Monday, May 18, 2015


Above, Elizabeth stamps The Toycrafter name on the bottom of each car.  For years our cars and lots of other toys were labeled with simple rubber stamps.  I still have a rack of the rubber stamps in our current shop.  I'm not sure if we were stamping the year and make of the car on the bottom at this point.
All of the cars, trains, etc. were dipped in a mineral oil finish to make them look nicer without adding any "toxic" finish.  At this point in time we were very focused on keeping our toys all wood, with no paint.  We took all the finished  toys inside our house to a little upstairs bedroom for the mineral oil dip!  I love this picture because you can so clearly see what a huge difference the mineral oil finish made in the look of the toys.  We used pharmaceutical grade mineral oil, and used to joke that if a kid ate the toy, the mineral oil would just help the wood through their system!  The disadvantage of the mineral oil was that it never dries, so over time, any dust settling on our toys on a store shelf formed sort of a gummy layer?  Another disadvantage we discovered was that if we wrapped our toys in newspaper - which we did one time - the mineral oil would dissolve the ink, and you could actually read some of the print on the side of our toys.  This was one of the quality lessons learned from Harmony In Wood when they shipped back a whole box of lovely custom made animals we had created especially for them - unfortunately with little articles from the Ithaca Journal printed on the sides!  In the background you can see a plastic dish of train cars draining, and in the right front, some little toy cars.

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