J. KAY and C. T. WHITE
THEIR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
SOME OF THE TOYS BEING USED IN A DAY NURSERY
THEIR DESIGN AND
J. KAY and C. T. WHITE
IN LINE AND HALF-TONE
CHAS. A. BENNETT CO., INC.
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN
SOME OF THE TOYS BEING USED IN A DAY NURSERY . . frontispiece
PLATES I VIII Facing 8
DRESSER WITH DOORS PIVOTED
CRADLE AND COT
WHEELED HORSE AND ROCKING HORSE
ROCKER AND STEPPED SLIDE
CLIMBING FRAME WITH SLIDE. SEE-SAW
STREAM-LINED LOCOMOTIVE. ROCKING DUCK
WHEELBARROW AND ENGINE
PEG-TRAIN SET 14
SIMPLE RAILWAY STATION 16
SMALL BOATS 18
SMALL LORRIES 20
SIMPLE SENSE-TRAINING APPARATUS 24
FLAT TROLLEY 26
FUN BOAT 34
DUCK BOAT 36
FLYING DUCK 38
SMALL ROCKING HORSE 42
DOLL'S HOUSE 44
DOLL'S HOUSE: DINING-ROOM SUITE 48
DOLL'S HOUSE: BEDROOM SUITE 50
DOLL'S HOUSE: KITCHEN FURNITURE 52
MARIONETTE THEATRE 54
GLOVE-PUPPET THEATRE 56
CONTENT S continued
MODEL THEATRE 58
SCENERY FOR MODEL THEATRE .... .60
WHEELS: THEIR MAKING AND FIXING 64
BREN-GUN CARRIER 70
DUCK CART AND BRICKS .72
ELEPHANT AND CART 74
TIP LORRY 76
BREAKDOWN AND G.P. LORRIES 78
HORSE ON WHEELS 84
SACK TRUCK 86
DOG ON WHEELS 90
NOAH'S ARK 92
STREAM-LINED LOCOMOTIVE 98
SMALL SWING 104
METAL SWING 106
WAREHOUSE TROLLEY NO
LONG SWING 112
TUBULAR ROCKER 1 14
SMALL SLIDE . . . . . ||6
CLIMBING FRAME AND SLIDE 118
GENERAL HINTS 122
This book had its genesis in a number of designs prepared by the authors for use in
London handicraft centres. The initial aim was threefold. At a time when little but
salvaged timber was available it was hoped that the designs would provide a basis for
a scheme of craft training which would include most of the common tool and constructional
operations, there was urgent need for the provision of toys and equipment for the large
number of nurseries which were being opened, and it seemed desirable that as much as
possible of the material salvaged from bombed schools and other buildings should be con-
verted to some useful purpose. The designs proved immediately popular with teachers
and pupils, both of whom found fresh enthusiasm in the new line of work and satisfaction in
feeling that they were making some real and valuable contribution to the national effort.
Further designs were prepared and a steady stream of toys flowed into the nurseries. It
is hoped that a similar stimulation will be given to the production of toys and the equipping
of nurseries in other parts of the country by the production of the designs in book
A good toy should make an instinctive appeal to a child. It should be suitable to his
age and development, attractive in form and colour, strong in construction and devoid of
sharp edges and dangerous projections. With these qualities it should, wherever possible,
combine movement in some form or other. These are the basic requirements of any
good toy. But while toys should be so attractive that children immediately wish to play
with them, amusement ought not to be regarded as their sole purpose. Properly con-
structed they are a valuable means of furthering the child's mental and physical develop-
ment. A few examples may help to illustrate this. The large building bricks on Page 22
provide an opportunity for the exercise of creative ability ; judgment and muscle sense are
developed by the use of the hammer peg board, while manipulative skill and an appreciation
of shape and size are developed by the use of the posting box, insets and peg shapes on
Page 24. The climbing frame and chute on Page 1 18 provide an incentive for the child to
stretch and exercise his arms and shoulders by pulling himself upwards ; the slide down the
chute provides a pleasing thrill as a reward for his effort but it also develops his confidence
and accustoms him to ignore little shocks and bumps. So, too, the provision of a central
bar on the rocker on Page 1 14 is intended to compel similar stretching and pulling. Two
bars, one nearer each seat, might have been provided so that the children could sit upright,
but this arrangement would have eliminated very largely the need to stretch the arms
and shoulders and legs. Where a nursery is to be equipped with a number of duck carts
(Page 72) it is suggested that these and their bricks should be painted in distinctive colours.
The bricks may then be heaped on the floor and each child encouraged to collect the
INTRODUCTIO N continued
bricks similar in colour to its cart. The children are thus provided with an enjoyable
game and, at the same time, a useful colour-training exercise.
Mention has been made of the conversion of salvage into useful toys. It might be
helpful to point out a few examples of what has been done in this direction. The metal
swing, the tubular rocker, the warehouse trolley and the long swing were designed to be
constructed from the damaged tubular frames of nursery beds. The seats of broken
Windsor chairs became the seats of the rocker and the swing. Broken " bent-wood "
chairs were converted into sack carts and used for the legs of the " Tishy " horse on
Page 40. Dumb-bells, now frowned upon for physical training, each made two very useful
broad wheels for the warehouse trolley. Short ends of tubing from the rest beds were
used as bushes for wheels, as axles and as distance pieces on the metal swing. By the
exercise of a little inventiveness and ingenuity much broken and disused apparatus may be
converted into useful toys for the nursery.
Reference to the various designs will show that where animal forms are included in a
toy little attempt at realism has been made. To most children a simple shape and good
proportion, as in the rocking horse on Page 42, are much more pleasing than any attempt
at realism, however successful. Simple forms have, therefore, been used throughout
except in the animals for the Ark on Page 94, which it was felt should receive more
Throughout the book the descriptive matter has been kept opposite its illustrations
and the latter have, as far as possible, been made self-explanatory. The designs have been
prepared for workers with widely varying degrees of experience and craftsmanship.
The expert will need little more than the suggestions contained in the drawings ; the
inexperienced worker, however, before commencing the construction of any toy, is
advised to read the text carefully and study the illustrations until he has a clear mental
picture of all the operations involved. Only then should he commence the actual con-
struction. By following this advice he may be saved much disappointment and waste of
time and material. Whether, therefore, he be the boy working in the school handicraft
room, the home craftsman satisfying an urge to construct by making toys for his children,
or the expert " in the trade," the user of this book may follow its suggestions with
confidence. The toys have been tried out in a large number of nurseries and the methods
of construction thoroughly tested.
PLATE I. DRESSER WITH DOORS PIVOTED
PLATE II. CRADLE AND COT
PLATE III. WHEELED HORSE AND ROCKING HORSE
PLATE IV. ROCKER AND STEPPED SLIDE
PLATE V. CLIMBING FRAME WITH SLIDE. SEE-SAW
PLATE VI. METAL SWING
PLATE VII. STREAM-LINED LOCOMOTIVE. ROCKING DUCK
PLATE VIII. WHEELBARROW AND ENGINE
THEIR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
A well-fitting joint depends upon careful preparation of the timber, accurate
marking out with thin pencil and cut lines, the proper use of the try square
and gauges, careful cutting with saw and chisel on the waste-wood side of lines,
and the retention of the timber in one piece as long as possible. To lessen
possibility of error it is advisable to mark, with a " W " or other mark, the
" waste " or timber to be removed.
Below are set out brief instructions for making the joints suggested for the
toys described in this book.
BUTT JOINT (Fig. I). The ends are cut accurately square in both directions, then
glued and nailed. Note that into end grain the nails should be driven obliquely.
HOUSING OR GROOVING JOINT (Fig. I). Using a try square make two knife-cuts
across the side to be grooved. Carry these across the edges. Set the marking gauge
to the required depth (usually from ^" to ") and mark lines on each edge between the
knife-cuts. With tenon saw close to cut line and on waste side of it saw down
to gauge marks. Finally with sharp chisel, and working from both edges, cut out the
CROSS HALVING JOINT (Fig. 2). Mark out width of material with cut lines. From
face side gauge centre line on both edges between cut lines. On waste side of lines saw
down to gauge lines. With sharp chisel and working from both edges cut out waste
wood. Fit pieces together and glue or screw if required.
ANGLE HALVING JOINT (Fig. 3). Prepare each piece by squaring a line round the
end equal to the width of the material. Cut the shoulder lines with a knife. Gauge
the centre lines. With piece held in vice, saw on the waste side of the gauge line down
to level of shoulder. Saw shoulder with timber held on bench hook, then fit together.
TEE HALVING JOINT (Fig. 3). Cut one piece as for Cross Halving and other as for
Angle Halving joint.
TtE BRIDLE JOINT (Fig. 4). Using a mortice gauge mark out both pieces as in Fig. 4
The distance between the teeth of the gauge should be one-third thickness of material.
A single-tooth marking gauge can be used if one set of lines is made from the face side
and then the stock of the gauge is moved forward the required distance for the second
set. Remove waste with saw and chisel (Fig. 4) and fit together.
ANGLE BRIDLE JOINT (Fig. 5). This joint is also known as an Open Slot Mortice
and Tenon joint. As will be seen from Figs. 4 and 5 both pieces are set out similar to
one of the pieces in the previous joint. Both are sawn vertically, one inside and the
other outside the gauge lines.
(Continued on Page 12)
GROOVING OR HOUSING JOINT
JOINT COMPLLTLD AW05LPARATID
TEE HALVING FlG 3 ANGLE HALVIttG
TCE BRIDLE Fl<i 4:
ANGLE BRIDLt Fit
JOINT S continued
MORTICE AND TENON JOINT (Fig. I). Notice similarity of setting out with that
of Tee Bridle joint. Mark out round the mortice piece with pencil lines, and the tenon
with cut lines. Set a mortice gauge to the width of the chisel nearest to one-third the
thickness of the material. Gauge both pieces from the face sides, then cut the mortice from
both sides of material. Start in the centre and cut back towards each end of the mortice.
Cut wedge-ways about two-thirds depth of mortice. When cutting the tenon make
the vertical cuts first, close up to the gauge lines and on the waste-wood side of them.
Cut both shoulders. From a piece of hardwood the same thickness as the tenon cut
two wedges a little longer than the tenon. Fit the joint and glue both mortice and tenon.
Glue wedges and drive in with blows on each alternately.
CORNER OR HAUNCHED MORTICE AND TENON JOINT (Fig. 2). In this joint
the tenon does not go through the morticed piece ; mortice and tenon are cut to
about three-quarters of width of material. The tenon is cut two-thirds the width of
the material but has a shoulder or " haunch " left on it of \ H or |" depending upon the
size of the material. Cut the tenon as described above, then make the haunch. Fit
and glue joint, then put screw through as in Fig. 2.
DOVETAIL HALVING JOINT (Fig. 3). Mark out " tail " on end of one piece as
in Fig. 3. The angle suggested is 1:7. See small sketch, Fig. 3. This angle varies
between I : 6 for soft wood and I : 8 for hardwood. First make the vertical saw-cuts
and then the shoulder cuts. Place tail in position on second piece and mark with pencil.
Cut and remove waste as with Cross Halving joint.
COMMON DOVETAIL JOINT (Fig. 4). Square ends of pieces and mark out " pins."
The amount of waste should equal the amount of timber left in the pins. Cut and clean
out the waste and, with an awl or fine pencil, mark out the sockets. When sawing the
sockets it is essential to keep the saw close to the line and on the waste-wood side of it.
A sketch is given for making a handy template in wood or brass for the quick marking
out of dovetails.
TONGUE AND GROOVE JOINT (Fig. 5). Mark out both pieces with cut lines as
in Fig. 5. Saw, chisel, and fit joint and when completed glue and nail together.
MITRE JOINTS (Fig. 6). There are two easy ways of cutting this joint. The first
is by drawing squares on the ends of the pieces and cutting along the diagonals. This
method is often adopted where the pieces to be mitred are flat. The second is by means
of a mitre block. This consists of a piece of 2" x 2" section material screwed along a
base-board 5" or 6" wide and having cuts at angles of 45 across the top and carried
vertically down to the base (Fig. 6). Flat or moulded pieces may be cut with this block.
MORTICE & TENOtt
DOVETAIL HALVING Fli 5
COMMON DOVETAIL fk<l 4-
OUT FROM DOVETAIL
TOMCUt & GROOVE TlG
This little train set is both pleasing and satisfying to small children. The set
is articulated and, although few examples of trucks are illustrated, many more
will suggest themselves. Two points are of special importance : the coupling
should be of $" plywood and should fit easily over the peg, and it should be
let in and screwed under the body of the truck (Figs. 2 and 3).
ENGINE (Fig. I). Prepare a base 8" x 1\ n x * and cut one end as in Fig. 6. Bore
a f hole and glue in a T length of |* dowel. Shape the boiler 2|* x l|* x IJ*. A
chamfer f* x f Is put on the long top edges (Fig. I). Now bore |" and " holes in top
for stack and valve and glue in short lengths of dowel. Make the cab 1\" x 2\" x l*
and round-off the top. For the tender cut a piece 2|" x 2V X !* Clean up all pieces
and glue and screw to base.
COAL TRUCK (Fig. 2). Prepare piece 6|* x 2" x \. Cut one end as Fig. 6 and
on the other end glue and screw a plywood coupling as Fig. 7. For the body cut two
sides 5f x \\" X T V and two ends 2" x \\" X ^*. Cut tongue and groove joints
(Fig. 2). Glue and pin together. Clean up base and body and screw together.
MEAT VAN (Fig. 3). Prepare a base as coal truck, and a block 5|" x 2$' x \%. Put
a |* x I* chamfer on long top edges of block, then screw to base.
"TANKER " (Fig. 4). The base is similar to that of coal truck or meat van. From
a block 5|* x \ X \ make a cylinder with a flat side (Fig. 4). Clean up and glue
and screw to base, then glue and pin four wedge-shaped pieces to base, as in Fig. 4.
TIMBER WAGGON (Fig. 5). Cut base as above, then shape two bracket pieces. One
of these should be grooved to take the link piece as in Fig. 9. Glue and pin them to the
FINISH. As the train is for very young children, a simple painted finish in bright
colours, with no attempt at realism, is suggested.
\ /' - * - - - -*> - -
>y Ty )
i ! !
f ? ^
SIMPLE RAILWAY STATION
Like the peg-train set with which it is intended to be used this station is
strong and yet pleasing in appearance. It is constructed in six pieces a plat-
form, two block " buildings " with seat and partition between, and the
PLATFORM. Plane up a piece of deal to a finished size of I' 6" x 6" x I". Saw or
plane off the wedge-shaped pieces to form the ramps at the ends (Fig. 2). Bore and
countersink eight ^* holes for the screws to fasten " buildings " to base (Fig. 2).
BUILDINGS. These are exactly alike and are 3" x 3" x l". Cut two grooves in
one end of each to hold the seat and partition (Fig. 3). The horizontal groove is \" wide,
* deep and J* from the bottom edge of the block. The vertical groove runs centrally
from the top edge to the horizontal groove and is also \" wide and \" deep. Cut the
horizontal groove first.
SEAT AND PARTITION. The seat is 3* long by 3" wide and J" thick. The par-
tition is 3* x I* x y.
ROOF. This is I' 0" x 6" x ". Along the centre line bore and countersink four
&" holes for screws to fasten roof to " buildings " (Figs. I and 4).
ASSEMBLY. Clean up platform ready for painting and then seat and partition.
Screw or nail seat to partition. Clean " buildings " and glue and screw one in position.
Glue grooves and end of seat section, hold seat in groove and place second " building "
in position, then screw down. Lastly clean up roof, glue tops of " buildings " and
partition, and screw roof down.
FINISH by painting. Realism may be added by pasting suitable small advertisement
labels from bottles and boxes to the " buildings."
^li'^ 3" ^
Of these three small boats, two, the barge and the sailing boat, will float in the
bath or on a pond, or like the water-line model tanker they may be pushed or
pulled about the floor.
TANKER (Figs. I and 4). Set out the hull on a piece of deal 7|* x 2* x f* and with
tenon saw and chisel cut bows and stern (Fig. 2). Next cut pieces for forecastle and for
deck house and poop. Glue and pin both pieces to hull (Fig. 4). Finish off curves with
file and glasspaper. From a piece If x I" X ^s" shape bridge (Fig. 3), then glue and
pin it to deck and " deck house." Fix a f long piece of " " quarter round " to deck
and forecastle (Figs. I and 2). Through " deck house " bore a f* hole for funnel, which
is 2* long. Glue funnel in place. Drill * hole in forecastle and insert a 3^" length of
^* rod as mast. Paint tanker realistically.
BARGE (Figs. 5, 6, 7). From Figs. 6 and 7 set out on a piece of deal 7* x 2i* x *
the shape of the bottom, then from a block 1\" x 2* x 1 5" shape the bow piece (Fig. 7).
Note that the 2* measurement for this piece should be along the grain of the wood.
Glue and pin the bow piece to the bottom, then finish the curves with file and glasspaper.
Cut two sides S" x l" X f and an end piece If" x 1^" x ". Glue and pin the sides
into the notches of the bow piece and to the bottom. Similarly fix end piece between
sides and to bottom. Cut out rudder and fix to stern. Bore a |" hole in bow piece
and glue in a short length of dowel as a towing pole. Clean up and paint inside and out
with oil paint to make barge watertight.
SAILING BOAT (Fig. 8). Prepare the hull from a piece of deal 3" x If x &"
From plan mark out the bows, then with tenon saw, chisel and file, cut and finish curves.
Set out and sink cockpit * deep. Bore a g* hole for the mast, which is If long. Clean
up, glue in mast, and paint.
The drawings on the opposite page show a fleet of small army lorries consisting
of : (a) a " general purposes " lorry, (b) a mobile searchlight, (c) an ambulance,
(d) a mobile gun, (e) a lorry for barrage balloon cylinders, and (f) a break-down
lorry. All the bonnets, cabs and bases are similar, with the exception cf
BASES. Prepare five, each 6* x 2* x I".
BONNETS. Plane up a piece of deal 12* x l* x |". Square one end. Measure
l* from this end and square a line round the piece. Taper the end on three sides as
shown in Fig. 5. Cut off along the squared line and clean up both sawn ends. Repeat
for other bonnet pieces.
CABS. Plane up a piece of deal 12* x l* X |". Bevel one side and slightly round-off
the two corners to the section shown in Fig. 7. Finish one end square and measure from
it If*, then square a line round, saw off, and clean up both sawn ends. Glue and pin
bonnet and cab to base as in Fig. I.
COMPLETE individual lorries according to the following directions and the sketches
at the top of the opposite page :
(a) To the lorry base glue and pin a piece 3" x |* X -&* along each side and another
if * X f X iV across the end, as in Fig. I.
(b) Construct as (a) omitting end piece, then screw the I* dowel rod searchlight
(Fig. 3) to the base.
(c) Base, bonnet and cab as in (a) and (b). The body is a block of wood 3|* x l|" X If
rounded on the long top edges and glued and pinned to the base.
(d) This is completed by the addition of the gun (Fig. 4).
(e) For the base see Fig. 2. " Vs " made by two saw-cuts are added. Two cylinder
supports see Fig. 2 (inset) should be glued to the base. The cylinders are
short lengths of f" dowel rod glued to one another and to the supports.
(f) This is similar to (b) with the substitution of a crane block see Fig. 6 for the
FINISH." Camouflage " painting is the most suitable finish.
V ' CYLlNDEli j
I '' SUPPORT '
A* ! P ir^ o '
-i i r iG z
Bricks are among the most popular of all children's toys. Suggestions for the
construction of two kinds are given. Fig. I shows bricks 9" x 4" x 3", i.e.,
approximately the size of those used in general building, while Fig. 4 shows
"telescopic " bricks. The first set may also be made to serve the purpose
of a simple jig-saw by the addition of a picture.
CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDING BRICKS
PREPARE. (I) Two pieces of plywood to a finished size of 9* x 2^" for the sides.
Note that the width of these pieces 2^" is approximate only and should be adjusted
so that, together with the pieces used for top and bottom, the finished brick is 3" thick.
(2) Two pieces 9" x 4" for the top and bottom. These may be of stout card if
(3) Two pieces of deal or thick plywood 4" x 2" x A* for the ends. Note that
these measurements also must be adjusted according to the thickness of the material
used ; the end of the finished brick should measure 4" x 3".
It is most essential that all pieces of these bricks be cut and finished square.
Glue and nail the side pieces to the ends, test the resulting open box for squareness,
then glue and nail down the top and bottom. When the glue is set, clean and paint
the bricks. Half bricks should be constructed in similar manner but finished 4" x 4^" x 3"
TO ADD JIG-SAW PICTURE. Build wall as in Fig. I but flat on bench or floor. Tie
string round the whole to hold the bricks together. Glue the back of the picture, using
fairly thin glue, place in desired position on bricks and, with a clean cloth, rub picture
flat. Finally with a razor blade or very sharp knife carefully cut the picture along the
joints of the bricks, then take off the string and rub down the edges of the picture on
CONSTRUCTION OF TELESCOPIC BRICKS
These bricks are made to fit inside each other as in Fig. 4.
To construct largest brick : From &" plywood cut two pieces 9" x 8HT, tw pieces
8f* x 8H", and a piece 9* x 9*. Glue and nail together as with the building bricks.
To construct smaller bricks reduce the dimensions of each by I" all round.
Paint each box with a separate colour.
Of LARGE BRICK
WITH OPEN EMD
FOR USE WITH
% IN. PLYWOOD
SIMPLE SENSE- TRAINING APPARATUS
On the opposite page are illustrated four examples of sense-training apparatus,
described below. All may be made more advanced by the addition of more
pegs or " shapes."