This wood finishing tips card is called Finishing Kids Toys. When you make and finish kids toys, you need to think about the finish you use. Kids like to chew on their toys, so the finish will be ingested in some cases. Here is how you can help keep the little ones safe.
Finishing Kids Toys
Making toys for kids is a lot of fun. There is nothing more rewarding than giving a wooden toy to a child. You will never see more gratitude or happiness form anything else that you create, especially for adults.
Kids just light up when you give them a toy. In the case of wooden toys, you would think that they are past their prime, and out of fashion. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Though wooden toys do lack the sounds and lights of modern toys, they do still make kids happy. In a world filled with loud, bright toys, a wooden toy is sometimes a huge winner for a kid simply because it is so different.
Wooden toys encourage the imagination, and also help kids learn about their world. You are creating something that will last a long time, and will become a family treasure that is kept for generations. You also need to finish the toy properly, otherwise you could put those little hands in danger…
Why Finishing Kids Toys is Different
The finish that you do for a kids toy is really different from a standard finish. The primary reason for this is most people don’t eat their toys. Kids do, and for that reason the finish you use needs to be different.
In most situations, people are not going to put what you make into their mouths. While there is something to be said about fully cured finishes not being harmful, chewing on the finish is not what they had intended. Food safe has to do with contact, not ingestion.
Since kids will most likely suck on the wooden toys that you give them, you need to make a good choice for your finish. This is how you can be sure that you are doing the right thing when you are handing over a handmade toy.
Kids Toy Finishing Options
The main finish that I use is a blend of Mineral Oil and BeesWax. These are both safe to ingest, and they leave a nice warm look to the wood. There are a ton of recipes online for homemade finish with these two ingredients, so if this is something you like just follow the directions for cooking and making your finish.
Yes, you are going to have to cook the finish, but this is more for warming up the wax than anything else, and if you may attention and be safe, you will be fine. I made a big jar a while ago and it has lasted through dozens of toys.
The quick version is that you heat up a certain amount of mineral oil, and then slowly add bees wax shavings until they are dissolved. After that, you let the mixture cool and it becomes a paste that you can wipe on. Again, find a recipe you like, because there are several online that you can choose from depending on your needs.
Another option are natural plant oils, though you do have to think about allergies. For most kids, Walnut Oil will be fine, unless they are allergic. You can also use Linseed Oil. The biggest thing you need to look for are the ingredients that are used.
Most Finishes are Lies
One of the biggest things that I learned from Bob Flexner is that most finishes are lies. The name on the can is a marketing gimmick, and just because it says Tung Oil on the package does not mean it actually contains any Tung Oil.
When you are looking for a kid safe finish, and you re thinking about a certain product that you have researched, make sure that you are getting what you intended. There are a lot of products that say they have Linseed Oil, but there are only a few that are pure Linseed Oil without anything else inside the bottle.
Make sure that you are getting what you are looking for, and read the bottle. If it has anything inside other than the ingredients you are after, do more research before applying it to a toy that the child may chew on.
Fishing Kids Toys Wrap-Up
Kids love to play with wooden toys. They also like to chew on wooden toys. For this reason, you need to think about the finish that you are using. After all, you would not want to give a gift that causes a kid to become sick.
In most cases, using indigestible items like Mineral Oil or Bees Wax is going to be the safest bet, because there are few allergies and you can eat either one when you buy the right type and brand. Since the amount eaten would be very minimal, applying this as a finish is a safer bet than using a normal wood finish.
Additional Information About Westfarthing Woodworks
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