This is a wooden toy car that I made for my son, and it has an interesting design feature. This car will always roll, whether the car is upside down or right side up. The trick is to make the body of the car smaller than the placement of the wheels.
In this picture you can see the body size in relation to the wheels. This little car is only about six inches long, and it has store bought Maple wheels that are about two inches in diameter.
The reason the car works like it does and still rolls when upside down is that the body does not stick out past the wheels. As long as you design your body to fit the same way, it won’t matter how many times the kid flips over the car, it will still be fun to play with.
The design is completely personal, and these wheels can be purchased in a number of diameters ad styles. As long as the body is built to fit within the wheels, the wooden toy car will be easy for kids to use.
This is a perfect project for a nice scrap of wood that has some sentimental value. In this case, my son’s car is made from a piece of Mahogany that I kept around from the first acoustic guitar that I ever made. This piece was special to me, and now it will be special to him as well.
After shaping the body, which for wooden toys the simpler the design the better, drill holes for the axles. Drill them deep enough for the peg plus a little room for glue. The peg will drive the glue into the bottom as it coats the sides of the hole, and the wheels on the car will be very secure.
The axles can also be pinned from the bottom with another dowel of a smaller diameter by drilling through the body and inserting another dowel and glue. This extra dowel will hold the axle in place even if the glue somehow breaks. It is not necessary, however a little extra safety never hurts when making kids toys.
Finish the toy with a kid safe finish like Mineral Oil and Beeswax, or leave the piece raw. Kids tend to beat the heck out of these wooden toy cars anyway, so many times a finish does not last very long.
Let me know what you think about my little car by leaving a comment.
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