Iam a retired hobbyist & I enjoy making toys which are then donated at Christmas to inner city kids. As a consequence I immediately deviate from the author’s finishing suggestions & put no finish whatever on the toys & rely entirely on contrasting colors of the wood species involved to provide interesting contrasts. Why ? With the recent scares concerning toys with toxic finishes (China) & because I never see either the parents or the children who receive my toys I go with no finish because I do not want some child denied the use of one of my toys due to parent concerns as to the safety of the toy. That said….. I usually build the toy I have selected to the author’s specs. And then the fun starts. You are all likely aware of David Wakefields design of the waddling duck of which perhaps a zillion have been made by daddies & grandfathers. Well….. It occurred to me that he has to design the toy in a manner that it can be made quickly or he will have a hard time making a decent living. I’m not so constricted. The first modification I made was to eliminate the wings integral to the body & instead made the wings out of contrasting wood.
Of course this made the overall body wider hence the wheels had to be spaced further apart. Worked fine.
It then ocurred to me that the cheeks of the duck’s head should also be of contrasting wood. That too worked fine.
Then while the waddling makes the duck endearing, why not have it quack as well ? This meant a section at the rear of the duck had to be excavated with the drive axle passing through. A cam then mounted on the drive axle to contact a push rod angled through the body to the head. The upper half had to be seperate from the bottom half of the head and mounted on a pivot dowel so that the push rod would push it up & down as the toy is pulled …. hence quacking. The angle has to be precise or binding will take place between pushrod & cam resulting in a lot of fooling around to make the thing work properly. Even then, in knowing this, I still do a lot of fooling around to make it work consistantly. My wife shakes her head during the fooling around process…oh well.
As you can imagine my waddling – quacking duck has resulted in a lot of pencil markings on the author’s original plans.
So for those of you who feed your scraps into a woodstove, you might consider toy making instead to use them up and excersize your imagination to make it interesting for you.