Fun things to build with wood

Written by sylvia branch
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Fun things to build with wood
Make a boomerang with a single piece of wood. (boomerang image by hugy from Fotolia.com)

You can use scrap wood for several fun projects. Create wooden toys that kids can play with immediately after building. Salvage small scraps of wood left over from a larger project to use for arts and crafts projects. You can carve, glue, nail or paint a block of wood to make something new.

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Stilts

You can make stilts with two sturdy pieces of wood. Look for straight wood that is at least 1 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches. A child under 10 should start with pieces no taller than 4 feet. Choose thicker and stronger wood for larger individuals. Make platforms to set your feet on from two right triangles from a block of wood. Securely fix the platforms in the bottom half of the posts. Sand down the areas that you will be using as grips.

Marble Run

Make a marble run with troughs of scrap wood. Create troughs by adding side rails to flat pieces of wood, just wide enough to hold a marble. Wood glue will work in place of nails for this project, although small wood screws create a sturdier toy. Certain styles of wood trim, or moulding, also work well for this project. Use leftover moulding from a home project, or purchase trim from a hardware store and cut into sections. Place the sections at an angle to each other to make a marble run. Affix supports to a base to hold all the angled pieces in place. Test with a marble until it is angled the way you like it.

Boomerang

Use a chunk of 1/4-inch plywood to make your own L-shaped flying wing. The Canadian Home Workshop site in References describes how to shape the edges so it will fly. Sand and paint it in a classic Australian aborigine design or one of your own choosing.

Toy Boat

With scrap wood, a saw and rubber bands, you can create toy boats that can compete in a lake, swimming pool or your own bathtub. Start by making a hull for your boat from a piece of 3/4-inch thick wood. Cut out a 3 1/2-inch wide, 8-inch long shape that comes to a point on the front. Make a notch in the back that is 1/2 inch longer than it is wide. Cut two square pieces 1/4 inch smaller than the notch in the back of the boat. Make a centre cut halfway into one side of each of the paddle pieces and slide them together to make a paddle wheel. Place a rubber band over the paddle wheel and then over each side of the notch in the back of the boat. Spin the paddle wheel and release it in the water.

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