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In March, 1995, I built a hand truck out of semi-specialized pieces.
Image: hand truck (16K JPEG) being pushed by a woman in a hard hat.
The insight of this model is that the round bars on the sides of the black 1-by-2 plate are placed at just the right separation to be grasped by a minifigure in both hands. So of course I had to make something that used these as a handle. The result was this hand truck.
Of course there is a special LEGO hand truck piece, but as you can see from this model, it's not really necessary. I don't have any of the ``official'' LEGO hand trucks to compare mine with, and I'm sure mine is a bit larger (models from non-specialized parts usually are), but I haven't noticed any fatal problems with this design.
The woman pushing the hand truck is named Pauline. How do I know this? I asked my daughter, Jane. Most adults, apparently, would have mistaken this minifigure for a man, and I admit I can't tell the difference myself. But Jane and her younger sister Polly are much more perceptive, so I try to make a habit of asking them about each minifigure so I'll know his or her name and sex.
This wheelchair was inspired by some experimentation by my daughter Jane with my hand truck design, and though I haven't put the model on her page, she deserves partial credit for it. And no, the seat and the mount for the handles do not both simultaneously fit quite the way they're ``supposed'' to on the axle plate beneath; that was one of Jane's insights.
In early 1995 I built a salon-style hair dryer. This is a chair such as one might find in a beauty salon, with an attachment at the top of the seat back that encloses the occupant's head and dries his or her hair.
Image: Front corner view (11K JPEG).
This, I confess, was a model of desperation. In the spring of 1994 I had acquired one of the old front-loader models from the Town series. I really wanted this model only for parts, so I quickly cannibalized it. But the front-loader scoop was left over. I was convinced that I'd never figure out an application for it in any of my own models, unless I someday built one of those miniature earthmovers (about the size of a lawn tractor) that landscaping companies sometimes use.
But one day I showed the problem piece to my wife, Enid, and issued the challenge (intended purely rhetorically) to come up with any model other than a front-loading tractor that could use this part. And this is the idea she came up with. It looks a little better from the side, but I chose a view that shows the construction better.
From David A. Karr's LEGO Collection, by David A. Karr