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October Challenge ( Rules and Requirements )


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Established Member
10 Nov 2006
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Hi People , its time for our October Challenge , A Child's Toy

( Rules /Requirements / Judges Criteria )

Item must be lathe turned and made of wood

The item needs to be, either hand held / operated , push along , pull along

Richard ( Our Judge for October ) has asked for the following criteria :-

- Made from a suitable safe wood stock
- A suitable finish used ( Non toxic )
- Size and scale apropriate to the item & intended recipient ( No small detachable parts that may be swallowed )
- Please state the target age range of your item, ie: 6 months plus for a Baby rattle etc
- Fit for purpose, so if it is a pull along truck, make sure it does just that, wheels roll nicely, not too heavy for a child to pull etc etc

NO Critique or comments on any work until November Please, After the Judging and results.
Please state the wood type and finish used if known and a little about the techniques applied when producing the Toy (this helps the judge)

The Judges decision is final.

Please post 3 images / photos of your work
2 images of the toy from any angle or in use
1 close up of any fine detail you would like the judge to see
Also NEW for this month a link to a YouTube video of the item in use , Maximum of 30 seconds :) ( Not compulsory to do the video )

Image size please use image size 640 x 480 0.3 mp, same as previous months

Please notify me your entries are ready by 10 pm on Wednesday 26th after this time the thread will be locked

Entry’s to be uploaded from 10pm on 26th October up until 10pm on the 28th October after this time the thread will be locked for Judging

Results will be given on or before 31st October

Good luck everyone :mrgreen:


Established Member
31 Dec 2004
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Cotswolds UK
Proxy posting for duncanh

Here's my toy entry - probably the most complicated thing I've turned and I don't think I'll be making another!

The project required a combination of spindle and faceplate turning and the creation of several custom screw and jam chucks.
The chassis was roughly shaped at the band saw before final shaping with a drum sander on the lathe.
The engine block was shaped on the lathe as a cylinder. The horizontal, vertical and 45 degree flats (for steering wheel location) were then created by holding it in a workmate and running a router over it.
There's a small amount of off-centre turning on the hat to give it an angled top.

I decided early on to stick to native woods so that's what I've done and the parts are as follows:-

engine block - ash
main chassis - oak
mudguards - oak
rear wheels - oak from the same board but fumed to darken front wheels - elm axles and wheel hubs - need to be strong so close grained - holly front bumper - beech front plate - holly with chatter work headlights - hawthorn connected with holly dowels front axle - hawthorn/holly exhaust (steering mechanism) - hawthorn steering wheel - pear I think, with hawthorn column seat - sycamore

The driver is made from:-
body - elm
legs and feet - cherry
head - hornbeam
hat - sweet chestnut
hands - hawthorn
arms - shoe lace

various connecting dowels - hawthorn

Pieces are joined by either just glue or dowels and glue.
All pieces were buffed before fitting but no wax or any other finish has been used.

As can be seen from the video:-
the front wheels are steered using the exhaust, the steering wheel turns (but is independent of the wheels), the driver's head turns (a full 360 degrees :shock: )

Age range? I reckon my nephews and niece aged 3/4 should be ok with it but I'll say 5 and upwards to be safe.

the marks in the end grain of the ash run through the wood and aren't heat checks!

A video can be seen

The design for this comes from
here they have it with a
trailor - I just ran out of time.





Established Member
21 Jan 2011
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The green and wetter end of the M4.
oh well, here goes.
in case its not obvious - its a car :mrgreen:
for children 6 to 60.
about 6 inches longish.
body and axles made from mahogany (or similar?), wheels from beech, pilot from mahogany and oak.
all finished with a few coats of cellulose sanding sealer (it says toy safe on the tin)


(MK2) body drilled for axles and pilot seat while still 2x2 square stock (as i found out on the MK1 i cant drill cleanly through a cylinder :evil: ) then turned and finished.

axles turned to 10mm dia. slotted through body, centre marked through 3mm hole and then remounted on lathe and centre reduced a mm or two to accept spigot fixed through said hole to keep axles centralised.

3mm dia 'post' turned BC snug fit in hole and glue applied to final mm, chisel of excess, sand and finish.

wooden car detail1.JPG

wheels turned as a cylinder, parted off x 4, drilled and mounted on pen mandrell to mark the 'tyre' rim then finished. push fit on axles.

pilots head turned BC with spigot left for neck. mounted in jacobs chuck and finished. body done on faceplate with hole bored for neck to go in, finished, parted and cut at angle on bandsaw. assembled and glued.

the pilot has an angled bottom so he can lean in different directions, leaning forward for speed, backwards for a relaxing tour de carpet :)
wooden car sans pilot.JPG

wooden car front.JPG

ribbon and stuck on welsh dragon come as optional extras to give illusion of motion and a little flair :)
rolls along nicely and has a removable pilot as buster demonstrates in this short video...http://youtu.be/-f7RcIdBHR8. :oops:

confession: one of the wheels is slightly off centre :( so a new set will be in the making.

this was a great challenge, tested my patience and ingenuity and its taking its pride of place in the display cabinet! (okay - the shelf behind the telly with all me bits on :) ) I'm quite chuffed with it :mrgreen:



Established Member
4 Oct 2009
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Acme Alberta Canada
A log hauling truck for the grandson. Made out of maple and black walnut. First I glued a maple block( the cab) to one end of A piece of black walnut 2 1/2" x 10" and another block of scrap to the other end. Then I drilled the holes for the axles and the 'window' and the mounted this between centers. This is how I rounded the top of the cab and the bottom of the chassis. I then cut the scrap block off and used the edge sander to clean up the back of the truck bed and the front of the cab. I glued 6 pieces of black walnut 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" x7/8" together and used them to make the tires. I turned this block to 1 7/8" diameter and then used a 7/8" forstner mounted in the tailstock to drill the recess and to support the wheel when I parted it off. I had cut the treads in with a spear point scraper first. I turned the axles and the uprights to 5/16" because I had a sharp bit handy and the top rails are 5/8". I sprayed everything with Laqvin a water based lacquer before putting it together, and the only coloring is inside the axles which I did with a black Sharpie. I like to put metal washers in between the wheels and chassis of any toy I make so that is the only metal.The logs are just scraps of maple turned and rough sanded to simulate bark and I tried to duplicate the bottom cut of felled tree on them as well. A lot of fun this was! Overall size 10"Lx4"Wx5"H.



Established Member
7 May 2011
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Irvine, Ayrshire
Here is my entry for October.

Its a push pull rattle toy for say 1 - 3 years, i made this cause i remember getting something similar for my own daughters many years ago.

I did enjoy making this because it presented me with a few more challenges that i have'nt done up to now, first glue-up, first multiple parts.

Mostly made from oak with a bit of sycamore in there, lots of spindle turning, finish is mineral oil.

Video Link http://youtu.be/L5xUrGMq56s


Wood spoiler

Established Member
7 Sep 2010
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Rural North Hampshire
My contribution is inspired by my youth and I remember having a game called Battling Tops for other sad soul's the advertising strapline was "it's all in the wrist action".

The game I have made is a development of the simple spinning top I saw on fleabay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Traditional-W ... 519969fb85

My "design brief" for the project was to create a "playground toy" (mind you knowing the 'elf n safety - probably wouldn't get anywhere near a playground in this day and age!). It had to be robust to be fit for purpose and each persons set had to be identifiable both in the hand and in action.

I have made 4 top launchers out of sycamore and then 4 tops. The launchers I have looked to make attractive robust and at the same time personalised to tie in to the matching top. The lower (hand) side of the launcher has a corresponding banding to it's top. The No band plain top I individualised by it having a Rosewood Stem as opposed to the other 3 that are in Walnut
My thought on that was like a Playing card Ace is just a bit different. When spinning it can be clearly seen which Top is Which to know whose top is winning (back to the golden age when you were allowed to have winners and losers!)

The final element is the "Arena" which is not overly apparent from the photo but is a large dish high at the edge dropping to the centre. it is made of Sapele and is 12" Diameter

It has all be sealed with Hard Wax to hopefully make it child proof and buffed to try to get a bit of a shine.

To accomodate accidents with brittle string I made an extra launcher cord which is attached to balls turned in Cherry wood

Although pitched at primary school age children have to say it went down a storm in the office and none of us will see 40 again!

Video Links
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptbbghXr ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF-Olsrl ... e=youtu.be



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UKW Supporter
19 Mar 2007
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Ex nr Carcassonne, S France. Now NW Wilts, UK
Well here is my twopennith for October..

This months challenge is one that I have been looking forward to because making toys is how I originally started into my wood adventure. My tractor/trailer has been shown on here before, but for me it is the lovliest toy I have ever made and it was a real journey into the unknown. To turn beech firewood into a toy. Apart from the rails on the trailer, which are turned bamboo, and the 2” piece of nylon cord that secures the towing pin, everything is beech. There are no metal or plastic parts at all.

Everything apart from the tractor and the trailer beds and the trailer suspension have been turned. The wonderful original plans were modified in part to make things like the trailer coupling both more realistic and stronger. All of the round bits, steering wheel and fly wheel included are free to revolve and the steering is operated by the chimney stack. The axels were turned with the shaft facing away from the chuck to ensure a correct fit for the wheels. Once that was done I fitted them nto a custom made pinch chuck to hold the axel so that I could turn the hub cap. A little time consuming but it made sure that the wheels would rotate correctly without being tight or too loose. I put some candle wax on the axle where the wheel sits too to make sure that they wil continue to rotate freely.

Finished in Danish oil. Age range from 6 years to pension..

Overall length 15 1/2”, height of exaust 6”, beech, bamboo and 2” of 2mm nylon cord.

So far I have made 3 of them and I may well feel another comming on :shock:


Established Member
28 Feb 2009
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Nottinghamshire UK
This is based on one of my (and my Dad,s) favorite toys when I was a kid, a Mannond Steam Engine.
This was made from ash the only pieces not to go on the lathe was the axel for the front wheels and the two small blocks to support spindle for the flywheel. The main body was turned from one single piece, The funnel goes all the way through the body and steers the front wheels and an elastic band from the rear wheel to the fly wheel causes the flywheel to turn when pushed. Coloured with chestnut stain and finished in foodsafe oil. overall dimensions approx 9" long 8" tall and 4" wide.
The hardest thing with this project was not to get carried away I was going to start making pistons and was thinking what I could use for piping but told myself this is a toy to be used and not a model so left things simple. I think this should be suitable for all age groups possibly remove the band for the very young as this is the only small part that comes off.


Hudson Carpentry

Established Member
4 Nov 2010
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Nottingham, UK
My entry is a push along wobbling animal to which I (or we as its name is part of a joke) call it a Chicken Duck.

The body is made from Ash, the head and tail Iroko, wheels Oak and Ash and handle knob is Beech.

All turned between centres or in the OD jaws. It was all off cuts or pieces of spigots I had laying around. The wheels are the spigot from last months vase. The dowel is standard shop brought 12mm and 6mm.

Tools used are large gouge, skew and parting tool. Sanded too 240g and finished with kid safe danish oil.


Apologises for the picture quality. For speed I used my phone. The detail picture is of the tail. I had to curve in the tail around the spigot to make sure the tail and body marry with out a large gap.



Established Member
10 Sep 2010
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Kirkcaldy, Fife
My entry this month is a put-it-together clown.

I didn`t follow a plan, just sketched it out and made it up as i went along. It`s made from beech and painted with non-toxic acrylics and sealed with acrylic lacquer. As it`s a child`s toy, I figured it would be more appealing in bright colours. You can`t have a brown clown!
Height is 25cm and maximum width (at the feet) is 13cm, giving a stable base.
It`s designed to be suitable for a child aged 4-6 years of age as an educational toy, in that it has to be assembled in the correct order, taking account of colours and sizes of the various parts.
All parts are turned. Those which fit on the centre column were turned on a wooden mandrel of the appropriate thickness. The feet and arms were split turned using paper joints which were then separated to yield matching pairs.
It took much longer than I`d intended when I started out!



You can see the video clip here:



Established Member
2 Oct 2010
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Braintree, Essex
Made from old fence posts.... all went very wrong... hate my entry...... nightmare posting pictures hence race against clock
but it's a point!!!

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