Introduction: Wood Car From Log

Hi everyone,

I've seen that there is a wood toy challenge and so to try my skills and show you "how to", i'm attempting to make a natural but also design wood car for kids from a wood log.

I'm doing this project without preparation so i don't know where i am heading. i hope it will turn well and if i'm lucky, i will not fail this project ! and you will be able to re-do what I've accomplished.

Step 1: Take Off the Wood Bark.

for this instructable i'm using lime tree again, same wood i used to do my coffee table : HERE

The first step is really simple and very quick to do. you have to take off the wood bark.

i use a wood chisel to do that. the wood is well dry so it's very easy to do it.

Step 2: Cut the Log to Get a Flat Face

i take a felt pen and i trace a reference line on the top of the log to start the cut.

Then i use a string and a weight to trace a second line on the log ( same technique use in building ) this line is a "level" reference to cut the log. i have to follow this line to get a level cut.

To cut the log i use one of my awesome Japanese saw. you got 2 different type of teeth on this saw, the first type of teeth is use to cut the wood across the fibers ( CROSS CUT ). and the second type is use to cut the wood following the direction of the fiber.( RIP CUT ).

i use wood corner to push aside the wood because, the wood is tighting the saw blade.

Now we got the bottom of the wood car.

Japanese saw are really awesome, since I've discovered it i can't use other saw ! but they got a little inconvenient. sometime the blade flip and the cut is skewed. it's happening here so i add a step to flatten the cut with a low angle wood planer.

Step 3: Rectify the Surface

here i use a low angle plane.

i'm not a sportive man but i'm telling you this : using a plane is SPORT !!!!

i use a low angle plane because it's easier to use in this situation.

if you want i can take some pics to explain some tips i've learned by myslef.

Step 4: Reinforcement and Repare

the wood i'm using is well dry so i think the wood won't "work" during time but i don't want to take the risk.

there is a HUGE crack on the log so i decide to try for the first time to insert a wood piece to avoid that the crack to became bigger in time.

To do that i first trace the shape of the insert wood on OAK wood piece.

I cut it with my bandsaw - i place the piece on the log and i trace the outline - i use my wood chisel to carve the shape.

The lime tree is not a tough wood, it's an advantage for carving but it's and inconvenient because the edges of the carved shapes are not perfects. when i start the carving, the wood fiber are "going down" and the edges are not perfectly perpendicular but i think for a first time it's well done :).

when the oak piece is glued, i use a hand saw to cut it, and i take my plane to get a perfect finish.

IMPORTANT NOTE : the fiber of the wood insert are perpendicular to the crack !

Step 5: Shaping the Car

now the crack issue is fixed, i can give the final shape to the car.

I don't want to get a car literally so i'm not going the carve the hood, the bumpers or the fenders. i really want to keep the log as a log.

So on both sides i trace the shape i want to get. i start with my chisel and my mallet and then i use my spokeshaves to finish the job for the first side.

sorry for the blur pics >< my is hand always shaking ><.

for the second side, i start with my Japanese saw, then i use my plane to get a smooth surface.

Step 6: Make the Edges More Smooth.

the edges were not enought smooth so i take my chisel again and i bevel them.

the edges will be sand soon :)

Step 7: Make the Seat

so my car need a seat. to do that i take an A4 paper sheet, i fold it in 4 and i trace a circle arc on it.

i cut hit with scissors and i retrace the outline on the log.

then with my chisel i carve the shape and i sand the edges with my Dremel.

when it's done i cut the car to get a light bevel in the front. the shape look better like that.

Step 8: Drill Time !

now i have to drill a hole for the steering will.

i take my most powerful cordless drill to do this step. that was hard but my drill is well sharpened so it's quickly done.

the diameter of the hole is equal to 22 mm. you can change it as you wish :)

Step 9: Time to Make the Wheels

to make the wheels i need 4 wood circles.

i take my 100 mm bell saw to drill the 4 circles in 20 mm thickness oak. when the 4 wheels are cut, i take my frostner drill to drill a knew hole. this hole will receive the ball-bearing. i find them in a carryall drawer ;)

for the axle-tree i use the same technique as the previous step.i trace the shapes on a A4 sheet of paper and i report it on 20 mm thickness oak board. i use my spokeshaves to transform the square shape of the axle-tree into round shape.

when it's done and that the ball-bearing is block by force on the axle-tree, i pre-drill a hole. then i place the wheel and i screw it.

finally i use my Dremel to sand the edges of the wheel see the video embed .

and a second video to show you that the wheel rolls well :)

and for the first time we guess what i'm trying to do with the log xD

Step 10: Reparation and Esthetic.

on the last step i have notice a hole in the front of the car which is very unaesthetic and ugly !!

so to hide it i decide to make a star "door button" which will be screw into the log.

i take an ancient mold that I've used to make a custom Wonder woman shield and i cast a resin star. during the casting i put a bolt in the resin.

Once the star is demolded, i sand it.

I screw "something that i don't know the name in English" into the log and i screw the star button into it.

Reparation DONE ! :)

for the star i use smooth cast resin 300.


i use my burning tool to decorate the car.

the decoration give more contrast and more relief to the car, it's an important step ! you can burn everything you want on the car. Name of your child, number, stars ... your imagination is the limit :)

when the burn step is done, i decide to add a flag on the car. I find a spring in my carryall drawer, i take a wood stick, cut it in 2 parts , i drill a hole with a diameter equal to the diameter of the spring on each parts.

the first part is glued on the car then i glued the spring in the hole with epoxy glue and i glue the second wood stick part on the spring.

i make a flag with red fabric and attached it on the wood stick.

Step 12: The Handlebar.

so for the handlebar, i made a piece of oak wood to receive the direction bar and the handlebar.

i've made the piece without blueprint i just get the idea in my brain and my hands made it.i don't have any pattern so i've take a lot of pictures.

what i can say is that i've glued two oak parts together but the most important thing is that i've crossed the fiber direction. My piece of wood is most stronger like that.

I don't want to glued the handlebar permanently so i use Japanese wood nails to block the handlebar. it's simple and strong. the wood nails are shipped with a dedicated conic drill.

for the direction and the handlebar i use a wood stick of 22 mm.

when everything is glued and dry, i assembly the car and it's done !!

I do not apply any dye or oil to dye or protect the wood because this kind of products applied on the end wood have a strange rendering and often the color and / or appearance of the wood is not beautiful.

i give you rendez-vous on the last step to see the finished toy :)

Step 13: Project Done :) !

just one last word :

I just want to say that i really enjoy make this wood car and also make this instructable. Maybe some step are not clear or not enough detailed, feel free to ask me questions or advice if you want do it for your child :).

I want to thank you because you have take the time to read my instructable and also because you click on it just by seeing one picture :) if you like it please vote for me.

Step 14: Car Upgrade

Inspired by the build of Gastone :

i've decided to upgrade the wheels of my car. i use the same technique as Gastone, the only difference is that the wheels are made with one and unique wood piece.

When the wheels are done, i burn the wood and apply oil to protect the wood and avoid dust. ( dust from th burned parts )

project upgraded :)

Wooden Toys Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Wooden Toys Challenge 2016

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016