LumberJocks

Old Fashion Climbing Bear Toy

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Project by Scott Shea posted 225 days ago 1161 views 10 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am trying to make a tradition to make some sort of wooden gift for my kids every year for Christmas. Something that will last and something that they can pass on. I have two young kids, so I’m hoping that every year I can make something that they will play with a while as they grow. Last year I made this tic-tac-toe board for the kits to pay with that was finished with butcher block oil, and because I was heading for a 6 month deployment, I gave my wife specific instructions to wipe the board and pieces down once a month while I was gone with some more butcher block oil.

Being the forgetful wife that she is, she did not apply the monthly butcher block oil as I asked, and the boards warped and eventually broke, and the boards and pieces were beyond repair, and the money I spent on the maple was now reduced to kindle. Apparently, she put it in a place where they wouldn’t be able to play with it too.

Lessons learned, she has no respect for my woodworking. Enough on that.

This year I decided to do something simpler that required little to no maintenance on her end so when I get sent off again this year, hopefully the toy will hold up.

I had read about making a tinting wood finish by cooking it as an alternative to using stains, and I intended on employing this, so that was in mind from the start of this project. I used 3/4” poplar scrap that I had in the scrap pile and cut the shape of the bear and the top spreader bar. All cuts were made with my scroll saw. After sanding them to shape, I place the pieces, as well as the pre-made wooden balls into the oven at 400 degrees. After 30 minutes, the balls had turned to a walnut color and I decided to pull them out then. I left the poplar in for another hour and a half (2 hours total) and pulled them out, and they had turned almost a cocobolo color. Using some 1/4” birch ply I had in the scrap pile, I cut out the feet, mouth, and stomach pieces, and sanded them to their final shape. The circular disk were purchased at the same craft store that I bought the wooden balls at.

I used black enamel craft paint for the face. I used white 550 paracord for the strings.

I actually tested out another bear shape and left it in the oven for 3 hours at 400 degrees, and I ended up with a wonderful deep brown color that had I not had already finished the bear, I would have redone it with 3 hours in the oven. I built that one for my Godson (sorry, no pictures of that one).

Not including the cooking time, this only took about 2 hours to make. I’m very pleased with the results. I decided to not finish this just to see if by heating up the wood if it would be enough of protection, which even if it is not, it is something I can replace very easily. Time will tell if that was wise.

When I was a kid, my grandparents had one of these and I remember playing with it at their house and really enjoying it. I hope my kids like it, and I hope my wife stays away from it.

-- I make sawdust. I think thats a fair assessment of my finished products!





5 comments so far

View jim65's profile

jim65

347 posts in 537 days


#1 posted 225 days ago

nice idea, your heirloom toys are cool!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

3270 posts in 1472 days


#2 posted 225 days ago

Realy nice toy.I wish there were more such toys in toy shop instead ’’China’’ plastic.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14618 posts in 2280 days


#3 posted 224 days ago

Very nice bear.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View davidmackv's profile

davidmackv

305 posts in 252 days


#4 posted 223 days ago

I made that exact toy in 8th grade shop. Ronald Regan was President then.

View crowie's profile

crowie

614 posts in 555 days


#5 posted 222 days ago

Very nice toy that you’ve made Scott but be kind to you darling wife as I’m sure she has many other positive attributes….I know mine has many which I lack….though she does appreciate most of my toy making…lol..

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

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