Wooden Japanese Style Sword





Communion Trays


Royal Family Kids Camp Toys

Warrior Cats


Chuck Snyder Woodsmith

Wooden Toys

Royal Family Kids Camp is a camp for abused and foster kids.  These kids often have nothing to call their own, and never get a chance to go to camp. 

RFKC gives these kids a chance to experience a "normal" camp. One of the experiences is the chance to build their own toys. 

For the last 7 years I've been building toy "Kits" for the camp sponsored by Grace Community Church in Tualatin OR.  Last year I added 2 more camps.

In 2007 the list of toys was: Step stools, Biplanes and Bird houses.  I think the final count was close to 400 individual toys.  To make them there close to 10,000 holes drilled.  Wherever a nail is pounded, a 1/16" hole is drilled.  This prevents the wood from splitting, and helps then kids start the nail.  Most of these kids haven't ever had the chance to hold a hammer in their hands, and pounding nails is wonderful fun for them. 

Click the link to the Camps above and donate your time and effort if you can.  At each camp there is a counselor for each 2 kids plus a relief  counselor for each 4 kids.  Being a counselor for a week will be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but at the same time one of the most rewarding.

The camp (at least the one I started working with) has three rules for the kids.
  • Rule 1 - Be Safe.
  • Rule 2 - Have Fun and
  • Rule 3 - (and everyone yells) There is no rule 3.

Tow Truck and roadster - The truck is an original design but the car was taken from a book (fortuitous find).  This is probably one of the most complex projects for the kids to assemble.  To simplify, the crane parts are pre-assembled.

The car has a hole under the front that hooks to the cable so it can be towed. 

The cab is made from a 4x4, and the rest of the parts are 1x4 pine boards.

Three Legged Maple Burl Bowl
Tow Truck Car - The hardest part was doing the fenders.  The car body is made from a 2x4.

The driver has a small magnet glued to his bottom, and there is a small screw in the bottom of the car.  This allows him to stick to the car and keeps him from getting lost.

Biplane - The design was taken from a Christmas article, but was modified to make it a little simpler.  The body and landing gear block is made from 2x4's, and the rest of the project is made 1/4" birch plywood. The plywood doesn't splinter and is quite strong. Photo to come when I find the plane that my daughter assembled.
Log Truck - This was an interesting project.  The truck cab is the same one as the tow truck, but the trailer is set up to hold logs.

The logs were cut on private forest property.  The problem, with the logs cut to length (about 10"), the logs started to get mildew on them. 

A quick dip in a bleach solution, restack and then a box fan on them to help them dry solved the problem. 

Photo to come when we do them again.  Projects run in a 5-6 year cycle.  Once a kid has attended camp, he can continue to attend until too old.
18 Wheeler Truck- Well, it really only has 10 wheels, we don't do duellies on the back.  The trailer has a sliding lid so the kids can actually store stuff in there. 

Click for Construction Instructions:
Sail Boat - This project is close to my heart.  My wife and I spent a year living on a sailboat on the Columbia river.  I sometimes miss the boat. 

The boat is made from a 2x6. and comes with a stand.

The sail is sewn by volunteers at the churches the sponsor the camps. (while I can sew, there are places where I draw the line).

This was the first project I was asked to do, and made about 80 of them.  Adding the rounding to the bottom of the hull (previously the hull was just square and flat) made the boat float flat on the water instead of tilting. 

The skeg is held on with a "biscuit" and a slot on the top of the skeg and one on the bottom.

Click for Construction Instructions:

Step Stool- This is a really popular project.  The kids just love making something that they can take home and actually use. 

Last year one of Jean's girls had so much fun making stools that she made five of them.  Some kids make a lot and some don't make much, but on the average everyone makes at least one.

Again, Photo to come when we do this again.
Bird House- This was a real suprise for me.  The original bird house was just a triangle made up of 3 boards.  Not real pretty, but the kids loved making them.

I was in Rockler (in Beaverton, OR) and happened to look up on a display wall.  There on the wall was a small bird house shaped just like a church. 

I asked one of the employees if I could see it and explained what I wanted it for.  I took some pics with my cell phone, and borrowed a tape measure to get the size of the parts.

About that time the manager came over to ask about what was going on (just interested, not concerned).  I explained, and his response was "Take it home, bring it back when you are done".  Didn't take my name, phone, or address. 

I think it turned out to be one of the better projects.

Click for Construction Instructions:
RFKC/Finished Bird house

If you think of any other toys you think the kids would like, please feel free to contact me at any time, and we can talk about it. Would love to have other ideas for them to build.