Friday, May 1, 2015

Patterns were an essential part of toy making back in the days before computer controlled routers and lasers!

Here is a picture of the patterns for three of our early toys. On the left, the body and the wing of our airplane.  A hallmark of many of our  early designs was conveying as much of the essence of a toy with as little detail as possible.  Adding a propeller would have added a lot more work without adding a lot to the "airplane-ness" of the toy.  Not to mention that most any propeller was likely to be the very first thing to break!  Later, I'll probably post about our even earlier helicopter design - it had a rotor, but how can you convey essence of helicopter without a rotor?  Lower right, the pattern for our ever popular climbing bear, who will undoubtedly get his own post later on, along with his cousin, the flying butterfly, and another epic failure - the inflating dollar?  Upper right - the ever simple plywood pattern for the Rolls Royce - subject of this mini-series of blog posts.  Below, my hands using a very simple tool - a pencil - to draw around the pattern for the shape, and four holes - two axle holes, a hole to locate and hold the  spare tire, and a larger 1" hole that will be the window!  This is a particularly nice large piece of door scrap, that will yield 4 complete cars, plus some leftover pieces that will go into the shop wood stove to keep us warm while working.  Since I think these pictures were taken in April, these scraps will probably not be used to boil down some of our maple sap into most delicious Maple Syrup.  That probably happened back in March?  A large galvanized tub sitting on some cement blocks in the driveway, with a nice roaring fire of toy scraps underneath!  We had maybe 4 or 5 medium sized sugar maples on our little 1.6 acre homestead, and boy was that home boiled syrup great!  On a side note, our little house was also heated with wood scraps, and the pancakes that were needed to be put underneath the syrup, was most usually made with flour we hand ground.  The Mother Earth Catalog was the Google of the day, and the source of a lot of what seem now like sort of hair brained ideas!  That might have been the source for the recipe for some cookies we made one day from yogurt, stone ground flour, nuts, and a lot of other organic and natural materials that we mixed up and baked into probably the worst tasting batch of healthy cookies ever created!
Tomorrow some pictures of Elizabeth band-sawing along those lines to begin the process of shaping a Rolls Royce!

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