Series: American Woodworker
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing; American Woodworker edition (July 1, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #89,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #7 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Toys & Models > Wood Toys #38 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Wood Crafts & Carving #42 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Toys & Models > Toymaking
This book is OK. Not great, not horrible, but OK. There are a lot of projects in here (they say 50) however several of them are individual cars for a train set, which I would argue are pieces of a single project and not separate projects. The stuff looks nice in some cases but the aesthetics that two of the other notable authors come up with are a bit better, namely Jim Makowicki two books and Les Neufeld book on building toy trucks, which look a bit more like pieces of art.My main complaint is that this book kind of misses the mark by making things too complex in several cases, or the drawings/templates are too small to be useful, or it makes the toys so simple you don't really need this book to help you. I doubt I'll make any projects from this book.Like I said, try Makowicki or Neufeld, they have cooler projects, better step-by-step, and nicer drawings. Plus, the toys look way cooler.
I've been building toys from this book for over fifteen years and find the plans clear and easy to follow. The author has plans for cars, construction vehicles, airplanes, boats and trains. All the toys can be made with common pine found at one of the building supply houses. I have not had any trouble interpreting the drawings or instructions. I like that most of the lumber required can be glued up from stock sizes from the store.
i just started using this book, building the crane. It is a nice looking toy but the plans are crap. Dimensions are inconsistent between the text and the drawings, the center lines of some holes have only one edge dimension so you have to try to deduce where the hole needs to be placed, he specifies a 1/4" eye bolt which is way too big for what is intended and would not fit inside the cab- a #8 is what it should be. Though the chassis dimensions are given you are not shown which is top or side (the sketch is not to scale) is so I of course drilled the axle holes going the wrong way so had to redo it. One reviewer recommended that the editors need to have some workers attempt to make the toys following the directions exactly as written - and excellent idea that would have discovered these errors prior to going to print.
The plans and details were inconsistent. The scale on one page is not consistent with the other pages of the same plan; therefore, difficulty arises in enlarging the plans on a copier for those of us that are artistically challenged. I buy plans because I cannot draw. The Paddle Wheel Boat is a good example. Also, plans were difficult to follow because one is continually flipping pages trying to understand the plans and some of the terminology. The book needs to be more simplistic. Also, the book needs to go back to the author or editor for review. I suggest that they build every model in this book using only the directions given for 8-hours daily, 6-days per week for one year. Then they might begin to understand some of the issues presented. Lastly, according to the above rating system the lowest I can give this book is 1-star which implies I hate it. I don't hate the book. I believe it coud be a better or even a great book if more thought was put into it. Next time, try the KIS theory. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
While I like the projects in this book, the plans leave a LOT to be desired. I muddled through the biplane only because I have some decent math skills and a woodworking background. The written plans themselves left out some important detail and the measurements were, for some pieces, non existent. Keep in mind, I have only built the biplane so I am only speaking about that plan. Like I said, if you have the math skills to determine your own scale and an eye to GUESS at some of the measurements, then it is a fun project. I rarely use plans for things I build, so this wasn't new to me, but when I buy a book with plans, I expect them to be fairly accurate and complete. This was not.
Just as described. It's a book of projects and plans to build classic toys from wood. It's well written and organized, simple and down to earth. There are plenty of pictures, diagrams and plans. If you need inspiration and plans to build simple, straightforward "old style" toys for gifts, sale or collectors, this will be a great start.
This book came one day when the 4 year old grandson was here. He got it first and wanted to know when we were going to make these. When he comes, he wants to sit down and look through this book. My summer time this year will be busy making these toys. You can be sure he'll make modifications as he sees them. I can't ask for more.
I bought this as a gift for my Dad, who is a very good builder. He has had a blast building from it. He just completed the train - so many cars that it needed a special shelf built long enough to hold it! Even though the designs are basic, there are still nice details that add interest.
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