The executive committee of the Bucks Wood Turners
convened at their January meeting and decided to
enter the Collaborative Challenge at the AAW's
annual Symposium. It was felt that a project that
met all criteria of the challenge and, most importantly,
involved as many members as possible, were reasonable
objectives for such an undertaking.
Inevitably, that raised the issue of what to
make. In the silence that ensued while the committee
cogitated, Harry Silver suggested making a toy
box full of toys, and everyone embraced the idea.
It had to be made to fit the size requirements,
designed so parts of it were turned, and it was
a natural for involving many of the membership.
With just the idea, the committee appointed Phil
Wall to be the project coordinator.
Phil quickly got the ball rolling choosing a
design, by John Williams, of a sphere in a box.
Others refined it. Ed Golden and Joe Smoyer added
a crescent which allowed the box to rotate on its
corners. To ensure that everyone was working off
the same page, Ed Golden constructed a ¼-scale
model out of Styrofoam. The model was presented
and approved at the next board meeting.
John Williams designed the box to be maximum
size allowed by the rules, and built a full sized
plywood model of the cube and turned a spherical
segments to establish the approximate project weight.
The design would meet the entry restrictions! John
then made scale drawing of all parts. Templates
for the profile of the spherical pieces were made.
Enter Phil Wall, mission director extraordinaire!
He got volunteers to turn the spherical sections
from rather expensive Tiger maple. Mike Kehs, Mark
Krick, Norris White, Bill Smith, Ken Wurtzel and
Mike Tanner made them identical at different times
in different shops. Amazing!
Dave Hardy constructed the crescent and base
and Ed Ryan built the cube of Baltic Birch plywood.
Robert Dodge (an artist whose work can be found
in museums) painted the crescent base and the cube
(the universe); and, painted and gold leafed crescent.
Mark Krick designed an ingenious mechanism to open
and close the lid of the box. The knob was turned
of African Blackwood. Candi Smoyer made a beautiful
velvet bag to enclose and protect the toys in the
box. And then there were the toys. There were spinning
tops, rattles, ball-and-chucks, flying saucers,
wooden characters, balls and yoyos, kaleidoscopes
and bells and, arguably the piece de resistance,
a green, red and black tractor by Linton Frank.
Finally, the project was shipped to Minneapolis,
where it was weighed (15.2 pounds) and measured
(23 - 1/2 ' high), exhibited, admired, and eventually
auctioned and purchased by Mr. and Mrs Kelly Dunn
from Hawaii, with the proceeds going to the educational
fund of the AAW.
In retrospect, all objectives the club set out
to achieve were met. The project was well executed
and fell within the rules of the contest. A broad
range of skills was exhibited by the members including
wood turning, woodworking principles, artistic
talent and most importantly management skills.
Below is a list of all participants who helped
create "The Wonderful World of Toys."