A light sleeper, Lee is in his shop by 4 in the morning cutting out toys.
An efficient woodworker with years of experience, Lee has developed a work style that makes it possible for him to crank out toys in large numbers. He’s always working on new methods to speed up his work, and a couple of weeks ago he attended an Intarsia class and discovered a new idea to apply to his toymaking projects.
The instructor was using a Xyron laminator to apply adhesive to the back of scrollsaw patterns. Lee promptly ordered the laminator. "It’s light years better than spray adhesives. There are no fumes to deal with and there is no mess to clean up from the spray can’s overspray."
To use the laminating machine, load the roll of repositionable adhesive into the machine and run the printed paper pattern through the machine. After the pattern comes out the other side, peel off the paper backing and affix it to the wood. The pattern doesn't come loose while cutting and is easy to peel off when you are finished.
Above: Toymaker Lee Beadles
Above: Lee likes to use Xyron laminators like the one above. They can be purchased at craft and hobby stores or online.
Lee says: "There are several sizes on Xyron machines. I like the 5 inch for most of the items. However, I did decide to buy the 12 inch model to handle the larger papers. We took book pages of ABC’s and scanned them onto the computer so my wife Jene could print them on 8-1/2" x 11" paper. She makes alphabets with them for hospital children in rehab. Jene uses the Xyron laminator to make the patterns to apply to same 8-1/2" x 11" size 1/8 inch Baltic plywood. She then stacks the plywood sheets so she can cut out several at once."
Important note: If you put the adhesive backed drawing/pattern on your wood you'll want to cut it out it the same day. The longer you leave the pattern on the wood, the harder it is to remove.
Lee and Jene enjoy making toys for family and have also donated many toys to their local children's hospital. In less than 6 months they have made some 1850 toys for the children!
Above: Lee's grandchild Owen plays with the Bobangi Zoo Safari Train from the ToymakingPlans.com book Build Wood Toy Trains. Inset: Lee's daughter Jessica proudly displays the toy train at her baby shower.
Above: The Bobangi Zoo Train in all it's splendor!
Above: Lee's wife Jene enjoys painting the toys. Jene is using non-toxic Apple Barrel paints and Anita's Acrylic Craft Paints. Both brands of paint are available at Hobby Lobby (USA) or to order online.
Above: Lee likes to build and sell a variety of toys from the ToymakingPlans.com book Snazzy Toys for Scrollsawers.
Above: Lee likes to modify ToymakingPlans.com patterns to add his unique touch. These toys are perfect for donating to their local children's hospital! In the center Lee used the bunny from Funny Bunny Choo Choo. Left and right are animals adapted from Noah's Fun-Time Mini Ark.
Above: A typical shot from Lee's woodworking studio showcasing Lee's committment to building hundreds of finely crafted toys at a time to donate to his guild's toy charity program.
We asked Lee for his feedback on ToymakingPlans.com' customer service:
"You asked about what I liked and disliked about ToymakingPlans.com. Every time I have had a question about one of your drawings you have helped me. Customer service is great. And you have provided the widest array of toy patterns that I have seen. I started out with buying your library set of 6 books last year. Since then I have re-ordered that set and bought many more in the eBook style. I have found your eBooks to be more to my liking since I can print only the pages I need. And sometimes with a printed book I have problems with trying to get a page to lay flat.
Also I have added the eBooks to my iPad library. Now when I am sitting with other toymakers we can easily talk about the toys in front of the iPad."