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  • Fairbury News staff

The man with all the toys

Dale Maley's hand crafted wooden toys are on display this week.

You may already know Dale Maley likes to study local history, but did you know he makes toys?

One of Maley’s several hobbies is creating wooden models. This comes after 37 years of working on sophisticated testing machines at Caterpillar where he picked up U.S. patents in diesel fuel injection.

“I learned a lot of woodworking from Lloyd Wells,” Maley admits.

Maley started building hand-cranked mechanical models in 2009 before switching over to whirligigs, which are wind powered instead of hand cranked. He stumbled across an 1868 book on mechanical movement and even built has own model of the Ferris Wheel.

“It was a little bit of a challenge building this wheel and putting it all together,” said Maley.

A marble machine, referred to as “the beast,” is another one of Maley’s talented creations. The machine has a green track and yellow track and the start button only has to be pushed once. It will run by itself for 16 minutes. Maley started with standard size marbles but switched everything to one inch.

“I post a lot of these to You Tube,” added Maley. “My most popular one is The Secrets of Steam Bending Kiln Dried Wood.”

Maley’s works can also be found on a woodworking website known as Lumber Jocks. He gives informational talks to any groups that ask.

Maley spoke of his toy creations at Tuesday’s meeting of the Fairbury Rotary Club at Dominy Memorial Library.

Dale Maley shows his creations to the Fairbury Rotary Club this week.

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