Wood animals are shockingly easy to make! (with the right tools) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-09-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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Oh, and I just found out a good friend of mine has a scroll saw. I'm going to be bugging him to make some things for me. It's better than having one of my own, because I don't have to spend any extra money or figure out how to store it.

I have a local woodworking shop that carries more exotic woods. I already know that I want some purpleheart, yellowheart pine, zebrawood, ebony, mahogany.

I want to use some scraps partly to maybe make more animals with and partly to make some blocks with. I know for a fact that when I get those, I am going to use the tung oil to bring out the fabulousness of those woods without altering the graining.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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Old 09-09-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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These are so beautiful! I wish I had the tools. I was going to order some for a child care I'm organizing for a 4 day yoga training, but they were too expensive, so I'm just going to have to sew felt woodland animals.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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Beautiful!!!!!!
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love all the amazing creatures people have made! This is an amazing bunch of women here! :-)

This came up somewhere else, so I thought I'd mention it. Most towns have a tool rental store, where you can rent anything from tile cutters to scaffolding to a tow-behind woodchipper to, most likely, a scroll saw. They will also show you how to use them. If you already have your patterns drawn out on your wood, a half-day's rental would be all you need to cut a whole bunch of critters. It would probably cost you somewhere in the realm of $10 or so.

-Laura
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:17 AM
 
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Quick question... what thickness of wood do you think works best for a beginner to cut?
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Standard 1" pine boards, I think, found at any lumber store/home despot in huge quantities. If it's too thin the board will flex on you, too thick and it will be more difficult to cut.)

(Note: a "Standard 1" board" is actually 3/4" of an inch - just like a "2x4" is 1 1/2" by 3 1/2". That's just the way the industry does it - go figure!)

-Laura
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Old 09-14-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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where do you all find out how to shape these - they are LOVELY!

~Kris mama to Alexis (15), Elizabeth (10), Andrew (7), and 1 angel
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:57 AM
 
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http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y16...2/MVC-002F.jpg


Here are some we made this afternoon. It takes a little practice, we'll for sure do more.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y16...2/MVC-002F.jpg


Here are some we made this afternoon. It takes a little practice, we'll for sure do more.
These are adorable!!! Wonderful job

For those of you that have made them already, do you have suggestions for those of us newbies?
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I second that! Wow!

What did you use for the edges? Did you hand-sand, or use a dremel, or what? Looks fabulous!
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:11 AM
 
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I second that! Wow!

What did you use for the edges? Did you hand-sand, or use a dremel, or what? Looks fabulous!

A cordles drill with a sanding pad on it for the initial shaping, a dremel with a little sanding wheel to sand the edges and then a foam sanding block to sand the edges (hand). A coping saw was used to hand cut the shapes.
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:33 AM
 
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Wow, so wonderful, you've made some really great stuff!

It really is fun, isn't it? I started woodworking in the early 1990s and have done it on and off since.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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I wanted to mention, for those that don't have a scroll saw in the budget, like yours truly, a coping saw might work, though it'll be slower. For sanding, making a broad file with a sander belt that's stretched onto some wood will help work the edges.

I haven't used this technique but I'm planing on it.

I read about this technique in a cool book, American Folk Toys.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:20 AM
 
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yeah, you go, Serena!

ZooLoo I love all your toys, I have been admiring them and really like the husky dog in your shop. My son really wants it.

Saamy Student mama to  superhero.gifand hearts.gifand babyf.gif

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Old 10-04-2007, 02:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KJoslyn78 View Post
where do you all find out how to shape these - they are LOVELY!
Look at the one you would buy, and draw something similiar. whalah!

Saamy Student mama to  superhero.gifand hearts.gifand babyf.gif

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Old 10-04-2007, 02:28 AM
 
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Those are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

Homebirth Midwifing mama to five blessings in Northeastern PA.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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I was looking for some animal templates and I came upon this site that has some animal silhouettes. I think I'll hand draw the template but use these as samples.

Anyone else got any templates to share?
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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We're doing this! I'm making templates and sanding and painting/staining, and DH is cutting. He was excited to have permission to buy a tool - he got a scroll saw - and I'm excited to have more natural toys for DS. I'll post pictures when I have them.
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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subbing


one love

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Old 01-12-2008, 02:58 AM
 
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love your animals, I bought a piece of oak with my Christmas money, now I just have to find a spare moment
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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Does anyone have tips for someone who dreams of woodworking but doesn't have the slightest idea as to where to start? I have no access to tools or woodshops or anything. I really want to make toys and possibly furniture one day, but it seems like such a lofty goal for a stay-at-home mom of a toddler.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone have tips for someone who dreams of woodworking but doesn't have the slightest idea as to where to start? I have no access to tools or woodshops or anything. I really want to make toys and possibly furniture one day, but it seems like such a lofty goal for a stay-at-home mom of a toddler.
It's not a lofty goal at all, but entirely doable. There's something about woodworking that seems so mysterious to people - it's what goes on in the mysterious shop class that you were never allowed to take. I didn't know a thing until I married someone who grew up with it, and it took me a few years to realize there were all these tools in the basement and I should figure out how to use them. And so I found things out one at a time - what a table saw does. And so I made a bunch of things using just that, before learning about other tools that might have worked better. The joys of power drills. The straightforward destruction you can cause with a Saws-all. The fun of jigsaws & bandsaws. And I know there's more I haven't experimented with.

To learn about woodworking, there are a couple of approaches. One is to find somebody, through church or community group or asking around, who is willing to teach you things. Old retired guys are great for that - they're often just so happy that someone takes an interest. The other is to just start with a simple project and decide that you're just going to figure it out, darnit. Sometimes, the Community Education in your area might offer classes too.

Tools can usually be rented at a rental place; most towns of, say, 20,000 people or more have them. They will also show you how to use them. This can be a fabulous resource, because for a rental anywhere from four hours to a weekend, which will cost less than you think ($10 is pretty common) you can get a free lesson on a machine that it's not your responsibility to maintain or store.


Once you've picked that simple project, and managed to achieve it, you can decide whether you want to take another one on. Ask questions, here or elsewhere, figure out what one new tool you want/need to learn, and pick something new/more challenging. Personally, I prefer to simply learn on one tool at a time, months sometimes with a little bit of playing here and there, until I don't really have to think about how it works anymore.

The wood animals here are a nice simple sort of project - they only require a scroll saw, or even just a hand saw (is it called a coping saw? Someone posted about that earlier) and a plain old 1x4 piece of pine. Playstands are also, believe it or not, pretty simple IF you have GOOD plans.

If you're going to find a woodworking book, make sure it's REALLY basic to start. Like, here's how to pick your wood, here's something you can make with just a saw and a drill. Lots of woodworking books seem to be geared to the male who has basic training and wants to spend hundreds on tools. Perhaps even a book on woodworking for kids? Check with your librarian.

Sometimes, I am just too longwinded. But I hope it's helpful...
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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So if I had a pattern, some wood, and a scroll saw, would I be good to go? How do you keep the wood steady -- can you hold it in your hand against a hard surface or do you need a clamp?

I have to admit to being a bit afraid of tools. Cutting myself in fifth grade carving a pumpkin (and needed seven stitches) doesn't help any...

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So if I had a pattern, some wood, and a scroll saw, would I be good to go?
Yep. And patterns can be had by finding a nice wood critter in an online store and holding up the paper to the computer screen to trace. :-)

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How do you keep the wood steady -- can you hold it in your hand against a hard surface or do you need a clamp?
With a scroll saw, just your hand. The saw will have either multiple or variable speeds. You need to play with the speed to find the one where the saw won't vibrate the wood too bad. Bandsaws are nicer, that way - since the band only goes one direction on a bandsaw (down) the wood doesn't vibrate. But bandsaws tend to be bigger, a tad scarier, and, if you're looking to buy, more expensive. Scrollsaws also have a terrible time with wood thicker than 1", while a bandsaw doesn't care.

I'd only used the scroll saw when I started this thread; now, having discovered the bandsaw, I like it a whole lot better. But if you're doing small, detailed things, a scrollsaw still works really well. And feels something like a sewing machine, which is more familiar to many of us.


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I have to admit to being a bit afraid of tools. Cutting myself in fifth grade carving a pumpkin (and needed seven stitches) doesn't help any...
Ouch. I don't blame you. Just make sure that you don't ever use a tool without having someone show you how it works, and what the safety mechanisms are. And remember, if your hands don't go near the blade, you don't have to worry. People only tend to get hurt with power tools when they get so comfortable with them that they get lazy.
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yeah - and make sure you start by cutting pine, which is soft and thus easier. Leave oak, maple, and other cool hardwoods until you're more comfortable.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:35 PM
 
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isaberg, you're awesome! Thanks for that wonderfully long answer. I need LOTS of details before I can just jump into something... mainly because I have to decide if it's worth finding a babysitter for.

ETA: I just signed up for a kids' workshop class at Lowe's! They are called "Build and Grow Clinics" and are totally free. The one they're offering now is for a tool box, which is AWESOME because I've been looking for wooden play tools for Noli. I just hope they won't kick me out when I show up without a kid!
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:27 AM
 
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I just wanted to stop in and say thanks for the inspiration! I've had a great time making toys for my boys... well worth the money because a $99 scroll saw and $6 worth of pine has already resulted in at least $60 worth of toys and it has only been a few weeks. By the end of the year I'm sure it will have paid for itself many times over.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had a great time making toys for my boys... well worth the money because a $99 scroll saw and $6 worth of pine has already resulted in at least $60 worth of toys and it has only been a few weeks. By the end of the year I'm sure it will have paid for itself many times over.
Hurray! Can we see pictures of what you've done? Pass the inspiration around - I could use some this week. :-)
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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I take pictures of each thing as I make it using the cam on my laptop, the link is in my siggy (I linked to your pics on the blog, let me know if that is ok) I figure that was as it gets broken or lost I will have something to look back on.
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those are FABULOUS! Wow! That little boat has got me thinking - I've never even checked to see if my saw will tilt like that. And your critters are so detailed!

And I've got to ask - who's the Super Mario for? :-)
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