Louis Christian Petersen.

Educational toys consisting chiefly of coping-saw problems for children in the school and the home online

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7 i


Consisting Chiefly of Coping-Saw Problems for
Children in the School and the Home



Director of Manual Arts, State Normal University,
Carbondale, Illinois


















. 11



The Buzzer 16

The Shark Puzzle 16

Duck 18

Goose 18

Wild Duck 20

Hen 20

Deer 22

Cow 22

Weasel 26

Tiger 26

Rocking Rhino 28

Minstrels 30

Squirrel 32

Pig 32

Kangaroo '. . . 32

Camel 36

Giraffe 38

Swan Rocker 40

Balancing Peacock 42

Toy Dog 44

Teddy Bear 46

Parrot.. . 48


Doll's Hobby Horse 50

Stern Wheeler 50

The Weather-cock 50

Arm-chair and Rocking-chair. ... 54

Doll's Cradle 54

Doll's Bed 56

Doll's Table 56

Kites 58

Wood Choppers 60

The Bucking Goats 60

Pecking Hens 60

Acrobat 64

Climbing Sailor 64

The Jumping Jack 68

Balancing Barrister 68

The Dancing Rastus 70

The Spanking Esquimaux 72

Wabbler 74

Falling Teeter-Totter 76

Tumbling Tommie 78

The Busy Pup 80

The Dinkey Bird 82

Pelican Sewing Stand 84

Whirligig 86

The Cart 86

The Wagon 88

Flying Goose 90

The Dodo Bird 92

Rocking-horse and Rider 94

Animated Elephant 97

The Bucking Mule 100

Fox-and-Goose Game 104

Nine Men's Mill 106

Disc Puzzle 108

Ball Puzzle ..108


Knots and Braids .




purpose in sending out this collection of toys is to promote among
children a love for educational occupation. This book is intended to be
of real service to parents and teachers who are intrusted with the arduous
responsibility of child -training. It is with this object in view that the
directions, drawings and photographs have been prepared.

The experience of almost twenty years as a teacher has convinced the
author that only when the child approaches subject-matter with interest
and enthusiasm can the best results be obtained. Giving a child an oppor-
tunity to make things, arouses his interest; therefore, learning by doing is a
most effective method in gaining educational ends.

Toy-making incorporates this method, with several vital elements added.
It takes into account the child's view-point, his proclivities and his emo-
tions. It is a form of activity that appeals strongly to his fancy, has a
direct relation to his environments, and is within the range of his mental
grasp and constructive ability. His wonderful imagination endows the
creatures of his handiwork with life, individuality and cunning. The toy
problem is in harmony with the child's resourcefulness, his powers and his

The problems contained in this book have been selected from those
worked out in the Normal Model School. They have been tested under
ordinary class-room conditions. To survive the weeding-out process, a
toy has had to meet the following requirements:

1. It must be within the child's power.

2. It must excite and sustain interest.

3. It must possess educational value.

4. It must be adaptable to light-wood construction.

5. It must conform in size and complexity to the

limited space and equipment of class-room

In his early years, the child begins tinkering with what materials and
tools he can find, making something. The wise parent and teacher will
turn that healthful, happy, creative instinct into good, useful channels.
He will encourage and guide the child, in these early attempts, by sur-
rounding him with congenial conditions, by furnishing him suggestions,
pictures, drawings and such other aids as will direct him to occupational


problems of educational value, and by providing him with a place to work,
the tools, wood, nails, wire and other necessary equipment.

One advantage in connection with the kind of educational hand work
presented in this book is that it can be carried on with a very small and
inexpensive equipment. Moreover, it is light, clean and agreeable in every
respect. The tools are safe for a child to handle. The material is sub-
stantial and durable. The articles made are firm, strong and of lasting
quality. They become an excellent means for providing an abundance of
entertainment, and constitute most acceptable gifts, promoting as much
genuine happiness for the industrious donor as for the fortunate receiver.

Toy-making may readily be adapted to class-room conditions and a
period be devoted to it each day. Members of the class may be appointed
to distribute the tools and material at the beginning of the period, and col-
lect them at the end. While at work, each pupil should stay at his desk
and keep it neat and orderly. When not in use, the equipment should be
locked up in a box having suitable compartments for the tools and mate-

The teacher who is to conduct the class should be thoroly familiar
with the work and should have made each model before taking it up as a
class problem. The work as a whole should be conducted in a systematic
and quiet manner; concise planning, prompt action, and accuracy in details
should be insisted upon. The cheerful spirit, the formation of correct
habits, and the proper regard for everything and everybody should be cul-
tivated along with skill in constructing and good taste in coloring the toys.

If for any valid reason this work can not be carried on in the school, the
teacher should encourage the pupils to do it as home work. The child can
buy his own scroll saw and colors, and furnish his own wood. The work
can be done outside of school, but still be under the supervision and guidance
of the teacher. The training that comes thru reading and interpreting
directions and drawings, and carrying out the instruction in every detail, is
of value to every child, no matter what his future career may be.

The child should, therefore, have a book of his own, giving directions and
drawings. Furthermore, the teacher should give the proper amount of
credit for the home work.



r I ^HE equipment listed below is suggestive for ordinary class-room condi-
-*- tions. The number of pupils should not exceed twenty-four.

Tools for each pupil:

12" rule.


Saw - bracket, Fig. 1. A working

drawing of the saw-bracket is shown

in Fig. 2.
A water-color brush.

Fig. 2

General class equipment and supplies :

A box for locking up equipment and


2 breast drills.
Iron block to serve as anvil.
6 quires of No. 1/2 sand-paper.
Le Page's glue in two one-pint cans.
1 gross coping-saw blades.

1 Ib. each of 1/2", 3/4" and 1" brads.

2 Ibs. each of 3/4" No. 19, 1" No. 18,
1-1/4" No. 17, 1-1/2" No. 16, and
1-3/4" No. 15 flat-headed nails.

Fig. 1

Tools for every four pupils:



Water-color pan.

4^" round-nose pliers, Fig. 4.

5" side-cutting pliers.

5 oz. claw hammer.

8" half-round mill file.

Bow -drill, cee Fig. 3.

Fig. 3


1 Ib. each of 1/2", 5/8" and 3/4" brass

escutcheon pins.
30 ft. of No. 12 copper-coated steel

A few nails of various sizes for making




Brushes of various sizes.

Paint red, yellow, green, blue, black
and white of the paints to be used.
Several good enamel paints, ready
for use, are on the market. "Calci-
mo" is cheaper, but not so conven-
ient, as it must be prepared.

Fig. 4

The bow drill is useful for drilling small holes in wood, and may easily be
made by a child. First, procure an ordinary thread spool. Push a round
stick six inches long thru the hole with a tight fit. Shape the top of the
stick to a point (Fig. 3). Drive a nail into the other end of the stick. Cut
the head off the nail, hammer it flat at the end, and sharpen it with a file.
In this way a drill of any size needed for the work can be made. The bow
is made from a slender, flexible stick, about twenty inches long. A notch


is cut at each end where the ends of a strong string are securely tied. Slip
the bow string once around the spool and spin it. The top end of the
spindle is guided in a shallow hole in a piece of wood as shown at H in Fig. 3.
This block of wood is held in the left hand while the right moves the bow
back and forth, spinning the spindle and drilling the hole.


THE shapes of people, animals and birds on the plates that follow are
drawn full size. They are intended to be made of wood, and may be
transferred by any one of the following methods :

(a) Place a piece of transparent paper, known as tracing paper, over the
drawing in the book, and with a soft, sharp lead pencil, trace all the lines on
the drawing. Cut out the traced shape with a pair of scissors. Place it on
the wood, and with pencil trace along the edge of the paper pattern.
(6) Make a tracing and paste it on the wood.

(c) Place a piece of carbon paper on the wood, carbon side down. On this,
place the tracing in position and fasten it down with two thumb tacks.
With a hard pencil, or a stylus, go over all the lines of tracing. Pressure
should be applied as the lines are being traced so that they may show plainly
on the wood.

(d) Rub the back of the tracing with graphite (the lead of the pencil).
Place it on the wood, and with a hard pencil, or a stylus, trace the lines.

(e) When a permanent pattern is desired for class use, place the tracing on
a piece of cardboard, and transfer the outline by method c or d, indicated
above. With a sharp, pointed knife or shears cut the cardboard accurately
to line. Place this template on the wood, and with a sharp pencil, held ver-
tically, draw lines around the edge of the template. This method serves
well for class work.


OAVE the thin-wood boxes found at home. Ask the store-keeper to save
^ boxes instead of burning them. A rich supply of wood for toy-making
may be secured in this way. For class work, it will be necessary to buy wood
prepared and surfaced to dimensions. The thicknesses most convenient for
school work are 3/16", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 7/8".

While three-ply wood is best for the thin stock, the single-ply answers the
purpose when due care is given to the direction of the wood fibers the
grain. Such woods as maple, elm, birch, cherry and bay wood are very
durable, but rather hard to work. Bass wood, poplar and sugar pine are
easy to work, are preferable in school, and give satisfactory results.



TT is important to have the patterns placed correctly on the wood so that
"* the desired result may be reached. One of the things sought is the great-
est possible strength in the parts sawed out. The grain of the wood should,
therefore, run lengthwise of the wood where the parts are narrow. Another
thing desired is the economical use of material. The patterns should, there-
fore, be so arranged on the wood that the outlines will match closely to-
gether and thus use up as nearly as possible all surface space on the board.
Generally, it is advisable to place the larger patterns first, beginning near a
corner of the board, and then fit in the smaller patterns on the intermediate

Where the drawings are not full size, the dimensions are shown in inches
or fractions of an inch. Guided by the figures, the outlines of the object may
be laid out directly on the wood by ruler, pencil and compasses. In laying
out the different shapes on the wood, attention should be given to the direc-
tion of the grain of the wood, to have it run lengthwise the object, not cross-


A FTER the different shapes have been properly laid out on the wood,
^"^ the next thing to do is to saw them out with a coping-saw. The wood
is placed flat on a saw-bracket, pattern side up. This saw-bracket is fast-
ened to the edge of a desk or a table top and should be adjusted in height so
the top of it is about 6" below the child's chin. The child may stand or sit,
when at work, whichever is most comfortable, but a standing position gives
more freedom of movement.

The wood is held and guided on the saw-bracket with the left hand, while
the right hand operates the coping-saw with an up-and-down motion in the
V-shaped opening in the bracket.

The coping-saw is the principal tool needed for this work, and may be
purchased with extra blades for about 25 cents. The frame is made of
spring steel and holds the blade in tension. By pressing the frame against
the edge of a table, it may readily be sprung enough to allow the blade to be
put into the slots in the ends of the frame. There is a pair of end slots and a
pair of side slots in the frame. The blade may be inserted into these slots
with either the teeth edge or the smooth edge of the blade towards the frame.
The points of the teeth should always point towards the handle of the frame.
The frame is held with the handle down. The saw does the cutting as it is
pulled downward. In working the saw, the blade must be kept perpendicu-
lar to the face of the wood. The blade should never be forced against the
wood, as that will cause the wood to tear, and leave a ragged edge. Saw



right to the line. Keep the saw going up and down to insure freedom and
plenty of room for the blade, especially in turning corners. When removing
it from the work, do not attempt to twist the blade or let the frame hang on
it, as the blades are brittle and break easily.

When an opening is to be sawed out, bore a hole in the middle of the part
to be cut out, remove the blade from the upper part of the frame, while hold-
ing it in place in the lower part with the thumb of the right hand. Slip the
blade thru the hole from below, and replace it in the slot while pressing the
upper part of the frame against the edge of the desk. When the opening
has been cut, the saw may be removed by reversing the operation. In all
cases, saw the edge of the wood to a finish as far as possible. Rough or
fuzzy edges should be removed by filing and sand-papering.


"\X7HERE toys have bases, they should be made of two or more thick-
* * nesses, one overlapping the other. The lower piece should be thicker
than the upper, extending a distance equal to the thickness of the upper
part. When both the toy and the base parts are ready to fasten together,
hold the toy in a vise, with its feet up, and drive nails thru the upper part of
the base into the feet. Then fasten the top to the lower part with escutcheon
pins. Space the pins accurately.

Fig. 5


OEVERAL methods are employed in fastening parts together in toy-
^ making. Where parts are joined together permanently, a thin coat of
liquid glue should be rubbed on the joining surfaces with a small paddle, and
then fastened with several brads. Where possible, these brads should reach
thru the parts just enough to be clenched on the other side (A, Fig. 5).

A movable joint is secured by one flat-headed nail which acts as a pivot,
on which one or more of the parts turn. The nail must reach thru the wood
far enough to allow the end to be bent back like a staple and be driven into
the wood.


A loose joint is required in some toys so that the parts may swing without
friction. A flat -headed nail is used as a pivot, and holes, a little bigger than
the nail, are bored thru all but one of the parts to be joined together. The
part that will be nearest to the point of the nail has no hole bored in it, for it
should fit tight. The nail must reach thru the joint far enough so that it
may be bent back, staple-like, and when the point is driven back into the
wood, the joint should swing freely. The nail may be bent with round-nose
pliers (B, Fig. 5).


r I "*HE possibilities that may be achieved in beautifying these wooden toys
* are almost limitless. They may be treated as design problems, thereby
serving as a means of training the taste and imagination as well as developing
an appreciation of space relations and color harmonies. The work is fas-
cinating to children and presents an excellent opportunity for acquiring
knowledge and skill in mixing and applying colors. Several methods are
given here. The choice of method should be guided by the child's ability
and experience in doing work of this kind. The employment of striking and
brilliant colors will enhance the charm and increase the artistic effect.

The methods of coloring are arranged in the order of their difficulty in
manipulation :

Method No. 1. Water colors may be used to color the wood, but only a
little water should be used so as to prevent the tendency to spread. When
the toy is dry, a coat of shellac may be applied over the water color. This
protects the wood and gives the toy a crisp and bright appearance.

Method No. 2. Of the calcimine paints, the one known as "Calcimo" may
be used successfully by children. It is procured in powder form and costs
from 15 to 50 cents a pound according to color. It is mixed with water that
contains a binder to prevent the colors from rubbing off in handling the toys.
The binder may be either glue or mucilage mixed with the water. The
proportion is about a tablespoonful of glue to a quart of water. In pre-
paring the colors, put a teaspoonful of powder in a water-color pan and add
water, while stirring and rubbing out the lumps, till the mixture comes to a
consistency of thick cream. It may then be applied with a No. 6 water-
color brush.

Method No. 3. When handled correctly, oil paint and enamel paint give
excellent results, producing a smooth, brilliant gloss. First, give the toy a
coat of white lead or flat white tone. Apply it with a flat sash brush about
an inch wide. Allow the toy to dry four or five days and then sand-paper it
smoothly with No. 1/2 sand-paper. Finally, give it a coat of enamel paint
of the colors desired.



If colored enamel is not at hand, use white enamel and add colors ground
in oil. The enamel paint is put on a surface with a large camel-hair brush.
Use No. 10 artist's flat brush for features. Natural details and life-like effects
should be avoided.

The features should be conventionalized. Eyes, ears, nose and mouth
may be dotted in with a tooth-pick.

Method No. 4- For a second coat, instead of using enamel for coloring,
white lead ground in oil may be used, mixed with colors ground in oil. This
produces a mat or dull finish that is quite pleasing. However, if a gloss
finish is desired, a coat of varnish may be applied over the dull color. Dry
colors may be mixed with shellac varnish until it is heavy enough to cover
the wood. If this mixture becomes too thick to spread smoothly, it may be
thinned with alcohol. The brush that has been used in varnish may be
cleaned by washing in borax water. When the joints are movable, it is ad-
visable to paint each part separately before putting them together. Where
glue has been used to form joints, it should be thoroly dry before the toy is


TN BEGINNING the construction of these toys, read the directions care-
* fully so as to understand the process of construction. Study how you
can best arrive at the desired results. By thinking ahead, as you proceed,
many mistakes may be prevented.

Be careful in making your drawings.

Keep your pencil sharp.

Be precise in making measurements.

Handle the tools with care.

Finish one job before starting another.

Have a place for your tools.

Keep your glue and wood-finishes well covered to prevent drying.

Keep your brushes in kerosene to prevent them from getting stiff.

Be clean in handling colors.

Let one color get dry before joining on another.

Let the colors join on sharp and definite lines.

Pick up only a small amount of color with the brush-.

Lay the color on in a thin coat.

Clean your brushes before putting them away.

Give your work that clean, crisp, snappy appearance which is the mark of
superior craftmanship.



This toy is made from 1/4" stock. Two 1/8" holes are located on a
straight line passing thru the center, one on each side of the center and 1/4"
from it. The circle is drawn with compass, and then sawed to the line.

The circumference is stepped off into lengths equal to the radius, and every
second point connected by line with the center. This divides the surface
into three equal spaces called sectors. Color each sector with one of the
primary colors red, blue and yellow.

A strong cord is slipped thru the two holes, and the ends tied together in a
square knot, leaving a loop on each side of the wheel.

To operate the buzzer, insert a finger of each hand in the loops and swing
the disk around in a circular motion till the strands of the cord are twisted
together. Then pull hard on the cord so that the disk will be set into a
spinning motion as the cord is being unwound. At this instant slacken the
cord so that the disk may continue turning, and rewind the string. Then
pull on the cord again, and the disk will spin in the opposite direction. By
whirling the disks rapidly in this way, the colors will blend and show a new
color produced by the three primary colors. The other side of the wheel
may have half of it colored yellow and half colored blue. This will blend
into green when spun. By pasting paper sectors of different colors on the
wheel, an infinite number of tests in color-blending may be made.


The shark is sawed out as shown in the drawing and three holes bored.

To make one of the rings, draw two concentric circles one 1/2" radius
and the other 3/4" radius. First, saw out the inner circle and then the

Take a piece of cord a foot long, double it and slip the loop thru the
middle hole in the shark. Next, put the two ends of the cord thru the loop.
Slip a ring on each end of the cord, and tie with a slip knot into the end hole
in the shark.

Puzzle: Transfer a ring from one end to the other.





The parts for this fowl are sawed out of 1/4" stock. The edges should be
sawed square and to line, and may be made smooth and slightly rounded by
filing and sand-papering.

The two feet should be made alike and held together when the hole for the
nail is drilled thru them. The bottom of the feet will then be on the same
level, and the duck will stand upright. Put a fine 1" nail thru one foot,
drive it thru the body, at the proper place, and press it thru the other foot.

With round -nose pliers, bend the end of the nail around so the end will
point toward the wood (Fig. 5). Place the head of the nail against a block
of iron, and with the hammer drive the point of the nail into the foot. The
joint should be firm and movable so the duck will stand at different postures.

Color the body brown, with black outlines and streaks on the wings, the
bill yellow, the head green, and the feet red.

Fig. 6. Platform Bases.


This project may be made of 3/8" stock and fastened to a platform base
(Fig. 6).

The platform is made of two rectangular pieces one on top of the other.
The upper is 1-1/2" by 2-1/4"; the lower, 2-1/4" by 3". The grain in the
two pieces should cross to prevent warping.

To fasten the goose to the platform, outline on the upper piece of the plat-
form the position for the foot. Hold the goose with foot up. Drive 1-1 / 2"
brads thru the upper piece of the platform into the foot.

On the upper side of this upper piece of the platform, locate points at each
corner, 1/4" from the outer edges, and drive 5/8" escutcheon pins thru it
into the lower piece of the platform.

Smooth all parts, and color the body white with black trimmings. Make
the bill yellow, the feet red and the platform green.




The body may be cut from 3/8" stock, or from heavier material if so de-
sired. It may be whittled to natural shape with a pocket knife before fasten-
ing it onto the platform.

The bill, eye and feet are colored yellow, throat, breast and tail red, head
and wings dark green, and platform blue.


The construction of this problem is similar to that of the goose. Her feet
and comb are colored red, body white with black trimming, beak and plat-
form yellow.




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Online LibraryLouis Christian PetersenEducational toys consisting chiefly of coping-saw problems for children in the school and the home → online text (page 1 of 4)