Toy Truck

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This combination cab-over, semi-trailer, and flatbed truck set is sure to delight any youngster. It is easy to make and well suited to limited production, such as for craft fairs.

Birch, cherry, or maple are ideal for this project which, like most toys, will probably be subjected to some fairly-rough handling. Although the truck could also be made from pine, as a softer wood, pine is easy to dent or nick and more likely to break than a hardwood.

Starting with 3/4 stock, resaw or plane down material with which to make the 1, 3/4, 1/2, Ms, and 5/16 in. thick parts. All the parts except the wheels, axles, and pivot pins can be cut either with the table saw or by hand. Take note of grain direction however, as this can be critical to achieving maximum glue strength. As you will see in the Bill of Materials, many parts for the trailer and flatbed are exactly the same.

The kerf line in the cab is made with the band saw, but can also be done by hand using a hacksaw. When drilling through the axle housings use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the 3/16 in. axle dowel stock, so the axles turn freely and do not bind. Because it is important that these axle holes are straight, if you do not have a drill press, use a drill guide. Next, drill the 1/8 in. diameter pivot pin holes in the cab base and in the trailer and flatbed bottoms. These pivot pins should be glued into the trailer and flatbed bottoms so they are not lost. Two shallow 1/4 in. diameter holes drilled into the cab front serve as headlights.
Assemble the cab, trailer, and flatbed. When mounting the twin tandem wheels on the axles, only the outer wheels are glued. The inner wheels on either side of the axle housings ride free. This simplifies assembly since glue squeeze-out into the axle housing hole could be a problem if both wheels on each side were glued.

Final sand all edges carefully. We prefer to leave toys for younger children unfinished, given the propensity youngsters seem to have for placing things in their mouths.

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