Toy Making Jigs

My son has very strong feelings about woodworking show hosts.  “Herm” (Norm) is his favorite – he’s in love with power tools.  Me?  I prefer St. Roy.

In this episode, St. Roy discussed and built several toys from 18th century America.  I was especially fascinated by the jig he uses to create small parts.  I saw an opportunity to move the jig into the classroom, especially as I wanted to build small wooden sculptures made from patterns created in Google Sketch Up.  I can’t say much about the project yet – somethings work, somethings don’t.  It’s quickly running away from what I originally envisioned.  Not in a bad way either – just different.  The students start by making geometric patterns with blocks and polygons.  Kind of like this:

Then the students turn these geometric patterns into a CAD rendition.  I’ve set up the pattern blocks in a CAD file.

Either way, the jig is up – or rather, the jig works beautifully well.

You can see the entirety of the jig here.  I use the jig upside-down on tables.  The crossbar usually sits in a vise as in St. Roy’s show.  The students are able to cut safely and securely with a coping saw.  I’m going to get a lot of mileage out of these jigs.

I hope to post more as the project develops over the next two weeks.  I’m also working on a semester review of the technology classes.

Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend.