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All you Need to Know about Toys



Carolyn and I confirmed that our AGM will be held in September and that as we had both been working as President and secretary for the past four years, it was time for some new ideas and to let someone else take on those roles. We would not be retiring from the committee, just not standing for re-election in those positions.

The Fine Woodwork Association is only ever as good as the members involved, and especially those who volunteer on the committees to help run these meetings, workshops, and exhibitions throughout the year.

So, if you feel you have something to contribute to the way we work, please do not hesitate to contact Carolyn, myself, or any of our committee members to talk about it.

Pull along Toys presentation

Jim O’Neil was our first presenter and what a great start to the evening, he explained where he found his inspiration and described the building process in great detail with his slide presentation and his “how to” videos for each of the toys he had made.

Examining Toys and Toy Samples

The books he recommended and brought along were David Wakefield’s  “Animated toys in wood” and Richard Blizzard’s “More of Blizzards wooden toys” and these together with “Whirly blocks”, the “Dragon”, the “Crocodile” and the “racetrack toy” all formed part of his talk, including tips and tricks on what he had done and where some of the “design improvements” that we all seem to get, had occurred.

Presenter and Book of Toy Plans

He told us about making a “Volvo” bus from details the manufacturer had supplied and that we shouldn’t discount contacting the manufacturer as they will often help.

A really great presentation Jim,  and he asked, “What are you going to make?”

This was followed by time for a tea break.

Jarrah and History

Len Starkie had brought along a selection of Jarrah that he had for sale. This was in aid of a friend who due to his health needed to clear some of his stock, some was sold straight away, and Len donated three lengths towards our raffle prizes.

There is more available, and you should contact Len on 0408 899 852 or

Len also reminded us that the exhibition space we are using for the OOTW is the Pattern Shop, Midland Railway Workshop is in fact at Midland Junction, and its name changed to just Midland in 1961.

Len has family connections to the workshops which sounds like an interesting subject for another talk?

Random Evening Events

Barry Viner was closest to the price of the chisels and was pleased with his prize. This was a great night for prizes as a total of four members went home happy for the price of a raffle ticket.

Perth Kids Shed

Tracy Laid was our next presenter and gave us a better insight as to what she found were the most successful of her classes.

Perth Kids Shed Presentation
Book of Toy Plans

She said that using the children’s own imagination was great inspiration into what they liked best and has a range of small patterns which are used to make toys all made with hand tools, such as coping saws, Japanese saws and found some of the more traditional toys engaged the children for longer, especially something that they had made themselves.

Things like, bears or sheep templates with holes so that they could be covered in wool, scrap wood dinosaurs, templates for animals, all super chunky, a simple fishing game or even a spinning top, these were the things that they asked to make. They also preferred items that were left as natural wood and did not need painting.

Her floating paddle steamer and catapult were popular courses as they both used elastic to make them work.

The books she recommended were the same as Jim’s plus “Wooden Toy Spacecraft” by Gonzalo Ferreyra all available from Boffins Books.

Trucks, Cars, and Tractors

Neal Bennett brought along some of his models to our last meeting at LMCS and we asked him to come along and  show us how they had been made.

His first truck followed a design that Robyn had shown us that the scroll saw group used, but with a bit of research he soon found vehicles that he liked better.

Neil Bennett and a Sample of Toys

Needing to get away from the imperial dimensions, Neil found he was soon producing his own technical drawings for all the models he was making, complete with cutting lists.

He found that PVA glue really was not suitable and preferred to use Polyurethane in its place, his preferred finish was a hard wax oil and would often apply up to four coats to get the finish he wanted.

If you would like a complete set of plans, please email the Association's Secretary.

Big Boys Toys

Now you all know that Marin cannot resist a challenge, and therefore brought along his model cars to show us all the other things he does in his spare time(?).

He brought along his first car, that was capable of 120k/h plus, and said that he soon moved on to build a detailed and upgraded dune buggy.

He kindly sent through these details.

All are 4-wheel drive. The super quick one was a WLtoys  124017 A$160 ish complete with transmitter and free shipping from AliExpress. All that is needed is 4AA batteries for the transmitter.

Martin with Model Cars

The Desert buggy built from parts was a WLtoys  124016 as a complete ready built kit it is a similar price to the above. BUT building it from parts is more expensive.

All spares and upgrade parts for the two WLtoys are cheap as chips from AliExpress.

The big crawler was a Cross RC EMO AT4

It is in a totally different league and price bracket. A$700+ Its available as a kit to build and paint yourself or as a complete ready to roll model.

I might need to have a go at making a wooden body for crawler!!


“Animated toys in wood”, “More of Blizzards wooden toys”, and “Wooden Toy Spacecraft” are readily available from Boffins Books, 88 William Street, Perth -

Wheels and tyres for all the toys and spinning tops were available from “Wooden Bits and Bobs” and the link is -

Tracy’s Site with lots of information is “Perth Kids Shed” -

Martin suggested - Oh and while I was looking on AliExpress for prices of the cars, I also had a look for wooden toy wheels.

Check this out -

What a great night! I am sure even if you did not win a prize, you will have gone home with lots of ideas as to what you can make next.

I quite fancy making one of Jim’s Dragons, but I think it will need a longer bit of string if I am going to attach it to my walker?

Melville Wood Turners

Morris Buzzacott Reserve
51 Williamson Rd
Kardinya WA 6163