I am A Confessed Copycat

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Project by maplerock posted 07-08-2013 02:32 AM 3059 views 9 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sometimes I see a photo and think… “I could make that.” Then I start trying to figure out how big it is, how it’s attached, etc. In this case, having a toddler grandson I saw this and said, “why pay $15 for this when I could spend 25 or 30 hours and spend $20 on materials and make it myself?

That’s my M.O. Spend a crazy amount of time and money on a project just to be able to say “I made that for you!” And somehow, that makes it all worthwhile.

A few months after making this I visited some dear friends who were babysitting their grandchild. Right there on the floor was the storebought version of my project. It was great. Fit together better, factory finish, etc. Still, I liked mine better. I hope my grandson did too!

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

14 comments so far

View HerbC's profile


1823 posts in 4356 days

#1 posted 07-08-2013 02:39 AM

I like your version. Think I’ll make one (or several…) for my grandkids…


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View BBF's profile


144 posts in 3335 days

#2 posted 07-08-2013 02:42 AM

I like your thinking.

-- I've never been disappointed buying quality but I have been disappointed buying good enough.

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5074 days

#3 posted 07-08-2013 04:01 AM

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4982 days

#4 posted 07-08-2013 04:10 AM

“why pay $15 for this when I could spend 25 or 30 hours and spend $20 on materials and make it myself?”

Classic, been there, will be there again, lol.

Don’t put that nice toy you made in a gift box. The pain of watching a young one cast aside a hard won shop made toy just to become infatuated with the box (or bag) it came in … lingers…..for days!

Regarding inspiration, I make it a rule to never borrow an idea, I cut to the chase and just steal it, outright!

In fact, yours is looking pretty tempting about now!!!

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Hawaiilad's profile


3386 posts in 4517 days

#5 posted 07-08-2013 08:40 AM

Hey Grandpa made it…...what’s not to like

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View boomfiziks's profile


42 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 07-08-2013 01:51 PM

The difference that makes your creation better than the store bought version is that eventually the (grand)child can say that this toy was made for ME by the hands, love, blood, and sweat of my (grand)dad. That alone increases the value of your creation by at least a million or more. Sadly, when you are very young, boxes trumps all other toys (that’s why we go out and get refrigerator and washing machine boxes for our son…best forts in the neighborhood).

View Woodfella's profile


29 posts in 4493 days

#7 posted 07-08-2013 05:11 PM

The words you put under the picture of your latest project could not ring any truer with me. I too spent an insane amount of time making a version of the Doug and Melissa stacking train that I saw, for my 2 year old grandson. My smart wife bought me a wood burning set when he was born and asked me to sign all the things that I make for him. So that years later he would know that this particular toy was made by his “Papa” and not in China.
Besides that Jerry, spending all that time to produce toys for our grandkids is not only a labor of love, it helps to justify all the money we spent on our tools!

-- Woodfella, Northern Illinois

View Richard's profile


1959 posts in 4187 days

#8 posted 07-08-2013 07:32 PM

Woodfella is right. We say I can make that, if I just had that $500 tool. then we have justification for the tool because it tis for our Kids or Grand Kids. Hey it works for me.
By the way Nice job on the Train.

View TheOldWoodworker's profile


32 posts in 4310 days

#9 posted 07-09-2013 01:32 AM

Nice job, You have made a family heirloom. Think of it that way and you know what went into it and what it is finished with.

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 3816 days

#10 posted 07-09-2013 02:19 AM

Really great job

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3764 days

#11 posted 07-09-2013 04:42 AM

Jerry, I found your home page and want to congratulate you on making a well deserved “Top Three.” That is a mile stone. Way to go! I loved the write-up and the photo. All of us can identify with your story and predicament; however, someday your grand son will identify the love involved…maybe when he takes it off the shelf and lets his son play with it. I keep up with boxes, but don’t often check the sites like toys.

Sorry I missed these posting earlier and didn’t sing your well earned praises today when I should have. Now I get it when you talk about these projects you made. Sorry to be so dense. Great work, great photos, great write-ups. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3672 days

#12 posted 07-10-2013 04:01 PM

That’s a great and cool toy! Great design and colors. Kids will get lots of fun learning. Great job!

View NaptownWood's profile


293 posts in 3369 days

#13 posted 07-11-2013 01:29 AM

This is cool, my son is just now 1yr old, amd starting to have the need for these types of “learning toys”. This design will be good for him in a little bigger size.

Is this the rustoleum spray paint with something over it as well?

-- Witty signature line still pending

View maplerock's profile


529 posts in 3296 days

#14 posted 07-11-2013 02:58 AM

Naptown, I often use a clearcoat spray can, but I think on this one I just used lots of coats of each gloss color. The painting is tedious, as you have to find a way to keep the blocks from sticking to whatever you sit them on, just like any project, but the pieces are small. I use the holes to hang them and add lots of coats.

The way the paint works, you have an hour to put on lots of thin coats, or you have to wait 24 hours or even more in some cases to recoat. I do like Rustoleum though.


-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

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