Regalos De Amor project. Need to quick build some toy trucks and need ideas!

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Forum topic by dbhost posted 11-29-2010 08:13 PM 1971 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11-29-2010 08:13 PM

Our church is involved in the Regalos De Amor (Gifts of Love) ministry, and LOML and I are filling up some of the gift boxes, and I got to thinking I have a mess of scrap 2×4 stock just littering my shop, these kids are asking for things like Toy Trucks. so my brain got to churning…

Now my finances are tight enough you could tune them to a high G. So for the most part, I need to make this from scrap I have in the shop, and the tools I have on hand. (December is ALWAYS tight, LOML and I both have birthdays close in, our anniversary, our insurance bill as well as the HOA dues hit all at the same time, not to mention Thanksgiving and Christmas…).

My shop is pretty well equipped, and I can swap over my band saw blade to cut some curves. I am thinking something basic, but again, I want to keep costs down. What I need to know how to deal with specifically are…

#1. Making the wheels, and axles so the wheels move independently. #2. More on making the wheels. They don’t have to be fancy, but I would at least like to make an effort to make them “treaded” wheels. How would I do that?

My thought process for the wheels is…

#1. Cut out the wheel blank using a hole saw. #2. Chuck the wheel into my lathe chuck, and dish the wheels a hair so the child can see where the wheel ends and the tire begins. #3. Fit the wheel with a nut & long bolt to act as an axle that I can chuck up in the Jacobs chuck. Spin it up and cut the grooves. #4. Mark and cut cross hatches across the grooved tread. I am trying to simulate mud tires here…

I am also needing some ideas on how best to design a FAST and easy to build either 4×4 pickup, or Jeep-ish kind of rig…

Ideas are welcome, I have a little less than 2 weeks left to get these done. And I want to make 10 of them…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

8 replies so far

View lew's profile


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#1 posted 11-29-2010 08:26 PM

check out what Karson did

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View MrsN's profile


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#2 posted 11-29-2010 08:40 PM

Some of my favorite quick trucks are semi-trucks cut from a 2×4. I cut the front of the truck and the trailer. put a dowel in the trailer and a hole in the truck and you can turn it like a real semi.
As for wheels, I usually just buy mine. I think I have seen a post somewhere where someone explained how to make mud tires. I’ll look again.

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975 posts in 2943 days

#3 posted 11-29-2010 08:42 PM

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View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

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#4 posted 11-30-2010 01:33 AM

I don’t have any experience making toy wheels, but I think the first thing I would think of, if possible, is to use a large dowel or closet rod and do as much work as possible on a lathe. However, I bet there are a dozen ways to do it.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2649 days

#5 posted 11-30-2010 05:37 AM

I’m thinking monster truck proportions but as a wooden toy. I am thinking 2” diameter wheels… But if I were going smaller, a closet rod would do the trick… Just cut a length of it off, smooth it up on the lathe, and slice some cookies off…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View emart's profile


416 posts in 2045 days

#6 posted 05-26-2011 07:45 AM

check out my trucks i made mine from 2×3s and some un-named wood i salvaged to make the beds (to this day i still dont know what it is) i used 1 and 1/4 inch wheels that i bought for $0.15 each and some premade axles on this site

i figured out that it was easier to put the wheels on if they were on a separate plank attached to the bottom of the trucks and it gave it that old time look i wanted

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2085 days

#7 posted 05-26-2011 08:40 AM

I went to job sites and got scrap 2×6 s and made some dinosaur banks, with 1/8 in plexiglass on each side, for the kids
They loved them, Plans ,

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View azwoodsmith's profile


3 posts in 3204 days

#8 posted 12-06-2011 03:38 PM

How I make the ‘thread’ for a mud tire.

1. Using the table saw, I get the thickness (7/16”) for the blanks. Then use a drum sander to smooth the 3/8” thickness.
2. I cut the blank by use a hole saw on the drill press. I cut all the through the side using a sacrificial board. My hole saw uses a ¼” drill bit that has a brad point bit.
3. Then to the lathe, using a mandrel (for making a pen), the wheels are placed with a spacer between each one so there is space to smooth and all the size. When using a ‘mud’ thread wheel, you do not want to round the edges. I smooth 8 wheels at a time so all are the same size.
4. Make a jig to mark the wheels. I found this at:

Woodworking Forum – Australia Toy Making

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I think this has been mentioned before but for those of you who may not be aware of it you can make a great template for segmented wheels or an indexing plate template using Microsoft Office Excel program no matter how many segments you want to use.
Simply type the number “1” in each row until you reach the number of segments you want, For instance if you want a segment with 14 pieces just type “1” in each cell from A1 to A14 inclusive and then click on the “Insert” tab and choose to insert a Pie chart. This will place a segmented pie chart in the worksheet. It will be in solid colours but is simple to change to an outline drawing by clicking on the “Format” tab and selecting the “Shape” style. and you are done. Just a matter of printing it out and adjusting the size to suit your needs.

Template for segmented wheels etc

Segmented template.jpg
5. Sand the ‘threads’ on the halves.
6. Place a RIGHT side and a LEFT side on the lathe mandrel and glue them together. (RIGHT-glue-LEFT-spacer- RIGHT-glue-LEFT-spacer etc.-nut). Allow to dry over night.
7. While on the lathe, smooth top and round the edges.
8. Remove the wheels and mandrel. Place a chuck (I just use the chuck to mount the mandrel for making the wheels) on the lathe. Mount a wheel on the chuck so it is flush to the front of the jaws.
9. Mount on a drill chuck on the tailstock. Using a 3/8” drill bit, resize the hole. Remove the 3/8” drill bit, place a fortner bit to your size, and drill the center to 3/8” deep.
10. Finish hand-sand the wheels.

I made a jig using a piece of wood and drilled a hole for a 1/4” dowel and fastened to the meter gauge on the table saw. Set the angle to 15º to the LEFT. Set a dado set to for ¼” thick and 1/8” high. Cut the number of wheels you need to make a set for each completed wheel. Then set the 15º to the RIGHT. Cut the other side for the wheels.

I hope that makes sense to you.
Richard Smith

P.S. If you do not have a lathe, mount the mandrel in a drill press. Use a wheel jig to drill out the centers on the drill press.

Using the same method – drill press and lathe- can produce highway threads by cut the groove using a parting tool.

-- God created the wood for us to have fun with. Are you having fun yet?

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