Do you want to experience one of the most amazing feelings in all of woodworking? Then you need to start making things for kids. When I made a set of wooden tools for my son, he was so happy to start playing with them. The feeling it gave me is not something that can be described. It has to be felt.
I wrote a book about making wooden tools called Wooden Tools For Kids based off the experience that I had with my son. It was my hope that I could give that experience to other parents or grandparents, because it was extremely powerful.
The first set I made for him was only a few tools. But, he had so much fun with them that I was quickly designing an entire matching set. The whole 20+ piece set, and a farm style tool box are covered in the book.
Kids love wooden toys. They also love to use their imagination as they play. When you make wooden tools for a child, they also get to learn about tools as they use their imaginations. This is a double bonus.
Having been a woodworker for a very long time, I always knew that I wanted to introduce my son to the craft as soon as I was able to. He is just under two years old right now, and even though he doesn’t know what most of these wooden tools are, he still enjoys playing with them. It also allows me to begin showing him things that have to do with woodworking.
The Whole Set of Toy Tools
Going clockwise from the top left there is a draw knife, leather strop, hand plane, ruler, combination stone, repair knife, open ended wrench, mallet, sanding block, chisel, flat screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, wall sander, square, glue roller, dovetail saw, level, T-handle wrench, long file, carving knife, and a marking gauge.
This is a very comprehensive set. The wooden tools are replicas of the same tools that I have in my shop. If these wooden tools were all real, the set would be great for anyone starting out in woodworking or home repair. Plus, they also look very realistic, which makes them easy to recognize in adults as well.
One of my favorites from Wooden Tools For Kidsis a replica of a marking gauge. I have a nice Crown marking gauge that I use in the shop. So, I made a couple modifications to it for the wooden tool version.
First, the stock does not move. This is to keep the pieces together, and preserve the look of the real thing. Also, the marking pin at the end is very blunt, and made from a dowel. Plus, all of the pieces are doweled together to help prevent them from coming loose over time. You can see one of the dowels at the bottom of the Maple piece in the picture. The other goes through the end of the beam, and holds the marking pin in place. My son still uses this as a hammer, but again he’s not even two yet.
Another one of my favorites is a simple square made from Maple and Walnut. My son has lots of toys that are made from those two species. He has not had any allergy issues, so I continue to use them for his wooden tools and toys.
The blade is made from Curly Maple, which gives that wavy look when finished. It sets off the look of the tool, and is more interesting than plain Maple. I wrote a whole article on why you should start using Curly Maple over regular Maple, and it explains the benefits for the small cost difference. Most of the time, the beauty of Curly Maple is so much more than the slight price difference that it is a very easy decision in the woodworking store.
If you are absolutely brand new to woodworking, you will need to have a few tools in order to make this set. I don’t have the biggest or best version of any tool. However, I do have a bench top version that still works well.
I use common woodworking tools for the instructions, and you can make substitutions for tools that you do not have, or non-power for power if needed.
Pretty much anyone with a basic woodworking skills and some shop tools will be able to make just about all of the tools in the book. The instructions show each step clearly along the way. You can also choose which tools from Wooden Tools For Kids you want to make, and design your own smaller set if you like. Either way, they are sure to put a smile on a young kids’ face when you hand them over.
I do make money when someone buys my book. That should be no secret. However, the feeling that I got when I gave these tools to my son pales in comparison. It’s a wonderful feeling, and makes you proud to be a woodworker. Giving wooden tools or wooden toys to a child is a rare joy, and worth the time.
If you have any questions about How to Make Wooden Tools for Kids, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work online. It helps me reach more people, and share with them the joys of woodworking. Happy building.
Additional Information About Westfarthing Woodworks
***Please note that the links to view my book, Wooden Tools For Kids are affiliate links, which take you to Amazon. If you buy the book on my recommendation, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps me maintain the website, and continue to operate Westfarthing Woodworks.
While I publish the overwhelming majority of my woodworking content for free, I also have several different books available as well. You can see them on my Available Books Page, and they each cover different woodworking disciplines.
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