Goose Creek Precision Engineered Riding Rockers

October 15, 2010

Filed under: Product Reviews — Baby Eco Trends @ 5:26 pm


We were so delighted when we came across Goose Creek’s heirloom quality Riding Rockers.  Not only are they made entirely in the USA (with locally source materials) but each one of these beauties is built by hand from beginning to end, resulting in a riding toy that is literally engineered for security & durability.
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Goose Creek is an Indiana based, family owned toy company that designs and builds unique eco friendly wooden toys fit to hand down through the generations.  Each toy comes with a dated, serialized plaque as well as a personalized dedication plaque.  Read on to find out who builds these treasures & what makes them so special.
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Fred Stave, Founder of Goose Creek - Fred Stave, Goose Creek Founder
Fred worked as a research & products development engineer and design manager at RCA Corporation. In 1985, he co-founded a small medical device company and created a tool utilized in cataract eye surgery. For the remainder of his engineering career, Fred directed a global group of applied research engineers at Whirlpool Corporation.  After retiring, Fred began thinking about building a keepsake for his grandchildren. In 2000, after attending a woodworking show, the idea was born… make each grandchild a one-of-a-kind rocking horse that would be of heirloom quality that would remain in the family to be passed on from generation to generation.

Fred and his wife Sondra are the parents of two boys & two girls and one grandson and 3 granddaughters. They live on 150 hilly wooded acres on Goose Creek Bay which connects to the Ohio River with their 3 Cocker Spaniels. With most of his time spent in the workshop designing and building these beautiful one-of-a-kind Riding Rockers, Fred delights in being a true perfectionist and making sure that every detail is exactly how it should be.

- Pat Holcomb, Goose Creek Artist
Pat brings artistic design to Goose Creek Enterprises. Fred and Pat initially collaborated on the animal design for the “pig” and it was so successful it has now flourished to all the animals in the Goose Creek collection.  Pat was in the military for 3 years as a Biomedical Equipment Technician where she met her husband and they now have have two boys and they are the grandparents of two more boys.  Currently Pat is the director of her own boarding kennel & is involved in animal rescue, enjoys photography, gardening and home improvement projects.

Q: What is the recommended child age for the Goose Creek Riding Rockers?
A: We have found that the youngest is approximately 2 years old; as with any riding toy, adult supervision is recommended. We have seen “big kids” get on & ride ranging in age from teens to 60’s, weighing upwards of 250 pounds.
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Q: How safe are your Riding Rockers for my child?
A: Very safe! The Riding Rocker’s creator, Fred Stave, has spent most of his professional career concerned with product design and development of consumer products and as such is very sensitive to safety issues. A component of Goose Creek’s “Precision Engineered Craftsmanship” is taking safety into account and doing everything possible to make the Riding Rockers safe. For example, the rocker ends are formed so that the rocker cannot be rocked too high and tip over.  All joints have at least two fastening mentods holding them together such as screw & glue or peg & glue. Furthermore, mortise and tenon joints combined with glue and screw joining is utilized on the rocker cross pieces for ultimate durability & security.  All rockers meet the current Consumer Product Safety Act.
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Q: Once I order a Riding Rocker, how long will it take to arrive?
A: This depends on the complexity of the Riding Rocker ordered and stock status.
. Standard Designs: 4-6 weeks
. Personalized Designs: 5-6 weeks
. Exclusively Designed by Pat: 6-8 weeks
. Custom Designs: 6-8 weeks, depending on the complexity of the design
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Q: How do you ship the Riding Rockers?
A: Riding Rockers are shipped by FedEx Ground (no PO Boxes). The owner spend a lot of time at a FedEx shipping center to create the perfect shipping method. The Riding Rockers are secured to a wooden frame that is attached to a double wall corrugated box.  During lab testing, the boxed toys were dropped from a 30” height on bottom, top, corners and edges and then vibrated for over 12 hours on a huge vibration table to ensure your Riding Rocker arrives in perfect shape.
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Q: How much will shipping cost me?
A: There is no additional charge for shipping. We offer free shipping to any address in the continental USA.
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Q: Can you design ANY kind of “rider” for my child or are there specific ones to choose from?
A: There are many standard designs to choose from, but Goose Creek Enterprises can design and build virtually any kind of Riding Rocker. Email us your idea and we can work with you to create your custom design.
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Q: What about the paint designs and color?
A: Within reason, Goose Creek Enterprises can meet the needs of any color scheme and design.
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Q: What is the finishing process?
A: Five coats of final finish are applied to the natural wood Riding Rockers. It is a very specific combination of traditional tung oil in a modern tough surface polyurethane mixture; once this is dried, it is inert & no off-gassing occurs. The final finish on the painted versions however, utilize a water-based, very clear and transparent mixture, so that the colors intended by the artist will shine through. All paints and finishes are child-safe, lead-free and non-toxic & all final sanding and finishing is done 100% by hand.
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Q: What kind of wood goes into your Rockers?
A: Only locally harvested and processed highest quality Indiana hardwoods of Walnut, Ash, Cherry and Red Oak are utilized for strength, durability and beauty. All materials are grown or manufactured in the USA.
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Q: Do you have a guarantee? What happens if something were to break on my Riding Rocker?
A: The guarantee is quite simple – if it breaks, we will repair or replace it at our option.
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Q: What is the expected life of the Riding Rockers?
A: The Riding Rockers are expected to live for many, many years. They are built to last for generations.
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Q: What is “Handcrafted Heirloom Quality”?
A: The dictionary definition of heirloom is “possession kept in family”. To Goose Creek Enterprises it means that with reasonable care, the Riding Rocker will continue to perform as new and continue to look attractive and in the case of some natural woods will improve its look with age. During the time interval the child outgrows the Riding Rocker and the next generation comes along, the Riding Rocker is intended to look so good that it will not go into storage but rather could be used as a room accent piece.
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Q: What is “Precision Engineered Craftsmanship”?
A: Goose Creek Enterprises’ definition of “Precision Engineered Craftsmanship” is combining the old world skill of the wood trades with the modern design engineering skills and the utilization of modern materials. For example, creator Fred Stave, used engineering calculations and strength of materials information to design and confirm the strength of the many joints in the Rocking Riders. This is when he concluded that many of the critical joints, especially where safety was involved, need more than one joining technique to be utilized. Modern glues and surface finishes are more resilient and tougher while providing a longer life than the comparable glues and finishes utilized in the past. This is exemplified in the five coats of final finish on the natural wood Riding Rockers. It is a very specific combination of traditional tung oil in a modern tough surface polyurethane mixture. The final finish on the painted versions however, utilize a water-based, very clear and transparent mixture, so that the colors intended by the artist will shine through.
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Q: Where does the name Goose Creek come from?
A: The name Goose Creek comes from a small tributary of the Ohio River that runs through a portion of the 150 acres that make up the home of Goose Creek Enterprises.
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