Friday, August 23, 2013

Construction Equipment

I am now caught up on all the construction equipment from the Wood Magazine series.  I just found out in the next edition of Wood Magazine there is a new front end loader coming out.  I have to say this is my favorite series.  It looks good, the parts move well, the toys look professional and best of all my kids love them.  Here they are in no particular order:

The Skip Loader:

The hands down favorite of my wife and two kids.  So popular it has been broken once already.  It is the smallest of the construction series.  The hardest part was drilling the holes through the chassis and the counter weight.

The Dump Truck:

Much more solid construction than the other two that I have built.  I like the threaded rod construction of these.  It does make the set an older kids set unless the kids are being closely watched. The tail gate does not swing open easily but that is because it does not have the wear and tear as the other toys do.  One thing that I did realize is the skip loader fits exactly into the dump truck.  I don't know if this was planned or not.

The Scraper:

It looks really neat and does what it is supposed to do.  I thought it looked really flimsy and then I saw one and it functions about the same as the toy.  The actual ones have a lot more hydraulics to them which make them a little sturdier.  This is the only toy that is not intuitive to work.  The kids still love it and it does it's job on the construction sight: scraping the ground so that it is level and then using that dirt to fill in the low spots.

These sets used a lot of 1/4" material so I was grateful to have a band saw and planer.  It saved a lot on wood.  The scraper had a fair amount of angles in it which took a little more set up time than I was used to.  All of these are made out of walnut and maple and stained in shellac. 

I also finished several tugboats (I was out) and a tone drum.  There were a lot of things that I had been working one and it feels good to have some of them finished.

On with the discovery of the sandpaper.  Uneeda gave me a couple of their sampler pads.  I am pretty sure that they were 220 grit but they were not identified.  The abrasive was white because when the abrasive wears it does not leave a colored dust on the project.  There were several things that I noticed that were different with this abrasive pad.
  • It was a softer pad than the store bought ones. This made it easier to form around curves and get a consistent sanding in small places.
  • It dusted the sealer and top coat instead of making worms (I don't know what else to call them).  I always thought the finish was suppose to clog the sand paper and form these threads of finish.  This pad actually created a fine dust.  It also did not clog.
  • The pad lasted longer.  The pad lasted though two coats of top coat for all the construction equipment, eight tug boats and a tone drum.  The pad still feels like it did before I used it.
  • I have never put on a smoother finish on pine before.
I am very pleased with how these turned out and the things I have learned.  A big thinks to Uneeda for showing me that all abrasives are not the same.

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