52 Create – my weekly creative output for 2011… This week has flown by! Hence the reason my Tuesday post is appearing on a Friday. Well with the wealth of cutting boards and rifle stocks as of late, I thought I should mix things up and go big. This week’s creative output is a kids wooden push bike (also called a run bike or balance bike). These seem to be all the rage lately and you can spend as much as $300 on a designer model. They are basically a kids bike without pedals, so they use their feet to push themselves along, apparently it teaches the kids excellent balance and helps them to more easily progress to a real bike without training wheels.
There are suprisingly few diy wooden bikes on the net. There is one how-to with plans out there, but that seemed far too easy for me. So I look at a ton of pictures of these bikes on google images and sketched out my own design. As usual, the wheels were the tricky part. While you can buy a brand new kids bike for $30, to buy a pair of wheels/tires/tubes will run you $90!!! I found this set at a used bike shop for $20 total, they don’t match, but my 21 month old daughter couldn’t care less… The frame is made from my favourite – baltic birch (1/2″) with a wodden dowel for handle bars. I’ve had many comments about the small seat and lack of padding, but my daughter is still in diapers so she has her own “built-in” padding. I’ll cover it with some neoprene when she is older.
After about a week of use, she is quite comfortable on it, and can go short distances on her own. I think she’s likely a bit young for it, but she goes nuts every time she sees a bike anywhere, so I figured I owed it to her…
52 Create, my weekly creative outlet for 2011. While I’m super busy with biathlon stock building, it’s hard not to make a little something for my daughter once in awhile… I had some left over maple and walnut from last week’s cutting board (which were made from left overs themselves…) So using the same lamination procedure, I glued them up and ended up with a nice little paddle, custom sized for my daughter (hopefully she doesn’t grow too much by the summer…) I’ll finish it with some left over polyuerethane, spar varnish would be better but I’m trying to use up old stuff, and she’s not going to be putting serious hours of canoeing with this thing. Can’t wait for her to try it out in a canoe, but for now I guess a chair will have to do…
52 Create – my weekly creative project for 2011. Last week I brought you the wildly popular Flat Pack Rocking Chair, which is up on my Etsy store, and getting huge traffic (don’t worry I will put up more chairs as they sell). So this week I thought I would continue on the flat pack idea and make a small stool for a toddler (ie. my daughter). Anyone with kids in the 12+ month range knows how much they love to sit on things, so why not make a little piece of furniture her size?
The stool is made out of 1/2″ baltic birch, I was going to use 3/4″ but at the last second opted for the thinner stock. I’m quite glad I did as it is still plenty strong enough (I can stand on it) and it keeps it nice and lightweight (my 18 month old daughter can lift it easily). It’s 8″ x8″ x 8″ and is just perfect for your average 18 month + child. I really like the design and may enlarge it to make some end-tables for our living room (I’d use 3/4″ and likely 16″ pieces). The entire stool collapses into a pile of wood 1/5″x8″x8″ so very easy to ship and even easier to put together (no glue, nails, screws, or tools required).
I want to tweak a few design aspects on this one before I list it on Etsy, but I think it will be a hot seller just like the Flat Pack Rocker! I’ve got a couple of commissions coming up so the next few projects may be a bit scaled back compared to the last couple of weeks, come back next week to see what’s coming out!
52 Create, my weekly creative output for 2011. I guaranteed something more ambitious this week, and here it is! I call it “For those who Like to Rock”. It’s a flat pack rocking chair made out of baltic birch plywood. It’s sized for a toddler (1.5-4 years) and assembles without and glue or screws. I’ve had several different variations of this in my many sketchbooks, and I even made a prototype a few years back, however this is a full finished product.
This rocking chair is now for sale on my Etsy Site, feel free to stop by and make a purchase….
52 Create, my year long project to create something new and home/hand made on a weekly basis throughout 2011. I’ve done several toys already, because really, making toys is fun to do, but not quite as fun as the reactions from my 17 month old daughter… I can assure you all the projects will not be toys (nor will they be all made of wood), but a good portion likely will be.
So as I was saying, many of these projects are inspired by my daughter. For some reason, she is fascinated by cell phones (mobiles). My wife hardly ever uses hers, and I don’t even have one, so where she got this fascination is beyond me. I had some scrap maple left over so I designed 4 different phones. One is the classic “original” cell phone like you saw in all those 80’s movies, the other three are variations on the “candy bar” phone. I used a wood burning pen to do the key pads, and the antennas are made from maple dowel that was burnt using a torch. I likely won’t finish them with anything as maple is a very safe wood to chew on (we do pour the sap all over pancakes…). I think I’ll put the original phone up on Etsy, not sure if I’m pleased with the wood burning on some of the others, but we’ll see.