Wooden Toy Materials

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Catalog of wooden toys

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Building a strong  wooden toy is our top priority. We select the best pieces of wood available and inspect each piece for quality. Our trucks are composed of a variaty of woods that are purchased locally in Upstate New York. If you look closely at one of our models, you will see a large amount of clear pine usen in the chassis and body. Some of the flat thin pieces will consist of poplar or basswood boards. Larger solid pieces tend to come from spruce or fir. Wheels and detailed parts are purchased from parts suppliers. These pieces are made of hardwoods like maple and birch.


Learn about the various woods that our toys are made of

 Maple:
Example of maple wood, showing the grain detail
  
Maple leaves in the fall

Maple is a hardwood with a close-grain, very hard, fine-texture. This wood is selected for its smooth texture, uniform grain, and characteristic light color. Often there will be streaks in the wood from mineral deposits which are absorbed from soil as the tree grows.  It is used where durability is a must such as high traffic floors. The fine grain makes it an excellent choice for projects that need fine detail.

Birch:
Example of birch wood grain

birch tree leaves

A native wood of the north eastern US and Canada. Its colors range from yellow-white to cinnamon red-brown. This dense hardwood has a uniform grain with small pores. Birch has a very good resistance to shock and excellent durability. It had a strong resistance to warping and splitting. Birch can be found in tools like mallets and musical instruments such as guitar bodies and drums.

Oak:
eample of oak wood grain used in detail parts

oak tree leaves

One of the most well known woods due to its legendary strength and water resistance. The distinctive grain is course and open in red oak and more closed in the pale white oak. Oak is very dense and hard which makes it ideal for use in fine furniture, cabinets and flooring. Our toys often use oak axles. Oak is a good choice for moving parts that need to be strong.

Poplar:
the grain of poplar softwood  used in our truck beds

leaves of a poplar soft wood tree

A very colorful wood. It can appear pale yellow, brown, green and even purple. Minerals are responsible for the purple hue. Poplar's long stringy grain is generally straight and very clear. It is a softwood that is less expensive than oak, maple and other hardwoods. This wood is easy to paint due to its absorption characteristics but the grain does not look good stained. Poplar is often used for furniture interior, molding and paneling. Our toys use poplar boards for truck beds and trailer sides.

Pine:
detail of a pine board showing the grain

pine needles

A softwood found in the central east coast through the great lakes and California. Pine has a dynamic grain that can range from even and tight to heavily patterned. The wood can be smooth and clear or contain an abundance of knots. The knots can often be loose, imbedded or even cracked. Pine will yellow quickly when exposed to the sun, Thin pieces have a tendency to cup and warp. The wood is not strong enough to be used in heavy load bearing conditions but it is very versatile in the craft and furniture industry. Its soft nature makes pine easy to saw, carve and machine. Some sappy boards can be pleasantly aromatic when sawed. We use this light weight wonder wood extensively in the body and chassis of our trucks.

Spruce/Fir:
detail of douglass fir wood grain

douglass fir needles


This is the work horse of wood. Spruce/Fir is commonly found in 2X4 dimensional lumber. Its strength and stability make it ideal for framing and load bearing applications. The grain can be course to smooth and distinct. The sappy nature of this wood can wreak havoc on cutting tools. The woods low cost and ability to hold on to nails make it attractive to house builders. Because spruce and fir are cut with large cross sections, we use this wood to make the larger parts of our toys.

Basswood:
picture of the grain of basswood used in our wooden trucks

basswood leaves

Also known as American Whitewood, this wood is fairly soft, light weight and low density making it a favorite for carvers. The stable straight grain does not have strong characteristics so its wood is often found in non glamorous applications. Basswood does not bend well but its low sap content makes it a good wood to paint. Our toys use this wood for truck beds and trailer tops.




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