I love working with wood and try to do at least one wooden
toy project a year. This is pure therapy for me… No one will ever check them
with calipers or micrometers. They just have to work like the real thing and
look good on my shelf.
I like working with Douglas fir. It’s not an exotic hard
wood but I think it has a beautiful and bold exaggerated grain for projects at this
scale. I use mahogany for the dark details. I never stain anything, just clear
coat. These two examples are some of my favorites. As you can see by the Coke can used for
scale, they are about 1/16 scale.
The Dozer is patterned off of a late 50’s early 60’s cable
blade bulldozer and its esthetics are patterned somewhere between a Caterpillar
D9 and a IH TD-25. The crank in the rear turns the winch in the front to raise
and lower the blade. Tracks are also fully functional. The toy is intended to
teach the child how pulleys work that raise and lower the blade. This also
demonstrates what a mechanical advantage is and how it can be applied.
The cable backhoe pretty much works like
the real thing (including fully functional tracks) and is influenced by both a
1950’s era Bucyrus Erie and Northwest cable backhoes. Like the dozer, this toy this toy is intended to teach the child how pulleys work and how cables can be used to manipulate levers to move in multiple directions.