I'm trying to find out what type of wood the manufacturers of lincoln
logs use. I can't tell by the grain of the wood. A google search turned
up nothing and the friend at work which has succeeded 100% of the time
in determining a type of wood wasn't able to match it.
He suggested aspen or maybe a birch. In any case I'll most likely use
poplar since I have a lot of it on hand and want to clear it out.
I've seen a few pics on the web that show the logs being square. I just
placed an order for a router bit which will round the two sides but leave
the top and bottom untouched. It's the bit Rockler offers. I'll try the
bit to add some detail to the logs, but am wondering how I'll route the
small logs. Seems as though the diameter on the bit will be over 1".
Likely have to make a jig for safety.
I read here in the group that you can tan poplar to get the green out of
the week which I'll likely try in order to get the wood all one color.
Not sure I'll put a finish on the logs or not.
I was considering doing this exact thing. I'm wondering how exact I
would be taking into account the width of the blade, ect. For the
routing process, it would likely be safer, at least for the small
segments, to mill 5 or 6 as once piece and then cut the segments on the
mitre saw. Wouldn't hurt to try that way once.
Fred the Red Shirt wrote:
I bet the set looked incredible, especially with the knife marks looking
like axe marks. Unfortunately, I have no artistic ability and have to
rely on blades and bits. I like your ideas regarding the shingles and
framing for the roof. Mind if I use it?
No problem, go for it. It's not like I own a patent on it or anything. I was
young and poor. But raised on a farm in the woods with lots of natural
materials and some tools. So we made stuff. Wasn't considered all that
unusual at the time.
All I had was a short, thick camping sheath knife with a short blade. It was
three inches at the most. Which was considered a very small knife at that
time. It doesn't take any artistic ability. The artistry is in the courage,
design and putting the prices together. I did this specifically because I
had no artistic ability. Clever use of materials got me good grades when I
couldn't draw a picture to save my life.
Just get your self a comfortable knife. Try it with a pocket knife at first
if you don't want to buy anything bigger. Take that wood out and start
carving. Think of a spoke shave. You could do all this with a ssplke shave
or a draw knife. Except that the lincolin logs may be a little small. Just
subsitute the knife for the spokeshave or drawknife. Or use some other
The only thing you are doing is removing some wood from the edge of the
square wood. You could even use a plane. Just round the edge over. That is
all there is too it. The thing about knife cuts though is that you leave
little knicks in the wood that greatly add to the authentic look. These
knicks stain darker than the surrounding wood. It just looks like a genuine
As far as the shingles go, I imagine that there are probably quick ways to
do this. I know that the folks who build those fancy doll houses use little
shakes for their roofs.
If I were to do it again, I would probably use something like veneer or very
thin stock. And I would cut them out with a knife. Probably an exacto knife.
Feel free to experiment. The way I always felt was that you are making
something that is genuine and crafted from materials of the earth. Any
solution that preserves this authenticity is valid and good. Remember, in a
plastic world, fewer and fewer children get to espereince genuine
craftmanship. Actually play with something created with genuine sweat,
materials and craftsmanship.
These time honored skills and products don't belong to anybody. Just use
them to create and give joy to those who will appreciate it.
Now get a knife and start carvin'. We wanna see pictures when you get it
I had forgotten about the tape trick. Apparently as a toddler I had put
clear tape on the earpiece of my grandmother's phone. She thought it was
broken and called a repairman. He looked at it for a second, then asked,
"Do you have grandchildren?" ;-)
Thanks for the offer of cars. He (and I) would really appreciate them,
but don't go to too much trouble. If you can send me plans on your
design, that would be great! What are you using for wheels and magnets?
I actually got one of the cars built over the weekend. Still having one
milling issue, but the process worked well enough to make about 15 pine
and 5 maple cars. Have been practicing on the pine before hitting the
The plans I have are cad files. Not sure if I can convert them to
another format with the freeware cad utility I have. If you have a
utility that will read cad files I'd be happy to send them to you.
The wheels that I have been using are wood. I bought a bunch of them
from Howee's, an online wholesale craft type supplier. I'm using a dowel
rod for the axle and it works, almost as well as the purchased trains,
but I'd like to find another solution. To me I should be able to spin
the wheel it watch it slowly coast to a stop, but that's not the way the
cars I build or the cars I buy work. :(
For magnets I bought them from Cherry Tree I think. They are the same
magnets as listed on http://www.bscandm.com/trains/track.htm with the
same nails as well. I found the magnets weak compared to the purchased
cars, but they work well enough.
If anyone knows of a source of plastic wheels suitable for train cars
that run on brio track, I'd love to know about them. I've looked off and
on since March and haven't found anything online.
The square lincoln logs I had as a kid also had scalloped pieces on the
side that made them look like hand-hewn timbers. I suppose they had
a special cutter head for doing that. Or maybe I inherited Lee's set...
> > > Then I just took the whole thing home and sat
I would recommend that you mill long stock before cutting to length,
then you're routing a managable piece of wood.
You can then make a jig to rout the notches (I figure if you're gonna
jig a cut, make it the shorter cuts rather than the longer ones). You
could make a jig for each length of log, so you cut the first notch on
the end of your long stock, then that notch positions the log in the
jig for the second notch.
I like your jig idea for the notches. First I'm going to try out the
wonderfence attachment for the TSIII system I have on the TS. I'm
counting on the repeatability that the system markets. Take the easy way
out first and not make a jig. Plus the two end notches are the same
distance so that's a simple turning the board around and voila. Haven't
made up my mind of using a router but or stacked dado though.
Mike Reed wrote:
I used 3/4 pine. Start with wide boards of reasonable length and cut
the dadoes first. Rip into 3/4 x 3/4 strips, then round over the edges
while still in long strips. Finally cut to length. I used 3/4 pine.
Careful layout of your dadoes is key. Can't remember exactly what the
dimensions were, but I can check if you want....?
On Thu, 17 Jul 2003 12:31:48 -0400, Thomas Mitchell
I actually stole a few logs from the grandmother's to model the logs so
I have the dimensions. Your process sounds like what I plan on doing
except for starting with boards with width equal to the length of the
logs. The shortest logs I will try to make 4-5 and cut to length at the
end. For your dado, did you use a TS or router set up?
I can't stress enough how important it is to use the largest pieces
(lengths) possible until the final step of cutting individual pieces
I used a radial saw with a dado blade. Then ripped them on the TS. I
think I used about six foot lengths and layed out several different
I've posted the text and drawings I used from an old issue of Hands On
It explains it better then I can. =0 )
I got a set in the late 1940's. The logs were round. I don't think
I've ever seen square Lincoln Logs. If I recall correctly, in addition
to round logs, brown, of various lengths (and some with additional
notches, not just on the ends) and green slats for roofs, there were
red gable pieces so that your roof had a low pitch. Also had an
Boy does that bring back a memory, I got a set in about 1968 for
Christmas from Santa Clause and I noticed that the red plastic gable
pieces were imprinted made in the USA (or something).
I had been pretty sure that the North Pole bit was fake, but that
confirmed it. I never told my parents, and I still get gifts from
Santa even though I just turned 40.
Thanks John Schreiber
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