What little boy (and even little girl) would not enjoy playing with their very own toy crane or bulldozer? Made from easy to find and sturdy materials, these are bound to be a favorite toy for years if not generations! These vintage toy bulldozer plans and toy crane plans are from the 1950’s.
Built of box wood, these rugged action toys will provide many hours of play for your youngsters both indoors and out-doors, and they will make excellent Christmas gift items, too. The crane, which stands about 2 ft. high, has wheels to roll on. One crank handle raises and lowers the boom while another crank handle is turned to pick up a load. Cab and boom swivel on the wheeled base. The bulldozer is strong enough for a youngster to sit on and pushes sand very realistically.
Pick up several apple boxes and carefully take them apart to avoid splitting the thinner wood on the sides. This type of box has 3/4-in. thick wood on the ends and 5/16 to 3/8-in. thick wood on the sides. The wood from the box sides is used for all 1/4-in. thick pieces (Fig. 1).
Large empty spools can be obtained from local tailor shops. A few dowels and steel rods are the only other items needed.
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Make up the base complete with wheels and axles first. If you do not have a 10-24 thread-cutting die for the axles, drill 1/16-in. holes at each axle end, and use cotter pins to hold the wheels on. Use 1 3/8-in. dia. closet clothes-pole stock for the wheels.
Make the cab base next, permanently fastening the 3/4-in. dowel pivot with glue so it is flush with the top surface of the base. Cut the various cab parts and assemble to the cab base with nails and glue. Install the crank and spool before fastening the cab roof in place. Attach the spool to the rod by drilling a 1/16-in. hole through one-half the spool diameter and crank rod. Then drive a nail through the hole allowing the nail head to project slightly for tieing the boom lift cord to. Cut the boom arms from 1/4-in. plywood with the outside grain running lengthwise so that the arms will bend when bolting them to the spacer blocks at each end.
Now, make the two swivel discs and temporarily assemble the crane to see that all parts fit properly before painting. Then disassemble and paint the boom and cab roof black; the cab orange, yellow or red; the base and part of the cab base machinery gray. When dry, rig cords to raise and lower the boom with the spool inside the cab and raise and lower the hook with spool on boom. Make up two stop blocks as in Fig. 2 & 3, and fasten with wood screws so that the blocks can be swung clear of the crank handles when turning them.
Don’t forget that every crane and bulldozer operator needs a bright yellow hard-hat to look the part – check out this great hard-hat on Amazon here. (Note: these are affiliate links. Should you purchase an item from these links, I will receive a small amount of money. This has no effect on the amount you pay for an item. Purchases through those links help to support this website and I appreciate it. Thank you.)
The bulldozer, having fewer moving parts, is some what simpler to make than the crane. Start with the base (Fig. 4), drilling it for the 3/8-in. curtain rod axles but do not assemble the wheels at this time. Make up the engine and seat parts and assemble with nails to the engine base. For wheels, glue two pieces of 5/8-in. thick stock together and saw out oh a jig or band saw. Drill the wheels in the exact center and assemble with axles to the base. Plane a 4 x 10-in. piece at an angle for the blade and attach to the base with the two blade arms. They should be free to move up and down to follow the contour of the ground. Paint engine red and rest of bulldozer dark green, yellow or grey. Drive a screweye into rear edge of base so that other toys can be hooked on for towing.
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Now over to you!
Who are you going to make the crane and bulldozer for? Let me know in the comments below…