out on top of the second piece of wood and outline it with a pencil; cut it out with the table saw. Repeat this process with the third piece of wood too.
Now, use good quality wood glue, and spread a thin coating over both sides of one of the duck cut outs. This piece will serve as the middle of the duck’s body. Spread another coating over one side of the second cut out. This will be the left side of the body. Then, spread yet another thin coating of glue over the third cut out so it will fit on the right side of the middle piece. Let the pieces set a minute or two, then press the sides onto the middle. Make sure all of the pieces are properly aligned together, and wipe off any excess glue with a clean damp cloth.
Either place the body of the duck in a wood vise in order to keep it straight, or, you can simply place it on a flat surface and weight it down with several heavy objects. Let it set undisturbed for several hours while the wood glue dries. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the glue container to find out how long it will take the glue to completely dry.
You have now built the body of the duck, which is the main part of the toy. The next step is to drill out two holes through the body to put the axles in. Measure a half-inch up from the bottom edge, and about a half-inch in from the left side and from the right side. Mark these places and drill two holes completely through the body. You can either purchase precut wheels, or you can make your own by cutting two round circles out of wood. Both wheels should measure approximately two inches in diameter. To attach the wheels together, you will also need to purchase two wood axles at your local hobby shop.
The next step is to drill a hole in each of the wheels. The diameter of the holes must match the diameter of the axles. Then, use the wood glue to attach a wheel to one end of an axle. Slide the end of the axle through the body of the duck, and then glue the other wheel on. Repeat this process with the second axle.
Before you put the finish on, you will need to lightly sand down the duck with a fine grade of sandpaper. Wipe off the dust with a soft, clean cloth. You can paint the duck a bright, cheery yellow color with good quality enamel paint. After the yellow paint dries, use black enamel and a small brush to add the details, such as eyes, wings, et cetera.
Finally, attach a long heavy pull cord to the front of the duck with a heavy-duty staple gun. Your wood toy is now ready to roll and give a special child hours of entertainment.Finally