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A toy box in the shape of a London bus

Easy to make, this toy box reproduces a two-story London bus. Element of decoration in a child's room, it constitutes at the same time a piece of storage furniture. Mounted on real wheels and easy to move, it is also a toy. The bus, unlike commercial toy boxes, has no acute angles, its curves preventing the child from getting hurt by falling.

Necessary material

  • Compass
  • Metre
  • square
  • Clamps
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Sander
  • Square tip
  • Screwdriver
  • Hunting-nails
  • Grater or plane-lime
  • Hammer
  • Knife to coat
  • Sanding wedge
  • Brushes to decorate
  • Screw
  • Man's head tips
  • Wood glue
  • coating
  • Sandpaper
  • Vinyl painting
  • Masking tape
  • layer
  • Varnish
  • Piano hinges

Steps

  1. Trunk construction
  2. Preparation before decoration
  3. Trunk decoration

Trunk construction

Draw a round

Draw a round

1. The rounded outline of the top corners of the trunk is made using a compass on the plywood panel. The plot must be precise so that all sides fit exactly. For safety, draw the vehicle's plan on large sheets of paper, then cut out the "pattern" and then return it to the plywood.

Dimensions of the different building elements (in cm) The whole is made of plywood 15 mm thick

  • AT: 120x65
  • B: 120x65
  • C : 117x40
  • D: 98x43
  • E: 57x40
  • F: 25x40
  • G: 32x19
  • H: 31.5 x 17.5
  • I: 34.5x40
  • J31.5x20.5
  • K31.5x19
  • The: 16.5x19
  • M: 16x19
  • NOT: 17,5x10
  • O: 20.5x19
  • P: 15x21
  • Q: 23x23
  • R: 26 battens of 0,40 x 15 x 5
  • S: 13x29

(plywood 3 mm thick or Isorel 4 mm)
Trunnion: 2 m from 20 mm ø

Diagram of the London bus

Diagram of the London bus

Cut with a jigsaw

Cut with a jigsaw

2. Cut the windows and the different parts with a jigsaw. Attach the panel to the workbench with a clamp to accurately follow the path. To achieve a good cut, you have to handle the jigsaw without hesitation. If you are inexperienced, exercise on wood chips first.

Assemble by screwing

Assemble by screwing

3. The assembly is done by screwing: first mark the through holes and the pilot holes with a square point. Press the screws in the middle of the edge of the panel.

Sand the front (orbital sander)

Sand the front (orbital sander)

4. Sand the front end with a power sander, or alternatively, with fine sandpaper (00) and a sanding block. Also sand the edges to round them slightly.

Assemble the front by nailing-gluing

Assemble the front by nailing-gluing

5. The assembly of the front part is done by nailing and gluing. Use vinyl wood glue and press the tips in the middle of the edges.

Screw the side of the trunk

Screw the side of the trunk

6. Assemble the side of the toy box by screwing. First cut the through holes so that the screw heads can be drowned.

Make lathing for rounding

Make lathing for rounding

7. Roundings at the front and back of the roof are made using small wooden slats, cut to size, then glued and nailed. Prepare three pieces of wood and fix them by gluing and nailing on the sides and in the middle. The central piece, on which the slats rest, is essential to ensure the solidity of the rounding. Using a nail chaser, drive the heads of the spikes.

Equalize the roundness with the plane-lime

Equalize the roundness with the plane-lime

8. Equalize the slatted surface with a wood grater or file planer to eliminate the unevenness of the flare. Pass the tool in the direction of the battens to avoid splitting the wood. After equalization, the rounding must be regular and level with the sides.

Cut the axle carrier parts

Cut the axle carrier parts

9. Trace and cut the axle carrier and bus wheels with a jigsaw. A round bar of 20 mm section constitutes the axle. To attach it to the wheels, drill a hole of the same diameter in the center of the wheels with an electric drill. With the same bit, drill a hole for each of the four axle carrier parts (cutting a small diameter circle is too difficult to achieve with a jigsaw).

Screw the axle carrier

Screw the axle carrier

10. Secure the axle carrier parts by screwing. Drill through holes and mill them. Screw the four pieces on the bottom of the bus, not on the edge of the sides.

Preparation before decoration

Apply the plaster

Apply the plaster

1. Apply a coat of plaster to all surfaces of the toy box. Preferably use a tube plaster, ready to use. First, hunt all the nail heads and screw those of the screws into the countersunk holes. Lay a regular layer on the batten: it must be quite smooth.

sand down

sand down

2. After complete drying of the plaster, sand all surfaces of the trunk with a sanding block. Start with medium-grit sandpaper and finish with a very fine grain paper. It is possible to use a portable power sander. The roundness of the front cabin (which is the mudguard) is not made by lathing but, more simply, with 3 mm plywood or 4 mm fibreboard, thin enough to be bent.

 Screw the hinge of the lid

Screw the hinge of the lid

3. Finish building the trunk by screwing the piano hinge that hinges the cover. Tighten the screws securely.

Apply the background paint

Apply the background paint

4. After dusting the trunk, apply a coat of white vinyl paint over the entire surface; it will be the background of the decor. Use a large decorating brush to apply the paint regularly, spreading as much as possible.

Trunk decoration

Paint between caches

Paint between caches

1. Draw on the bus the boundaries of the different colors. Then apply the paint using a thinner flat brush. If you are experienced enough, paint by hand. But it is safer and faster to use masking tape.

Peel off the covers

Peel off the covers

2. A gradient of gray, made of a succession of bands going from black to light gray, appears the glass of the windows. Before gluing a strip of masking paper, always wait until the paint is dry.

Post the drawings by layer

Post the drawings by layer

3. Transfer the sketches of the character heads to the windows using a layer.

Paint the details with a thin brush

Paint the details with a thin brush

4. Paint the gray gradient. Choose simple and fun designs: Then paint with a thin brush.

Apply a coat of varnish

Apply a coat of varnish

5. To complete the decoration of the bus, add the essentials: headlights, line number, steering wheel with driver wearing a bowler (to go with the London style of the vehicle). Everything is possible in terms of decoration; you just have to avoid overloading yourself. After drying the paint, varnish all exterior surfaces. Pass several coats of varnish let dry completely before applying the next layer. The windows (also articulated) are kept closed by a central and pivoting wooden cleat.

(photos / visuals: © DIY-Prod, except special mention)

A toy box in the shape of a London bus: decoration

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