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How To Make Wooden Farm Toys

I’m a sucker for wooden toys. In my mind, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a child play with a toy you handcrafted.

Kurtis Foote, of Just Build Stuff, published a scroll saw book How To Make Wooden Farm Toys. Farm toy patterns are hard to come by, so I was pretty excited to get this book.

These designs are geared toward beginner and intermediate woodworkers. In fact, they only require a scroll saw and a drill press to build. They’re rugged enough to withstand a lot of play, but elegant enough to double as models. They’ll certainly delight any child or child-at-heart.

The book is easy to read and follow along. Each project is broken down into step-by-step instructions. Kurtis uses extensive 3-D renderings.  I especially like the exploded views. It makes it simple to see exactly how each toy is assembled. The patterns are full size, so there is no need to enlarge and tape together patterns.

I was hoping there would be a few more toy designs included. Technically, there are only three. The first project is a combine with two interchangeable heads (a rolling reel head and a corn head). I really like the interchangeable head as it expands the toy’s possibilities. The second plan is a skid loader. This clever design has a movable scoop, which is a lot of fun. The third project is a standard tractor. The fourth project is a tractor disc, which technically is an accessory for the tractor. However, the tractor disc project is complicated enough (all though, not difficult to build) to warrant its own project section.

The only thing I see lacking is a suggestion for a child-safe finish. The author instead directs the reader to do some research to find an appropriate finish in order to complete the projects in this book. As a toy-maker myself, I know how difficult it is to find advice on child-safe finish and wish it was covered in more detail. (Incidentally , check out this post for a really good finish for toys.)

So, here’s the rundown:

Pros:

  • Easy to build.
  • Elegant designs.
  • Excellent illustrations.
  • Exploded views for easy assembly.
  • Patterns are full size.

Cons:

  • Only 3 complete toy designs.
  • Missing toy finish suggestions.

I think this is a great book to add to your collection.  Especially if you’re looking for unique farm toys. Check it out!

Update: Plans are also available as downloadable PDFs on Just Build Stuff.

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