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Tinker Toys


Jim Small et al

 One of my older lapidary mags even describes a way to use Tinker
Toys to make a simple faceting rig. 

What is a tinker toy? Please enlighten me as I have not been able to
find the phrase used in any o fmy litterature.

Kind regards
Niels L=F8vschal, Rutsker, Denmark


Niels - A Tinker toy is a wooden toy, comprised of “spools” and
spokes. The “spools” are round circles about ,75 inch thick and 1.75
inches in diameter; the outside edge of which being slightly
v-grooved around the circumferance. Equally spaced in the v-groove,
around the perimeter of the circle are 8 .25 inch holes. The center
of the spool also has a .25 inch hole running through it. The spokes
are of various lengths, but all .25 inches in diameter - to fit the
holes in the spools. The object was to build three dimensional

For simple faceting you start with a spool for your index wheel;

dop a stone to a spoke put in the center hole of the spool; then
place spokes of the same length in each of the 8 peripheral holes.
By changing the length of the peripheral spokes you change which
facets you are working on. You have to use a flat plate parallel to
your lap as a work surface for the rig.

I just used “Google” search engine for “tinker toys” and found
several good sites which show photos of tinker toys - any of which
will make my explanation much clearer.

Jim Small Small Wonders


Rods and wheels. The wheels have holes all around the rim and you
can use them to connect the rods to make structures. You can find
lots of links on Google, but here’s one:


Tinker Toy is a construction set for children, and is amazingly
versatile in the shapes and structures which one can create with it.
It is basically a group of thin wood dowels and unique connectors
for them. It was one of my favorite toys in the 1940’s-1950s. Which is
amazing, since I am only 39 years old! DavidBarzilay, Lord of the
Rings go to :


Niels, A Tinker Toy is a series of wood forms with evenly spaced
holes and round dowels to fit into those holes. The wood forms are
wheel like, more like a tire with holes around the circumference as
well as in the center through and through.

This is an imagination building toy with which many things can be
built. Airplanes, structures, fences, even stick figures. I am
certain there was something similar in your area as I used to buy
wooden toys from Denmark for my son and later grandsons.

What was done by an enterprising person or two was to create a Jam
Peg unit to facet stones. The wheel like portion was fitted with dop
sticks and then the evenly spaced holes were used to move the dop
into to create facets or sides. I suspect a web search would give
you photos, sorry I cannot draw what I am trying to describe.

This was the wooden answer to the metal Erector Sets, now care to
hear about Erector Sets?

HTH, smilingly, Teresa


Dear all Thanks for all the replies, explanations and URLs about
tinker toys. Yes, they also existed in Denmark in my childhood, some
fifty years ago, but I never got around to be the lucky owner.

I also remember envying those of my friends who were, it really was
a thing where you could use your fantasy and imagination.

Kind regards Niels L=F8vschal, Rutsker, Denmark loevschal@mobilixnet.d=
phone (+45) 56 94 90 60