It does not seem that long ago when I started working with wood. I started out like most wood workers do as a DYI'er. I realized I could make things better and nicer than what I could buy. My budget was particle board furniture that I assembled or I could buy actual lumber and assemble a sturdier cabinet. My furniture was nothing great or fancy. It was functional, simple and well built. Each new project was a new technique or skill I wanted to try. I made a lot of practical furniture that I designed.
Then I ran out of room. I literately had no more space to put furniture. I was searching the internet for some project ideas and stumbled across a series of truck plans and a train plan. I thought this would be great to make several sets and give away. I bought the plans and all the wheels for the project and started building. I figured I could make five of each over summer break for Christmas. I was a little bit ambitious but they did all eventually get completed. I did keep a couple of trucks and a train for myself for my future kids. I was not married at this point.
I would like to say this is when I dove head first into making toys but it was not. I purchased some kid play furniture plans. My wife and I built these pieces together for our family. It was a good learning experience and a growing experience for a newlywed couple. This too was a means to an end and I struggled with what's next?
Over a year I purchased and received several toy plan books. At Christmas we decided that we would let each of our nieces and nephews choose a toy out of the any of the project books. I was worried because there were several that I knew were above my skill set. I was lucky that everything chosen was difficult but not impossible. I made two of each of the toys, one for the niece/nephew and one for my future kids. I saw my nieces and nephews play with their new toys and the excitement in having something that was made just for them. That is when I became hooked.
From that point on I tried to make two of every toy: one for my family and one to give away. The joy of giving away something homemade to someone gave me the joy and encouragement to keep going.
I have learned quickly that toys are meant to be played with. I have been making toys for a while and feel it is time to use my experiences to design toys. These toys are solid and my three boys test them to their fullest destructive means. I have recommitted to make two of each of my designs: one for my kids and one made for someone special. It is my goal to bring a smile to child's face at least once each year.
I have decided to sell my plans because it is allows others to have the enjoyment of making toys and seeing the joy that comes from seeing a child play with the toy. I am continuing to design and build toys. If you are interested in buying the toys please send me a note and I will respond as soon as I can.