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    Building A Toy Fort, Log By Log | Fall 2012 Out Here Magazine

    Retiree finally gets his entire toy log frontier fort

    Out Here

    By Noble Sprayberry

    Photography by Meg McKinney

    With a vintage set of American Logs and his own woodworking skills, Paul E. Norman finally got all the toy logs he needed to build the kind of fort he'd dreamed of as a youngster.

    He assembles the Western fort, consisting of 11 structures, on a 4x5 table he built specifically for this project. When the fort is not on display, Norman keeps all the pieces carefully stored away in a U.S. Army footlocker.

    front view of the toy fort entrance
    As a child, Norman had enough logs to make only one log cabin, but now he can build anything his heart desires.
    Paul setting chimneys on one of the fort buildings
    The assembled fort sits on a 4x5-foot platform table that Norman built specifically for this project.
     
    an inner shot of the fort with miniature people standing in the open
    The frontier fort contains 11 structures within its walls.
    one of the inner buildings without its roof
    The pieces fit like a glove, but it took some doing. "I had to design, layout, cuss, cavort, and cry to get all of these things to come square at the end of it," Norman says.
     
    Paul places the roof pieces on the building
    Placing each piece in its correct spot, it takes Norman about 12 hours to completely construct the fort.
    one of the unassemble buildings still in a case with pictures of it assembled on the inside of the lid
    When the fort is not on display, Norman carefully packs the pieces away, along with pictures for visual cues when it's time to rebuild. But he really doesn't need the directions much anymore. "By now I pretty well know where the pieces go," he says, with a laugh.
     
    a shot of more interior buildings
    Norman spent about three months making all the tiny pieces and then painting them.
    some newer unpainted pieces
    To get started making the fort, Norman, an avid woodworker, bought a partial set of American toy logs to see how they were made. He now can cut and shape as many as he wants.
    several finished pieces in Paul's hand
    The fact that American Log toy sets are no longer manufactured didn't stop Norman. He simply made his own.
     
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    Out Here | Fall 2012 Home Page

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