How do they make/decorate wooden toys in mass production

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Forum topic by Skiedra posted 03-26-2013 07:18 PM 8717 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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259 posts in 2463 days

03-26-2013 07:18 PM

Hey, everyone,

Got few questions and hoped someone has experience or knowledge. Or point me at the right direction.

How do they mass-produce wooden toys? They have to be pretty accurate in size, shape, drill holes, etc. And considering the speed and amounts for it to get profitable…

So, my questions are:

1) Shape. Are those bandsawed / CNC’ed or is this the work of big expensive machinery?
2) Hole drilling, dowels, small parts. Some of those parts are very small, drill holes come at various angles. These are not hand made, are they??
3) I see a lot of painted wooden toys for kids. How do they put eyes/noses/etc on toys? It is not stickers and too fine to be hand painted on. Some sort of polygraphic printing technique?

Thank you for the answers.

8 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3094 days

#1 posted 03-26-2013 10:03 PM

I have made toys to sell, in the past. I no longer make them but making some of them it is simple to make $20 an hour, (not counting selling costs) Hole drilling is quick and easy with a drill press with a fence. I bought the wheels and axle pegs or dowels. Our club still makes them to give away and before all the new regulations, we would dip the toys in a finish and let them drain a bit and wipe off any runs. It is simple to do. We did about 1000 at a time this way. Eyes and windows in cars we drilled in and sometimes used a magic marker for eyes. We no longer put any finish on toys.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Dakkar's profile


345 posts in 2099 days

#2 posted 03-26-2013 10:22 PM

I’m no expert on this, but I’ve heard anyone producing products intended for use by children needs to may very close attention to safety and—even moreso—have very good liability insurance in place. We live in a time when health is of great concern and litigation has ruined many, many businesses.

I’ve produced quite a few miniatures for use in dollhouses, but I learned early on that most everybody who does to any extent stresses clearly that their items are not intended for children.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3819 days

#3 posted 03-26-2013 11:28 PM

You can make jigs with drill bushings in them where holes
have to be drilled in the same relationships every time.

There is also a drill press accessory called a “commander”
which allows the drilling of multiple holes in a fixed
linear or non-linear clustered relationship.

Production cutting of parts is a good job for a pin router
or Onsrud inverted router. A CNC can do the work
as well but the machine is a lot more complicated to
learn and generally a big investment which may require
some serious wiring to run the vacuum hold-down
system pumps.

Turnings are done on a copy lathe but you may find
it simpler to outsource them.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2533 days

#4 posted 03-26-2013 11:38 PM


-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Skiedra's profile


259 posts in 2463 days

#5 posted 03-27-2013 05:57 PM

I found couple of videos on youtube where some of those toys are made with a scroll saw and then sanded.

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2179 days

#6 posted 03-27-2013 07:14 PM

Elves, Clint?


-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View MrRon's profile


5130 posts in 3415 days

#7 posted 03-27-2013 09:59 PM

I’m pretty sure those hand painted toys are made in China or a 3rd world country using low cost labor. It would be too expensive and labor intensive to produce them here and still make a buck.

View Planeman40's profile


1272 posts in 2933 days

#8 posted 03-28-2013 04:24 PM

Believe it or not, there are federal regulations regarding toys to be sold. I strongly recommend that you review these before starting as you may be setting yourself up for liability and other problems. This link will get you started:


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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