This is my wooden toy entry.
I like building wooden toys and had always wanted to build a toy train. In December last year I came up with an idea for a toddler’s toy set with the following objective.
Create an appealing toy train set for a toddler (1+ yrs) that is first a fun roll around toy. Additionally, include stacking, sorting, matching and creative play to help build hand eye coordination and early developmental skills. The key elements would include;
a. a rolling train made up of several cars
b. the train must have building block parts that can be removed and replaced in any order
c. can be converted into a pull toy
In my first iteration the engine and caboose were made of a single piece of wood and so I took it to my friends' kids to observe their reactions and when I saw them playing with it, the idea of interchangeable parts occurred to me so I added another key element;
d. the engine and caboose must be removable and all parts must be interchangeable The basic set will have three cars, the engine, a block carrier and a caboose.
USE ONLY ONE PIECE OF WOOD
I am involved with an informal group of woodworking enthusiasts who get together monthly to share projects, ideas and generally talk wood shop. At a recent meeting our host randomly gave out small, rough wood off cuts of curly maple along with a challenge for everyone to build something out it and bring it along to a future meeting. I got a piece that was 25” long, 1 ¼”thick, 3 ½”wide at one end tapering to 2 ¾” at the other end. Both of the long sides were rough and would require making a straight edge.
I decided to incorporate my wood shop friends' challenge with this instructable contest and tackle “two birds” at the same time. Therefore I would build my train entirely out of that small piece of wood without using any other material other than paint, glue and some thin rope for the pull cord. This meant that all components had to be fabricated including wheels, axles and dowels!