Rolling Toy

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Project by HerbC posted 03-28-2014 02:23 AM 2373 views 16 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this rolling toy using the plan from issue 66 of Woodworker’s Journal (Nov/Dec 87).

The roller disks were made by laminating 1/2” thick oak and 7/16” thick spalted sycamore.

Finished with several coats of Behlen gloss lacquer.

I actually made three of these, so a couple of friend’s grandkids will be getting a surprise.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

36 comments so far

View JL7's profile


8685 posts in 3114 days

#1 posted 03-28-2014 02:38 AM

Very cool Herb. The spalted sycamore steals the show!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3008 days

#2 posted 03-28-2014 02:44 AM

The neat thing is that the sycamore came from a piece of scrap that was so badly warped it was totally useless for anything that require wood that was flat, straight, true, etc…


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View DIYaholic's profile


19657 posts in 2824 days

#3 posted 03-28-2014 02:50 AM

I’m thinkin’ you enjoyed making them…
I see grandkids enjoying them….
I can also see cats & dogs chasing them around….

Jeff is right….
& you done good finding a purpose for the sycamore!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View firefighterontheside's profile


19088 posts in 2005 days

#4 posted 03-28-2014 02:57 AM

I really like the spalted sycamore. I’ve got a piece of spalted oak that I held over the trash can the other day but I couldn’t do it. Figured there just be some use for it. Nice gifts.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Karson's profile


35134 posts in 4549 days

#5 posted 03-28-2014 03:10 AM


I made about 100 of them for our Mason Dixon Woodworkers Toy Workshop, about 5 years ago. I think and hope that they were a big hit for the kids/babies that received them.

Yours look better than mine. We used three different colored dyes on the dowels.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View lightcs1776's profile


4228 posts in 1803 days

#6 posted 03-28-2014 03:13 AM

Nice toy, Herb. I recall playing with wood toys when I was real young. Now most of them are plastic. The spalted sycamore looks great.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3008 days

#7 posted 03-28-2014 03:16 AM


Thanks for the compliment. I like the dye job on yours, wish I’d done that on these.

I really admire and appreciate all the work you and your group does making the toys for children each year.

I hope to be able to get involved in something like that once I retire in a few more years.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29879 posts in 2487 days

#8 posted 03-28-2014 08:35 AM

Love the wood. Adds character. Good job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2762 days

#9 posted 03-28-2014 08:47 AM

Herb, they look great and the spalted sycamore is a cool touch

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View hunter71's profile


3255 posts in 3335 days

#10 posted 03-28-2014 10:53 AM

Cool, made some over the years, always a hit, kids love the noise

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View TechTeacher04's profile


389 posts in 1680 days

#11 posted 03-28-2014 11:27 AM

I have made the same toy for my nieces and nephews, I used mineral oil as a finish so I did not have to worry about them ingesting any finish that could be toxic.

View Nathan H.'s profile

Nathan H.

75 posts in 1712 days

#12 posted 03-28-2014 02:41 PM

Cool toy!

-- - Nathan H., Iowa

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 2119 days

#13 posted 03-28-2014 06:47 PM

What a fun looking non-electronic toy! I want to play with one. I like how you gave the end a “cap” of color.

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3008 days

#14 posted 03-28-2014 06:59 PM

Chris, Monte, Eddie: Thanks for the kind comments. I have quite a bit of sycamore, just finding things to use it can be “interesting” since some of it is spalted to point where it is almost “punky”...

Hunter, yes the noise maker is a neat thing about these toys. Of course the parents will probably be ready to kill me after a couple of days listing to the click-clack of those dowels. < BIG GRIN >

TechTeacher hopefully the finish will not be a problem although of course your concern is quite valid.

Thanks Nathan.

James, I’m tempted to keep one myself. And I liked the idea of using the wild markings on the sycamore to dress things up a lot better than the painted green colored spiral design shown in the magazine article.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2839 days

#15 posted 03-29-2014 12:19 AM

I may have to make a couple of these for my daughter’s girls. That sycamore is really special! Flat sawn sycamore just never wants to behave.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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