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Great Book of Wooden Toys: More Than 50 Easy-To-Build Projects (American Woodworker) Paperback – July 1, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you're in the market to make toys for your kids or grandkids (or anyone else) this looks like a book for you." --Fine Woodworking

From the Back Cover

Great Book of Wooden Toys Build Hours of Fun for Generations to Come with these Classic Wooden Toys In today's era of mass production and plastic, there may well be no other woodworking project as rewarding to build as a wooden toy. A wooden toy gets back to the basics of handmade craftsmanship, natural and safe materials, and, best of all, good old-fashioned fun. Wooden toys are fun to build, fun to give, and fun to play with-especially the more than 50 ingenious designs in Great Book of Wooden Toys. From a powerful bulldozer to a pioneer-inspired paddleboat, Great Book of Wooden Toys includes 37 three-dimensional toys any child will love, along with 16 "pull-along" classics that are perfect for toddlers. Each project includes complete step-by-step instructions, exploded diagrams, and color photographs of each finished toy from every angle showing exactly how they fit together. Great Book of Wooden Toys includes the latest information regarding child-safe finishes and materials.
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Product Details

  • Series: American Woodworker
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing; American Woodworker edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565234316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565234314
  • 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)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my brother who enjoys woodworking as one of his favorite hobby's. He made the entire animal train set for his niece using this book. And it truely came out amazing, even through the wear and tear that a 2 year old can inflict on all her toys, her train never fails. He can't wait to try out making one of the airplanes!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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