Sunday, March 8, 2015

Marketing Trip to Find New Toy Designs

On Thursday March 5, 2015, I attended the monthly meeting of the Orange County Woodworkers Association in Tustin, CA.  There I gave a brief update to the CA group about happenings in the Rapid City Woodworkers Association.  The speaker for the evening was David A. Wade, a long time employee of Sam Maloof furniture company in Alto Loma, CA.  He shared a slideshow of some of his projects, along with tidbits of his experiences while working with Sam Maloof over a 25 year period.  The trio Mike, Larry, and Dave were the main woodworkers in Sam Maloof's shop for many years.  Many of his projects can be seen on his company website Wade Made.  The projects were both traditional as requested by customers, and some of his own "eclectic" items.

Members of the group presented several SHOW AND TELL items, one of which might be of interest to members of the RCWA.  Al Whitcraft from Huntington Beach, CA brought his latest rocking chair made in the Sam Maloof style.  This is his sixth rocker, but the first made from OSAGE ORANGE.  He harvested the osage orange in Alabama in 2005.  He has made several pieces of furniture from his truck load.  There was just enough wood left to build this rocker.  The rocker has one coat of finish in this picture, and will get several more.  The rocker is currently a yellow color, but within six months, depending on how much sunlight it receives, it will turn a medium brown color.

On Saturday, March 7, 2015, I attended the Toy Workshop on the Orange County Woodworkers
Association at Bill Rogers Shop in Anaheim, CA.  There were close to 40 people in attendance at the outdoor event.  The purpose of attending the event was to visit with old woodworker friends that I worked with from 2000 to 2007, as well as to get some ideas for new toys to build for the toy program in Rapid City.

Harvey Carr and Bob Perkins had some extra time during the morning, as the two air compressors they had planned to use to assemble the walking ducks were both inop.  They shared with me their techniques and patterns for building a walking duck, moved by a pushstick on the south end of the duck.  Rubber flaps are attached to the wheels to give the toy a most impressive flap flap flap sound as it is moved.

Bob Perkins had obtained a game similar to a marble game, and was researching it as a re-engineering project as a potential toy for 2016  Here's a video (sideways) of this toy in action:

So it was a very worthwhile outing, as I am outfitted with all the patterns for the duck, as well as photos and sketches of the jigs used to build the parts.  Plus, I have Harvey's email address for any questions that come up as we get started.

I also looked into the possibility of making dolls for the cradles that we make in the Toy Program.  I received written instructions, as well as a sample doll, to show to the gifted seamstresses in our group.

Click on the link below to learn more about the Rapid City Woodworkers Association activities on the main page of the website:

the end