Saturday, December 24, 2005

Argh, what's in your wallet?!

Here is the Christmas toy I made for Josiah this year, it's not a doll house but a wooden castle complete with dungeon, working gate and interchangable pieces for almost limitless designs.
First I started with a single 2'x4' board of 1/4" sanded pine plywood which cost $6. After a lot of drawing, measuring and erasing came up with the following layout and was able to get all the pieces from this one board.
The hardest/ most time consuming part was cutting out all the intricate notches and doorways. A scroll saw would have been easier than the coping saw I used but the table saw did help with the initial, larger cuts. Once all the pieces were cut out, I sanded everything with 120 grit sandpaper and began assembly. A bead of wood glue with a few brads to hold it in place created a sturdy "box" configuration. Each tower has four sides and two floors and are seperate from the wall sections. This will allow a variety of layouts from square to "Great Wall" depending on your current imaginary location.
He already has the 2" plastic figures. The towers stand 9" tall and the walls are about 6" on the outside and 4" inside. Doorways are 3.5" tall to accomidate the King and his upraised sword. He also has some Playmobile guys who are a bit taller so there should be room for everybody - except the evil horde.
I debated about finishing the wood with the same walnut stain that's in the house, a red stain (think Redwall Abbey) I've used on other projects for him or blue/black/grey paint but decided to leave it unfinished so that he could decide. That'll be another father/son project.