A couple of Christmases ago I made a clock from a kit for my wife. I opted to use the kit because I had never made a clock before and was pretty sure that I needed the help. I also expected that I would only ever make one so was looking for an easy learning curve.
In this recent case it didn't need the help but I bought kits anyway because it was a good short cut. The kits saved me from having to cut up a bunch of tiny pieces of wood.
My wife and I were in the local Dollar Store a while ago and I saw wooden toy kits for $1.25 each. Lets be clear, the wood is crap, the glue is also crap but the design isn't too bad and all the pieces are pre-cut. The most important thing with these kits is that they can be built by an Opa and his Grandson, which we did this weekend.
We made a sail boat, and a F-18 as well as a helicopter . I bought a couple of extra helicopter kits and plan to adjust and improve the kits then assemble them of the kids at church.
This is an instance where it is cheaper and quicker to buy prepared materials than to fiddle around in the shop to produce the parts.
The F-18 is waiting to be painted, I know it is an F-18 because Kieran says so. I sprayed the helicopter and the boat but was told that Kieran wanted to paint the F-18 with a brush and then he would be the painter and I would be the helper.
Building these cheap little toys has been a good learning experience for Kieran and I. These little kits have taught him that wood glue takes time to dry so you have to plan the stages of your project and wait, wait, wait. He has also begun to learn the types and names of clamps. This type of project uses an assortment of clamps and in some case clothes pins, which makes a good small, light weight spring clamp.