Introduction: Making a Wooden Toy

By: Zach Allen

Step 1: Assemble Your Tools, Materials, & Supplies

The tools that I used to create my toy were:

  • Band saw, for cutting out template and toy.
  • Drill press for drilling axle holes.
  • Drill bits 1" belt sander for sanding the toy.
  • Router table with 1/4" round over bit.
  • Safety Goggles

Materials & Supplies

  • Axles and wheels. I used 1.25" wheels
  • Wood Glue
  • Paint
  • 2"x6" stock(or scrap). To cut your animal out of. 1/8" ply or MDF for cutting template. You could even use card stock or cardboard.

Step 2: Find an Animal

On the web find any image of an animal that you would like to make your toy out of.

  • Find an animal that is easy to recognize.
  • I choose a fish which is very easy to recognize. Some other images that could be used are a bunny, duck, giraffe, and elephant.

Step 3: Print Your Image

  • Put your picture into a word processing program.

Once the picture has been placed into the word processing program it can then be resized to the size that you want your final product to be. This toy is for a child so make sure it is not to big and not too small for their hand.

Once you have your image printed you should cut it out. Next you want to cartoonize it because it is a toy.

  • You want to exaggerate the animal because it can be easier later on when you cut it out.
  • Right now is a good time to think about what you want your final product to look like.
    • What paint will I use? Will ears and tails be added or glued on?
    • Trace the animal and create the shape of your final toy.
  • Don’t forget to think about where your wheels will go.

Step 4: Create Your Template

  • Once you have your template cut out trace it onto a ⅛” inch piece of MDF. You want to use this special sturdy paper because it will be a much sturdier template that won’t be easily ripped or moved.
  • Cut out the image of our template using a band saw

Step 5: Cutting Your Toy

  • Trace your template onto your piece of wood. I used scrap 2x6
  • Trace as close to the edges of the wood. The less wood you cut the better. Don’t trace in the middle of the wood because when you cut it it’s going to be hard.
  • Once your animal has been traced onto the 2x stock. Cut it out on a bandsaw.
  • Once you have your toy cut out use your template where you have marked your axle holes to mark them on your animal.

Step 6: Drill the Axle Holes

  • Use an axle to find the right drill bit size.
  • Find the right drill bit.
  • Make a dent in your blank because it will help the drill bit not to walk.
  • Place a scrap piece of wood underneath your toy and above the drill press. This will help your toy from moving out of control. If you weren’t to put the wood underneath it could possibly fly at your face and that’s why should always wear safety goggles.

Step 7: Router the Edges

Round over the edges so the toy will be smooth and it will fit good in the child’s hand.

  • Put the round over bit into the router table and make sure the edge of the bit is level or lower than the edge of the table.
  • Test the router bit on a scrap piece of wood before trying it on your animal.
  • Router the entire outside of your animal.

Step 8: Sanding Your Animal

  • Sand all of your tool markings out.
  • Start your sand paper at 150 and keep working your way up until at least 220
  • Before applying the paint make sure that all of your imperfections and marks are removed.

Step 9: Painting Your Toy

Here is where you can be as creative as you want. You can paint as much or as little as you would like.

  • Before painting you can trace your animal on a piece of paper and brainstorm what you want your animal to look like. I just put an eye on my fish because I wanted it to have more of a wood look instead of painting the whole thing.

Step 10: Glue in Your Axles and Attach Your Wheels.

  • Make sure that your axles fit into your axle hole before gluing.
  • If it doesn’t fit, it’s time to drill a new hole.
  • Place a small amount of wood glue into the axle hole.
  • Put the axle through the wheel.
  • Put the axle and the wheel through the axle hole
  • Remember to leave some room so that the wheels are able to roll.
  • Repeat these steps for all four wheels.

Step 11: You Did It.