Making toys for charity using scrap wood. Here are the 50 wood toy cars and trucks I made for Christmas charities this year. There are seven different types. I do different ones so I don’t get bored. Using a router table to round the edges is what gives the toys a finished look. Many are made by gluing baltic birch plywood together to get the desired thickness. Our club, Woodworkers of Whittier, gets scraps donated, so it is a good way to use them. Here is another post I did on making them Making Toy Cars. The club buys the wheels Here is a good place to buy wooden wheels and shapes in quantity california dowel. A hint- when drilling the 7/32nd inch axel holes, drill both holes from the same side all the way through. This keeps the wheels in the same plane, even if you end up drilling at a slight angle. If you don’t, all wheels may not touch the ground.
Here are the trucks I made from common 2×4 pine. You do have to rip a lot of 1/4″ thick slats for the beds of the trucks. Here is the post showing the plans for this simple wood toy truck.
This is how to build a simple wood toy truck made from a common 2×4 wood “framing stud”. Also can be made from scrap wood, the free Plans are included below. You find 2×4 framing lumber at any home center. Make sure you get the kiln dried (KD) one and check for straightness, the edges are not damaged, and looking at the end it is not “crowned” or it will make it impossible to cut straight pieces.
Left one is straight Right one is crowned
The wheels are 1 1/2″ birch store bought wheels with 1/4″ axles.You can get them at a craft store. I find them in bulk cheaper on ebay, Don’t forget the axel pegs. You will need a table saw or band saw to rip the pieces. If you use a table saw with a 1/8th” thick blade, you can get 2 trucks from a 20″ long piece of wood. Rip a 1 1/4″ wide piece. Move the fence 3/8″ closer to the blade and rip a 1/4″ piece and repeat. Now you have the ripped pieces for 2 trucks. See plans for dimensions of cross cuts.
Sanding is very important to end up with a nice result. This is easiest to do before assembly, I usually end using 120-150 grit. . It is important the wheel axel holes are not mounted too high or the wheels will rub the bed. Drill them all the way through.Get children involved. The truck is just glued together. A child could sand a little, help clamp the pieces, tap in the wheel axels. Have fun with it. Please email pics of ones you make, especially if they are modified. I build these for my woodworkers group charity build.