Toy Eater (Plywood Scrap Eater)

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Introduction: Toy Eater (Plywood Scrap Eater)

About: Wannabe woodworker. Hobbyist woodworker.

I have three kids and sometimes its like a minefield at home because of toys all over the place.

So I wanted to make a toy sweeper ( Toy Eater ) so cleaning little toys would be more fun.

Step 1: Material and Tools

For this project you need paint brushes, plywood, 3mm acrylic and some adhesive tape and some screws.

Tools:

Table saw

Jig saw,

Drill,

Mitre saw/ Band saw,

Laser cutter (Not mandatory)

Step 2: First Make the Sweeper

First make the sweeper. Sweeper's width will determine width of the frame.

Cut brush handles away with any saw. First I cut with mitre saw but then I moved to band saw because it felt safer.

Then line up brushes so they are equal.

Then cut a plywood/ wood - about the size of metal brush holders. And it can be quite thick so its strong, I used 21mm plywood.

Drill little holes in metal area and fasten brushes to plywood with screws.

Both sides like in the picture.

Step 3: Frame

Sweepers width determines frame width. Im going to make fingerjoints and there is also plywood wheels coming so the width will be sweeper + 4 times plywood thickness.

Length of the frame can be anything, I wanted about 50cm so there would be some space.

Frame height is about 13cm.

For fingerjoints I used Woodfathers fingerjoint jig. You can check it here. https://www.instructables.com/id/My-Super-Simple-S...

Before glueing pieces together I cut the other end circle shaped so it would not poke to floor so easily.

And I also wanted to make some laser engravings so it would look more cool.

( You can see paper underneath plywood and that is because I usually draw the shape to paper first with laser so then I can easily align my pieces in the right place.)

Then I glued sides and back together and I tried to make sure that it will be 90 degree corners with square angle.

When glue was dry, I added support and I also engraved it with laser. I drill holes and attach it witch screws and glue. After I added some woodcaulk so the screws would not be visible.

Step 4: Wheels

Sweepers diameter determines wheel size. So now I made about 145mm diameter wheels. When wheels are spinning, sweeper should sweep the floor, so sweeper must have bigger diameter than wheels.

You can cut wheels with jigsaw, bandsaw etc. I used laser engraver to make it look more real.

Wheels and sweeper must be joint together because when wheels are spinning, sweeper should also spin.

I used adhesive tape to wheels outside edges so they would have better grip.

Step 5: Sweeper + Wheels

I noticed that the sweeper did not look so good where I cut plastic handles away. So I quickly made these plywood covers there.

Now its time to decide where should the wheels be placed.

Wheels should be just a little lower than the frame. If its too high it would not swipe toys/ scraps.

If its too low the sweeper can not swipe inside the frame because it cannot rise the pieces so much.

I placed both tyres to both sides at same spot and drilled a hole through. That will be the axle place.

Then it was time to glue sweeper to tyres. Plywood in sweeper is the center ( black lines).

So add right amount glue and then use screws to attach tyres to sweeper. Then its centered.

Place some clamps tightly and after clamps take the screws out!!!

I did not have picture about it but take the screws out and let the glue dry. DO NOT LEAVE SCREWS THERE WITH GLUE because it can be difficult task to take them out after glue settles.

Then its time to attach sweeperwheel to frame with 2 screws from outside. I used 25 mm screws so it will still spin nicely like an axle

Step 6: Backside and Handle

I totally forget to take pictures about making the backside. But frame and sweeper determines that size.

Sweeper touches everytime to backside so all the toys and scrap plywood are going in. So the brushes are maybe just a little longer than the backside.

I made that from 3mm acrylic and I cut and engraved it with laser. Then I attached it with screws.

Then the handle. I placed plywood right next to frame and just draw the handle. I cut it with jigsaw and then used router and sandpaper to make it look better. I drilled two holes to both ends and then assembled it with screws.

Then the toy (plywood) eater is ready.

Step 7: Final Summary

This was fun to make and it really works.

But it would work better with 4 brushes instead of two.

It was quite successful but its too small for the toys though. The jaw is just too small for toys but it is good for plywood scraps and legos.

3mm backside acrylic could work better if the edge was sharp, I was too afraid to do that because it will also get more weak then.

If there is something you would like to know more, do not hesitate to ask.

Happy making!

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    16 Comments

    0
    NeilRG
    NeilRG

    1 year ago

    Cleaning up Lego pieces = less screaming when entering a kid's room at night.
    I also appreciated the self critique regarding improvements. Well done!

    0
    snowf7
    snowf7

    Reply 1 year ago

    Nothing wakes you up quicker than stepping on a piece of Lego or a "Light-brite" peg. They both hurt almost before you stepped on them. This is something I would have loved to have when my kids were small. You get my vote.

    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you snowf7!

    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you NeilRG. Happy making.

    0
    TangLB
    TangLB

    1 year ago

    Really good idea ! Mostly for LEGO :D
    I remember Lego brand has made it 27 years ago (set 1874).
    But I think you should do a transmission to move brushes speeder than wheels.
    As you can see it on rotary mower.
    Well done ! ;-)

    Lego 1874 (1993).jpgLego 1874 (1993) - 1.jpgMower.jpg
    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks TangLB and thanks for the pictures. If I make tou eater 2.0 I will make it with transmission.

    0
    Cherzer
    Cherzer

    1 year ago

    What a fun idea!

    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks Cherzer.

    0
    Triphazard
    Triphazard

    1 year ago

    This is how my son can now clean his floor of lego

    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    Reply 1 year ago

    Happy making Triphazard.

    2
    jeanneambro
    jeanneambro

    1 year ago

    Love it! When my kids were little and didn't want to pick up their toys - particularly Lego - I would go into the garage and grab a snow shovel! They loved the idea so much they would go get the shovel themselves! This looks like more fun.

    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks jeanneambro.

    0
    Jazzman05
    Jazzman05

    1 year ago

    what a great project! will be doing soon!

    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks Jazzman05. Would like to see it when you make it.

    1
    eaalthof
    eaalthof

    1 year ago

    This is such a great idea! We had a plastic toy sweeper back in the early 80s that was originally for some road construction playset; however, it was a dream for LEGO- it was a foam brush (6 pointed star) and geared from the wheels such that the brush turned 2-3x faster than the wheels which truly brushed even little LEGO 1x1s into the hopper. So many other directions to customize this to your own toys!

    0
    Hemulimania
    Hemulimania

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks eaalthof. Would like to see that thing. That geared ting sound really good.