Tough Enough Articulated Front End Loader with a Peterbilt twist

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Project by crowie posted 12-18-2015 10:39 AM 2208 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

And so the journey begins with another “Construction Wooden Toy” .... a Tough Enough Articulated Front End Loader…with a Peterbilt twist….

I completed the cutting list but redid quite a few pieces as I didn’t like the timber colours mix together…there’s telegraph poles, fence palings, Tassie oak, Australian cedar, western red cedar, merbau, blackheart sassafras plus other bits & pieces….[I really have too much timber but it’s too precious to just through out]....

The wheel blanks we’re easy but I slowed the drill press down and slowly feed the T/C holesaw into the old red gum telegraph pole floor board…really could have done with a wood lathe to get the blanks looking nice but!!

The next hurdle was cutting the lugs so a jig had to be made plus a “set of dado blades” organized….

While I had an offer to borrow a set from not too far away, I wasn’t comfortable with borrowing blades so purchased a 8” Freud set on Amazon….

I also bought a new table insert for my Bosch Table Saw and all up including delivery, exchange & card fees, I only paid A$170, while the cheapest in Australia was $60 dearer for a cheaper brand…

The other thing I needed to buy was another spacer for the saw arbor which had to be a Bosch part to ensure it was correct…

The next step is to overcome my hesitance to actually start cutting all the lugs in the 8 wheel blanks, so many cuts.

I made a HUGE APPRENTICE style mistake with the wheels cutting all the inners on one side of the jig and all the outers on the other side….should have done 2 of each on each side….
After all that I have a woodwork friend make me a set which look heaps better than mine….

Reading the instruction sheets in a set of plans has always been a huge weak point for me!! I prefer to work off patterns…

BUT this time I was caught out big time with the loader cabin and have had to improvise & modify….

The “dado blade set” is working well though a little extra time is required to do the setup with the table saw fence…

I’ve made a radiator and done the cabin, all be it with modifications or is is it Peter Built [Peterbilt] personalization.

The handle and anchor plate have been prepared…these are screwed & glued from underneath.

I cut 6 pieces of the old fence paling when I only needed 2… ... more for another project….

I printed the templates and glued them to the timber, just using a “glue stick” as a number of blokes suggested….

I was thinking about have a go at cutting the templates out with the new secondhand scrollsaw BUT have decided to just do a rough cutout on the bandsaw and finish the parts on the bobbin sander….

I had some concerns about the fixing of the arms & levers as the plan suggests screws & washers but upon advise from a few friends went for axle pegs.

The arms are cut out and shaped; the buckets supports are too, though they needed some adjustment after a whole stack of difficulties with glueing the bucket surrounds together.

Of the buckets 4 joins, 3 were re-glued twice & one three times and I still mucked it up with the end plate not fitting… No biggie though, I just had to redraw & cut the bucket end pieces once the surrounds were dry to make allowance for the personalization of this end of the project…......

I’ve also cut larger bucket bracket support strengtheners to add/glue in place to help make the bucket “little boy proof”’s hoping…......

After remaking a few bits and the bucket mounts 3 times….great fun…finally I was happy with it..

The engine cover is now the same timber as the cabin roof thanks to a friend who supplies Tasmanian Timbers, both are Blackheart Sassafras.

The cabin is a recycles piece of Australian Cedar skirting boards from an old farmhouse new Bathurst…

The highlights on the cabin are Western Red Cedar from offcut my father-in-law gave me many years ago…

The Cabin steps are Tassie Oak…

The bucket leaver mechanism is all recycled telegraph pole, so some sort of very dense hard Aussie gum tree…

The bucket arms are all old fence palings…

The bucket mounts are merbau and I’ll add two dowels through the bucket to each once there in place…

The reason for remaking this a few times was to firstly provide a hole for an axle peg pivot while beefing it up for little boys proofing, plus to give full clearance on the bucket dump action….

The other modification I’ve done is to add a 2mm thick teflon washer on the pivot were I’ve used a M6 S/S bolt for the pivot..

I’m happy with a good mixture of timbers…

The bucket arm mechanism and the loader articulation pivot modifications….
Note the engine timber block is glued & screwed from underneath as is the bucket arm mechanism pivot base & brace….
The plans called for screw fixing the articulation pivot point but I wasn’t happy that, that was “little boy proof” so I’ve used a M6×25mm S/S capscrew with a nyloc nut. The top of the capscrew is recessed into the base of the cabin and filled with glue to hold it securely in place between the cabin & the top plate of the articulation pivot.
The cabin gluing over the pivot point & capscrew, onto the back half of the loader chassis..

The plans is from an old Woodcraft Magazine, July 2013.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

13 comments so far

View diggerdelaney's profile


482 posts in 3986 days

#1 posted 12-18-2015 11:14 AM

A fantastic model Peter thanks for showing the build progress

-- Derek, Kent, UK,

View Dutchy's profile


3193 posts in 2404 days

#2 posted 12-18-2015 11:39 AM

I never knew you where a smurf crowie. Looks good. Soon I will give it a try to read the hole story.

Goed gedaan.


View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1412 days

#3 posted 12-18-2015 01:08 PM

Very nice front loader.

Amazon is wonderful I always seem to have something on order. I just wish they would offer a good discount and free delivery on a SawStop ;-)

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View bushmaster's profile


3418 posts in 2518 days

#4 posted 12-18-2015 02:29 PM

Wow, nice build and pictures, A real surprize this morning, guess what is on my list next. must get out there and get busy but will study and read your post tonight. Was studying images of dozers.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Dee1's profile


306 posts in 2125 days

#5 posted 12-18-2015 02:40 PM

Very good wonderful job some little boy going to be very happy

View johnstoneb's profile


3070 posts in 2408 days

#6 posted 12-18-2015 03:08 PM

Nice build. You’re going to have to train the smurfs to stay away from the saw blades.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View UncleStumpy's profile


736 posts in 2548 days

#7 posted 12-18-2015 04:52 PM

Once again a super toy!

You are undoubtedly the King of Toy Trucks!

I was looking over your past projects and was wondering, did you have orders for all of those trucks and construction equipment or just made them to sell? Just curious.

Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us “Up Over”!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3102 days

#8 posted 12-18-2015 04:59 PM

That is a wonderful miniature and so nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View crowie's profile


2811 posts in 2186 days

#9 posted 12-18-2015 10:50 PM

Once again a super toy!

You are undoubtedly the King of Toy Trucks!

I was looking over your past projects and was wondering, did you have orders for all of those trucks and construction equipment or just made them to sell? Just curious.

Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us “Up Over”!

- UncleStumpy

The bigger wooden toys, yes trucks and the like, take a considerable amount to time & effort to make, which I thoroughly enjoy, especially all the personal modifications to the plans; so they are keepers and don’t the now 3 grandsons love visiting pa & gran to play with them.

Yes, from my point of view wooden toys are to be played with and if accidents happen, they can be repaired, of which some have occurred but that helps teach the boys that we are not a through away society.

I do also make simpler wooden toys to mostly just give away as a gift, I don’t want or need the pressure/stress of making toys to sell as that will take away a lot of the enjoyment of the woodwork for me.

Recently, I had the great joy of making a garage for the Christmas raffle at the community club were we do a good amount of volunteer work and the family who won the garage was my local mechanic who has a 3-4yr old son….

Such joy can’t be purchased, especially at this Christmas time were giving is part of the reason for the season…

Happy and Blessed Christmas to one and all, may the season be filled with Hope, Joy & Peace…

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View crowie's profile


2811 posts in 2186 days

#10 posted 12-18-2015 10:52 PM

THANK YOU one and all for the encouraging comments on the loader, much appreciated….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View ralbuck's profile


5530 posts in 2502 days

#11 posted 12-19-2015 12:30 AM

Crowie—as you know; I also make toys!


That loader is super and I have ran the real ones!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View hunter71's profile


3315 posts in 3422 days

#12 posted 12-19-2015 02:22 AM

Looks great. I have done wheels both ways and many variations. Each time I think “this is it” and then do them differently. Then one day it hit me. Tire treads are all different. so they are all right. Good job my friend.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View majuvla's profile


13590 posts in 3103 days

#13 posted 12-20-2015 05:07 AM

Every boy’s dream (woodworker’s too). Beautiful loader. As I always point out those wheels I like the most at wooden vehicles.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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