Monday, February 18, 2013

The Nuts And Bolts Of It (or All About Joints)

I have had a lot of questions about the jointing process and my labeling so I thought I would take a moment and explain how it all works. There are many different ways to joint a stuffed animal.  These are some of the most commonly used components:

These simple wooden buttons are what I use on the corduroy and velveteen animals.  Along with a combination of very strong string, they provide a nice mobility and give the critter a fun, rustic look.  It is fairly sturdy and any repairs are simple to make. 

These are plastic safety joints.  They are just what the name implies... plastic and safe.  This is supposed to be kid friendly and safe.  Not much more that I can add to this lol

These are the parts that make up a cotter pin joint.   This is one of the most old fashioned ways to joint a furry critter.  I like to use this method of jointing for the animal's head as it is super sturdy and the head has full mobility.  If done correctly, cotter pin joints will last practically forever (think Steiff brand animals).  These are super tough to do right, there is a certain amount of still in turning the pins to make them secure, but the end results are worth it. 

These are the parts for bolt and lock nut joints.  This is my favorite way to joint the limbs on the animals, it is incredibly sturdy, doesn't make pulls on the fabric, and will not come apart.  From all the research I have done and from the animals I have experimented with, I can safely tell you that is not going to come apart. I have to use some special tools to lock it all down and they do not come apart on their own, that is the nature of the lock nut. 

For now, I plan to do the furry critters with a cotter pin joint at the neck and lock nut joints on their limbs.  I really like the results, they are super sturdy.  I am still working things out for the fabric critters so there will not be many available until I am sure I am offering the absolute best of what I can create.   I am sure my faithful followers have noticed that all of my listings contain the admonition that the animals are for collectors.  There are a lot of safety laws that are in place now and it is getting practically impossible to legally sell things that are designed for small children, especially those at the age where things go into their mouths.  I can assure you that I take every precaution with all of the things that I make to ensure that they are sturdy and will last a very long time.   

I hope this was able to clear some things up for those of you that had questions... if you have any more questions, please feel free to comment here and I will be sure to reply! 

xo Debra

1 comment:

  1. I do not miss working with cotter pins. I guess the one bright side of having been in the army - I got really good at working with them!