Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Just in time

Finished these tonight and I need them this week.

The first is a model WWII American fighter, my Dad is a big WWII buff and his birthday is tomorrow. A more challenging piece, it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

The second is a retirement present for my boss. She speaks at lots of conferences so I put her on a podium with assorted signs she can hold with her favorite quotes. Fun.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

In the works

in the works
Originally uploaded by Rusted Hammer
Three projects I'm working on. The dino is more of the same, just different shapes. The lady on the podium is a variation on the same style but still simple. It is cool to try different designs though.

The plane is pushing it for me, doing things a little more complex. I got some neat designs for toys for my birthday that will challenge me as well so I'm excited to try them out next.

I love making toys.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Now with paint

train with flash
Originally uploaded by Rusted Hammer
It's not Thomas but I'm pretty happy overall. Need to do something different with the wheels and lighten up that blue paint.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


T Rex
Originally uploaded by Rusted Hammer
So some friends are leaving town permanently for Vancouver and we are getting together this weekend with them and their two boys, one older and the other younger than The Dragon. I've had it in mind to make a Dino-Train set so I decided to make a couple of dinos for the boys as going away presents.

Took about three hours to make the two and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out as tests. I'll do them again and I think they will be better from what I learned on these two. Bigger feet to support the axles, longer legs and probably not a Dimetradon. I was told it looks like a turtle.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Further Along

1st train
Originally uploaded by Rusted Hammer
With project number two. All cut and sanded. Maybe. These will be painted I think.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


This first one is as done as it is going to get.

Among the lessons leaned:
  • The way the grain goes is more important than maximizing the wood. The camel’s leg broke but glued together well, would not have broke had I cut it right.
  • Axel holes in the center of the legs don’t leave enough room for hooks and eyes.
  • Use smaller hooks and eyes. Too bad I bought so many today.
Other animal trains will be painted or have tribal designs on them, maybe different stains for wheels and bodies as well as plain.

Now back to the other train I started.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Next Up

Regular Train
Originally uploaded by Rusted Hammer
From the same book of ideas, the simplest train in there. Really fast to cut this one out with the band saw.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Next Steps

Finally got out there and did some more work on the circus train:

Pretty happy with it as a learning process. I need to get better at sanding or get a better tool for it. I may resort to buying wheels rather than making them given the time it took versus what I could pay for them.

Still need to add eyes and hook so they can all link up. Ears, horns, tails and maybe some paint as well.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Finally got in some practice time with the lathe tonight after I bought the right size roughing gouge at a flea market (used, but sharp and a great price). The set of tools I bought when I got the lathe are for miniature work. Oops, but I'll probably use them. I took a square 2x2 and roughed it into a round 2x2-ish piece. Neat!

Now if anyone says I could have saved $200.00 by buying a round piece of wood in the first place, they get punched.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Progress - 2
Originally uploaded by Rusted Hammer
Cut out the shapes with the band saw. Used the drill press to add a few places for the saw to cut to. Still to come - sanding, wheels, decor.

Learning A LOT about how to work the band saw - how to make cuts, how to move the wood. A lot of fun, I got lost in the work and didn't realize how much time had passed.

Also learned the saw is about six to ten inches too low, I'm too stooped over it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wheels and a Jig

wheels and jig
Originally uploaded by Rusted Hammer
Made some wheels tonight and found a great way to sand them as suggested in a book. Cut the head of a 1/4 inch bolt, grab a nut and a wing nut and use those to hold the wheel on and mount on the drill.

Drill kept smoking, tried different speeds (slowest worked best) and cleaning the hole saw out after every wheel but still a lot of burn marks

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Today found me off work early so I headed into the garage. I found some ideas for projects that others might like and could be easy enough to make in quantity.

I blew up the plans to working size on the computer then printed out what I needed. Made some modifications to the drawings then traced them onto cardboard. Finally cut them out so I have templates that will last a while.

Note to self -- DON'T USE THICK CARDBOARD! I finally had to use the band saw to cut out the templates. Good part of that is that I got to practice how I will make the cuts and not destroy the blade or the wood. Bad part was I have no idea what cutting cardboard will do to a saw blade.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

One day I decided I wanted to make wooden toys

Hopefully they won't suck.

Back in Jr. High in the '80's I took wood shop. It was fun, I learned stuff and the teacher was missing a few fingers (cool!). Ever since then I have had tools and built some stuff. Nothing fancy, but I can make a bookshelf that won't fall over and a stand for the TV that has not yet crashed.

Since we bought a house in 2001 I have been slowly taking over the garage with a table saw here, worktable there. Since our son was born I have seen many toys and kid furniture and thought, "I could make something better than that." I know people say that all the time, but I was finally inspired to try it. I bought a cheap lathe and band saw to round out the shop (still need a belt sander though...) and found some books about how to use all this stuff to create some toys.

I have had several titles in my life but "Toy Maker" seems like it would be a pretty cool one. Besides which, toys are nice and small. How many desks can one house possibly use? I think I have put in or been given about $1,000.00 worth of power tools over the last few years. I have been able to find free lumber at times but all in all not too expensive a hobby. Better tools might make the job easier but for now I dig my set up.

I'll post pictures and describe what I'm doing and maybe meet others who are doing the same. Now off to the garage.