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Mechanical model kits
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Frequently Asked Questions

Building your Timberkit

Does it come as a model or do I have to build it?

Timberkits are bought as a kit which the customer assembles. When you open a box you will see that all the pieces are fully machined and ready so they don’t need special tools. Everything is in the box including the glue. We do also sell them as ready made models if required but it is mainly a construction experience.

How easy are the instructions to follow?

The instructions are photographic with minimal text. There is a photograph for each stage and symbols to show when you need to leave time for glue to dry and other tips along the way. There is a page of general advise about how to set about your build including guidelines about decorating the model. There are also videos on this site to give you extra help especially with some of the trickier bits. Our contact details are inside and on every box and you are welcome to give us a call and we will do everything we can to help you.

What happens if I lose a part or make a mistake?

Just give us a call or send an email and we will put spare parts in the post straight away at no charge. You can also send us photos of the bit that has gone wrong and we will talk you through how to rectify it. Here at Timberkits we are very dedicated to having real live human conversations!

How long will it take me to build a Timberkit?

You will have the best experience if you don’t rush the build and do a little bit at a time allowing the glue to dry well between stages. Start off on a tea tray so you keep it all contained and can easily put your work in progress aside for breaks. Some can take a couple of hours and some may be done in stages over days, it all depends on patience and ability levels.

What age range are Timberkits suitable for?

We say 9 to 90. Below 9, children would need a significant amount of adult support but it can still be a fun activity for a family group if you allow the kids to do the simpler bits and grown ups tackle the more complex stages. Obviously, we also have some very able over-90s doing them too!


Motorising the model

Can I motorise my model and if so, how?

The battery drive motor kit and the mains motor drive kit will each fit all our models apart from the Ballista and the Trebuchet. The main differences between them are the hassle of changing batteries and the price. First you make the model which has a handle for operating it. If you want to apply a motor to it, you then buy the motor kit (battery or mains) as an additional item. You will need to take the handle off your model (sometimes best snapped off with a pair of pliers) and replace it with the little pulley supplied in the motor kits. If you intend to motorise it right from the outset you needn’t put the handle on at all, leaving the drive shaft ready for its pulley.

What are the technical specifications of the motors?

The motors are input 230/240V, output 12V and compatible with European safety standards if used with correct plug adaptors


Educational value

Are Timberkits an educational product?

Timberkits are certainly very educational. They are particularly suitable for supporting the kinetics module in the Design Technology GCSE curriculum and also the Toy Design module in Key Stage 2 (for UK customers)

How do we know which models are suitable for children?

There is a guide on the back of every box giving each design a difficulty rating; Beginner through to Advanced. Beginner models are suitable for young children, all the others would require adult assistance.

Materials and source

The wood used in Timberkits is New Zealand pine and bamboo. Both come from certifiably sustainable sources.

The glue used is PVA


Other general points

What happens if they break?

Unlike plastic toys, if these break you can usually glue them back together and we can always supply replacement parts.

Who do they make good gifts for?

Great gift idea for Dads, Grandads and Uncles who are notoriously difficult to buy for. They are a great activity for people convalescing from illness or surgery, or anyone who has to be relatively inactive but still wants to be creative. They can be done by someone alone, or in pairs or in groups or as a family. You can buy a set and have a group challenge. They are often used by schools and clubs. Because of the broad variety of themes they do not just appeal to people with a mechanical mind.

Can I decorate my model?

The models can be painted/stained for which there is guidance in the instruction booklets. Keep paint and decoration away from any moving parts. It is often good to just decorate specific detail rather than cover the whole thing. It is also best to get key components decorated before you begin assembly as they can be difficult to get at once the model is finished. Have a look at our customer gallery to be inspired by some enthusiasts’ wonderful creations.

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