DIY Wooden Toys
I had to share these incredible gifts my brother-in-law, Blaise Vincz, made for the twins’ first birthday! Blaise is an extremely talented web designer and carpenter! If you are in need of a web designer or crafty manly man, Blaise is your guy! You can check out more of his incredible work out at, http://blaisevincz.com/.
Dremel Rotary Tool
Needle Nose Pliers
Before you begin, decide whether or not you want the frame of your wooden toy to have either dovetail or standard wooden sides. If you choose to make a standard wooden box, select a piece of Oak wood that is 1/4 inches thick. To make four box sides, saw two, 4 x 1.5 inch oak pieces and two, 1.5 x 1.5 inch pieces. Using wood glue, glue the four sides together.
Now, if you choose to create a box with dovetail ends, follow the steps below.
Blaise followed a YouTube tutorial on how to cut out the dovetail pattern. He did not have a particular video he followed, but he gleaned information from several YouTube videos that are currently available to view. Following the tutorials, cut out a dovetail pattern for the box using graphing paper. With a pencil, outline the pattern on all four wood pieces. Take a dovetail saw and saw along the outline. The notches will create dovetail corners when assembled.
To create the three center pieces, measure the box’s interior wall length and subtract 1/2 inch. Cut the three pieces to approximately 3.5 x .5 x .25 inches. Next, drill a hole 1/4 inch from the front of one of the center pieces. Then, drill a 1/2 inch slot about 1/4 inch from the back of the oak center piece. Repeat steps for remaining two Oak center pieces.
From there, measure the distance from the front hole to the center of the slot. Taking those measurements, drill two holes on each side of the front interior of the box, making sure the holes are centered. After you have taken all your measurements and drilled holes, use a Dremel rotary tool to create the waves on top of the three center pieces. Paint the wave center pieces.
Next, move on to making the copper wire crank. Cut about 5 inches of copper wire and bend the wire with needle nose pliers to form three ‘U’ shaped curves. Blaise assured me men would know this shape as the “cam shaft shape”. It is crucial that the wire be bent evenly in order to make the toy go up and down properly.
Next, slide your three wooden center pieces onto the cam shaft wire. Then, carefully insert into the box and fit the copper wire ends into the holes on either side of the box. It may take a few attempts to get the center pieces secured in the box (be patient you are almost done). Once the centerpiece is secured in the front, cut another piece of copper wire that will go through the back slots. Secure the copper wire by placing the ends through the holes on the back side of the box and then bend the wire ends down on each side to hold it in place.
To create the boat and sail, take a scrap piece of wood and whittle a boat. Then, make a sail by cutting a triangle from paper. Drill a hole through the boat and through the wave below the boat. Insert a piece of copper wire to create the mast and secure the boat on the wave. Glue the sail onto the copper wire mast. To personalize the wooden toy, paint your child’s name on the front.
To create the flowers for the second wooden toy, cut three, 3 to 4 inch pieces of copper wire. Bend the top 2 to 3 inches into a flower. Take thread and wrap around the copper flower several times. My sister wrapped these flowers since Blaise doesn’t work with anything pink (ha ha). Take each of the wooden center pieces and drill one hole on top of each Oak piece. Paint the center pieces green to represent grass. When the pieces are lined up next to each other, holes should be staggered. Insert the copper flowers into the holes. To personalize the wooden toy, paint your child’s name on the front.