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Technical - Workshop Notes
2022-05  May

2022-05 May

Frank Collins' Handbag Cars and using child-safe food dyes for colouring.

Frank Collins, "Scrollsaw Man" has been plotting this production run over the last 18 months, to gift a superb set of 'Rattles' to carers of young children, sometimes in need of some immediate entertainment.  Consider a parent in a busy situation with an upset child - out comes a "rattle" in the form of a small car/ute to enjoy - and voila! Immediate relief for all.  Frank's ability to make things 100% from a scroll saw is known to many around the Club, and these small cars are no different.  Even the 640 wheels he made for them all!   

Many of Frank's crafts are painted with Food Dye, rather than paint, and his technique is outlined in this article too.     For all the recipients next November, when toys and gifts from the Thursday Group are handed to the Local  Community,  it can be assured, there will be some happier children amongst them this year with these 'Rattles'.

The "Rattle" can be a car or a ute, but the construction is similar.   It comprises a chassis, and a top, fitted with axles and wheels.


Low Cost child-safe Food Dye for colouring

Frank has been an advocate for this method of painting plywood projects or small toys for many years now.   Whether it be jig saws, picture frames, play toys or in this case, small cars,  it is imperative they are child-safe.   Food Dye is the no-brainer answer to this challenge, and costs very little from the local supermarket. 

Found in the cake department of most grocery stores, you'll find this brand: QUEEN.   It comes in basic common colours at a cost of about $1 a 10mL  bottle. Pillar Box Red, Green, Yellow, Blue. 

There is also QUEEN Gel Black (a little dearer at about $2.50 for 100G),  which can be reduced to a variety of shades of grey.

Timber is very porous, and the dye will leach well into the timber,   So, paint each peice separately when using multiple colours, and avoid using multiple colours on a single piece of wood!

Some tips:

- Use a disposable glove on one hand, and freely paintbrush with your other hand

- Add detergent first to break down the tension,  or consider CALVON

- Only apply ONE coat, so make  up a mix and test on a waste piece, and store for later in glass jars when right.

- Don't use too much water in the mix, it will lead to a faded result.

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