Say Cheese!
Good Woodworking|September 2017
Say Cheese!

Andy Smith makes a wonderful wooden camera for his niece using scrap pieces of walnut and maple.

Andy Smith

I have two beautiful nieces whom I love very much. At the moment they are one- and three-years-old and they adore presents. The three-year-old is so excited to open all of her gifts no matter what they are, and she is still young enough to enjoy handmade presents, so I am going to take advantage of that while I can!

Unfortunately there will come a time when handmade toys will become less desirable than the cheap plastic ones, but I understand their fascination: these are not as flashy or loud and as you grow older, the stimulation you get from these kinds of toys is somewhat important.

But luckily for me they are still young enough to enjoy any toy, so I wanted to make something they could use their imagination to play with; something that would outlast those cheap plastic equivalents.My sister is a photographer and I thought it would be really great to make a camera so my niece could take photos with her mum.

Although I know that this toy camera will inevitably one day be demoted to the toy box or attic and not be seen for years, when it does come out again, hopefully it will look the same, work the same, and be more loved than it was the first time it was received.

I hope you enjoy this article and have a go at making this project yourself.

Making the body

I had some scrap walnut and maple lying around so decided to use these to make the camera  Both pieces were around 180mm and 100mm wide. I cut the maple down to 90mm and ran both ends through the joiner. I then took the walnut and cut two strips, both about 25mm wide, and ran those through the joiner as well. I then dry fitted them to make sure the sides were flush before moving on to making the shutter button .

The shutter button

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September 2017