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Wood Toy News

August 13, 2011

“ The horse from the Londonberry Farm Play Set looks great with a medieval finish and this painting technique does the trick. � John Lewman

This easy technique uses non-toxic house paint and detail burnishing to create an antique toy look.

“ Designing and prototyping a new toy play set is so much fun that I can’t sleep at night. This Londonberry Farm Play Set I’ve been working on is no exception. I got the inspiration from an ancient book on toy history. I learned that toy farm sets have been popular since medeival times. This easy to make farm set represents a simple peasant farm of that era.”

This medieval painted version of the Londonberry Farm Play Set is in it’s final stages. I’m experimenting with the medieval toy finish and still have to finish sand each of the parts before painting all the pieces. I completed sawing out all of the parts except the few extra fence pieces shown here. Next step is to scroll saw out the fence details and then all of the farm set parts will be completed - finally!


Wood Toy News August 13, 2011

“ I work as efficiently as possible. Cutting multiple wood blanks for the farm set’s fence is sped along with a stop block. That way each the length of each piece is identical. ”


I’ve developed a charming handcarved look that is achieved quickly and easily by rolling the toy edges on a belt and disk sander. The results are pretty cool, quickly done and adds a personal touch. The inner curve details are cleaned up with a round file. Next, the face and tail are sand carved on the belt sander. I’m using a fine grit sandpaper for the process so the amount of material removed on each pass is minimal. The fine grit sandpaper is good for shaping and also creates a surface that is ready for painting. The edges of the toy are softened with sandpaper by hand. I’ve seen this done with a Dremel but I haven’t quite mastered the technique yet. The more natural look of hand sanding the edges prevents a machined look to the toy and on this Londonberry Farm Play Set that results in the desirable hand-carved effect we’re looking for. The finished sand-carved pig is now ready to be painted. See more details on applying the medieval painting finish on page 10.


Wood Toy News August 13, 2011

“Should a grown man be doing this? Hmmmm. Maybe I’ll paint a pink one.”

The farm set prototype is sawn from Home Depot’s cheapest white wood. Knots and blemishes add a natural look to the toys. The pig shown on the bottom is unfinished. The pig on the top has been sanded with the belt sander and by hand to create a hand-carved look. 5.

“ Most of the farm pieces are sawn out and still need finishing. It looks like they all work well together. It’s a real joy to set it all up for the first time. Next step – more finish sanding and painting. ”


Wood Toy News August 13, 2011

“ I guess I’ll make another set of the animals and farmers to add to the play set so a couple of kids can play together without a fuss. ”


The lowest cost white wood has been used to make all of the farm set pieces. The irregular grain and knots in the wood add a lot of character to the medieval theme. It’s a similar wood that european peasants used when fashioning toys for their children.


Wood Toy News August 13, 2011

“ The completed Londonberry Farm Play Set is sawn to shape and is ready for final sanding and painting. I made a few extra fence pieces and two sets of farmers and animals. The extra fence can be stacked like a fort as shown in the back of this view. �


Medieval Painting Technique: 1. An old can of non-toxic waterbase house paint from our storage room is just the right color of red for an antique look. The paint is first thinned with water to a consistency of whole milk. A brush is used to apply one coat of paint to the toy. Paint the entire toy one coat and let dry before proceeding. 2. When bone dry use fine sandpaper to smooth surface and create highlights.


2. A black permanent marker is used to create details for the hoof, eyes and mouth.

Wood Toy News August 13, 2011

3. Cynthia’s paste wax finish is 4. The finished toy looks as if it used to seal the toy and to bring was just found in an antique out the color and woodgrain. shop. Kids love the natural look. Learn how to make Cynthia’s natural non-toxic paste wax by clicking here.


The barn and cabin are designed as stacking play set pieces. This adds a lot of play value and creative opportunities to the Londonberry Farm Play Set.

You’ll see the completed and painted Londonberry Farm Play Set plus more details on the medieval finishing technique in an upcoming Wood Toy News. Stay tuned! 12.

Wood Toy News August 13, 2011


Londonberry Farm Full-Size Scroll Saw Plan Set

All you need is a scroll saw or band saw to build this wonderful medieval farm play set.

Londonberry Farm Full-Size Scroll Saw Plan Set

Have fun building an enchanting miniature medieval farm scene complete with livestock and villagers. You’ll Get: (10) 8-1/2” x 11” pages, full-color with black and white patterns. Spiral bound and printed on museum quality paper. Available as a printed plan or as a PDF digital download

$10.95 Pig from Londonberry Farm


includes all the toy plans shown

Order online at or Call 1-888-962-4714 Wood Toy News August 13, 2011

Wood Toy News August 13, 2011  

In this issue we create a Medieval look for the Londonberry Farm Wood Toy Play Set. The finish is easy and fun to apply and uses common non-...

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