Friday, April 22, 2016

Prototype Verses Comission

Lately I have been making two prototypes of each of my designs.  One will go to my kids and the other will be donated to a local toy drive.  All my prototypes are made from poplar without exception.  My wife is not fond of the wood and all the color variation in the species but the price cannot be beaten.  I could sell the prototypes at a discounted price, however, I don't make the toys for profit. I make them because I like to design and seeing kids happy. The business is to support the hobby.  That being said, I do get requests to make toys for people.  These toys are not prototypes and I am comfortable with the prices that I charge.  I am even told that I still don't charge enough.  The toys that I make for others are how I envision I would make the toy.  The car carrier is a good example.  I was asked recently to make two more for commission. 
 The first main difference between a commission project and a prototype is the choice of wood.  My base woods are always maple and walnut.  I love the contrast and they are relatively clean and stable.  I thought the truck needed some detail to break up the solid side so I added the pin striping.  I liked how it came out so I did the same on the pick up truck.  I also added fuel tanks on the cab.  It is a little bit of detail that added a lot.  The sedan had to be dark so walnut was the obvious choice for that car.  The sports car had to be two toned; black and red.  It was made out of cherry and walnut.  The beetle needed character.  The standard wood tones would not have worked so I purchased purple heart.  Yes it is purple with no stain.  I was going back and forth between purple and yellow hear and I remember how much of a pain it is to work with the material.

I take the commission jobs seriously and try to add my little touches to it.  The drawings will not call out the pin striping or the wood species.  I also like to have contrasting woods.  I would expect that people who use my plans would make the project their own.  I have learned that most plans are general guidelines that can have a personal touch added.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

First Demonstration

The woodworking association that I am in is going to be at Peterman lumber on April 23,2016 from about 7:00-2:00.  We will probably be most active between 8:00 and noon.  We will be doing demonstrations and selling some of the things that we have made. Details of what who will be there and what demonstrations has not all been flushed out yet.  I will have some of my things for sale and a couple of items displayed.  Please stop by.
These are the items I will be selling:
Kid stool
Kid rocking chair
Rubber band guns
Cherry picker
Flat bed truck
Giant Jenga

Peterman is located in Fontana

Hope to see you there!