Book Review: Frontier Logs Play Set

There’s nothing quite like watching the imagination of kids at work. Pull up a chair and a cup of coffee with my mom one day. She’ll tell you about the Christmas when I was a toddler and spent most of the day playing with the handle of a toy. Neither my parents, grandparents or my older brother could convince me to play with something else. I can’t recall what I was playing with that handle, but it must have been awesome.

It wasn’t because I was a simple kid.. but the simpler the toy, the bigger the role my imagination played in making my own fun. That’s the appeal of wooden blocks, Lego blocks, and those frontier-style logs you can use to build all kinds of structures. They’ve been around for a long time and are very popular because they still hold their appeal.

Well, if there’s a special young someone in your life, AND you would like to build him or her a great holiday present, why not look to build a set of frontier logs? Sure, you could buy a set, but they wouldn’t be made by you, right? And, you would be surprised just how easy they are to build.

Ralph Bagnall strikes again, releasing his second book about how to build a frontier logs play set. And, just as with his sand shading veneer book, this one is crammed with straightforward, step by step instructions on how to build a set of your own.  Ralph made his set from a pile of southern yellow pine dimensional lumber scraps, a table saw with a combination blade and a dado blade, and a router table with a convex edge router bit.

The process is very simple and repetitive, and, remember, you are building a set of logs for a child’s play set – not machining parts for the International Space Station. So, cut yourself some slack if things aren’t down to the thousandth of an inch, OK?

The best part of the plans that Ralph lays out is that it includes plans to make roof gable ends, half logs to help you build foundations and how to cut roof staves. Ralph shows you how to cut roof caps and chimneys, to add some more realism to the build. He even recommends how many of each type of piece to build so you can ensure there are plenty of pieces to work with to build a variety of buildings.

Part two of the book shows pictures of some structures you may want to help your little buckaroo build with your new set of logs. You can choose from ranches with corrals, farms or frontier forts.

Now, if you are considering building a set of frontier logs for someone in your life, you might want a copy of this book. And, as we had done with the sand shading book, Ralph would like to give away a copy to one of our readers.

So, if you would like to get your own copy, answer this question. I’ll pick a winner Tuesday night from the correct answers submitted.  Ready? here goes…

What was the first wooden toy I built for my sons?

This one should be easy for y’all!

Hey, Roger Sullivan, you are our winner!  Look for your own copy of the book coming to a mailbox near you!

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Frontier Logs Play Set”

  1. Can’t say that I ever built a wooden toy for my son (too busy at the time) but, I’ve built several for my grandsons.
    The first one was a wooden dump truck for each of them. (2) In fact the truck helped one of them to learn to crawl.


  2. My dad was always cutting up blocks for me to build with as a kid and I loved it. I made a toy for each of my daughters before they were born and just think it is a nice tradition to carry on, someday I hope to do the some with my grandchildren.

  3. No sons and I started woodworking too late for my daughter. Did make some wooden cars for my twin grandsons, though, along with hanging hooks with their names, sliding lid pencil boxes, and a few other goodies. This sounds like a very interesting book and a worthwhile project for anyone who has sons/grandsons/daughters/granddaughters.

  4. Years ago when my kids were small I set up the machines and they and their friends made a pile of these things. We also made longer ones than were commercially available so they could build larger forts.
    As an aside the original “Lincoln Logs” were a product of Frank Loyd Wright’s son.

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