Sunday, April 14, 2013


I have discovered a new finish for the toys I make.  It is Shellac.  Actually I have known about it for a while and used it once.  I did not like that it was not a water based clean up and the fumes were pretty bad.  I have always stuck with the water based polyurethane.  The issue I have with the polyurethane was it was too thick to run through my air brush and had to be thinned.  Shellac is the perfect consistency.  I used shellac to finish the two trucks.  It also gives the lighter wood a little bit of an amber hue. 

If you are wondering about the toxicity of this finish, it is non toxic after it cures.  It takes about 30 minutes to dry and and a few days to cure.  The fumes are bad and that is why I wear a respirator.  Shellac is found it lots of different places.  It is used on the coatings of pills and some candies.  Over time the shellac will increase in hardness and durability.

I have always avoided it because it is a pain to clean up.  In water based finishes I would put the air brush in water and wait for the parts to dry and sand then put on the second coat.  With shellac I am cleaning the air brush while the parts to dry just to spray them again and repeat the cleaning.  Now having the finish already at the correct consistency is worth more than the cleanup time.

Massive Semi Trucks

These are the transport truck for the construction set in the Wood Magazine series.  The other pieces that are part of the series are found here, here, here, and the crane which I cannot find on the blog.  The flat bead actually holds the other equipment for transport.  My four year old son stands on the bed and say it is transporting him.  It is roughly 40 inches long, taller than both my kids.

This is the flat bed truck.

Here is a better picture of the cab.
This is the side dump truck.  The bed is made from a 4" diameter PVC pipe, but the rest is made out of wood.

I really like the construction set that Wood Magazine is putting out.  I do not know how many vehicles they are going to do.  Every 4-6 months they seem to come out with another one to add to the set.  I am behind a skip loader and dump truck and next month they are come out with a road grader.  The set is all made out of walnut and maple.  All the vehicles are similar in design and they are build to be played with.  Nothing is really difficult with these trucks just the small parts.  This is why I am grateful to have a band saw and belt sander.