Wallingford Toy Works



I learned my woodworking skill from my father, who has helped me at several craft shows in the past. As a child, I would help him with the woodworking projects at home. They were always very practical projects like bookshelves, new bulkhead doors, etc. They were always perfectly crafted, well constructed wooden pieces.


When I left home and lived on my own, I missed woodworking. As a way to pay for my own set of tools, I started making simply designed Scandinavian furniture.

I still make custom designed furniture (not so simply designed any more) in the off season, but I found my love was smaller pieces: ornaments, puzzles, and games. They give me a medium where I can use different kinds of wood to create some artistic beauty, but are always well built (or over built as I describe my father's projects).

All of my games and puzzles are meant to never be put away, but to remain out on display, as coffee table art, to enhance the beauty of the room.


I try to use local woods as much as possible, and with the exception of a little mahogany I use North American hardwoods. There is enough variation of color (from white poplar and ash to red cherry to very dark brown walnut) to get the contrasts I am looking for.

Amber at the saw

I let all wood air dry for at least three months in addition to the kiln drying at the mill to keep the wood from checking or cracking.

Lumber is sorted for quality and milled to the desired thicknesses. And then the cutting begins. A variety of tools are used: band saw, scroll saw, table saw, routers, and drill press. All these are used to produce the finished work you see here.

In the spirit of not knowing where my games and puzzles may end up, I use only non-toxic mineral oil and nontoxic latex polyurethane finishes.

I do the work myself from start to finish with two minor exceptions. A friend of mine does a little laser engraving and one afternoon a week I have a little helper. Amber Curran, my friend and assistant who designed the Amber Whale, comes in to help me out and learn the woodworking craft. So when you purchase a puzzle, game or ornament from Wallingford Toy Works you know the care that was taken to create it.

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brad kelley   19 meacham st   wallingford, vt   05773