Grasshopper Toy (a la Wood Whisperer)

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Figured this would be a quickie for my son's first birthday next month.

From video



Using some 8/4 soft maple I picked up for a cross cut sled that never was.

Even a nice ambrosia beetle line


Had a blow out on the router table, so 'fixed' it with a sweet tapered tail :). I guess that's the beauty of a cartoonish kids toy.


Making two at once to see how things go. Also assuming all mistakes I make on #1 will be fixed on #2

If it goes pretty quick, I think I'll be making about 10 of these for Christmas presents this year for friends' kids (especially since I bought the wheels and pegs in bulk)



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It would be a big ornament!

Getting a better feel for the project and its parts, none of the parts even really need to be exact, as the dowels and wheels really provide the only mechanics.

If my drill press was set up already, this would be a half day build....most downtime I had was waiting for the open time to clear on the spray adhesive for the template and pattern.

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I just printed the pattern for mine. Have you tried 3M adhesive spray? I've used it within minutes of spraying.
I'm not even sure why I'm making one except that it's so cool (doesn't take much for me obviously). Heck, my grandkids are 13 yo. I may just tie it to my wife's cats tail (I had to reread that to make sure I said it right) :D

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I've been going back and forth between the video and the grasshopper plans from a book I have called Heirloom Toys. One thing I noticed was that the book uses axel holes that are one hair larger that the axel pegs ( 11/32 holes for a 5/16 dowel for instance). A 3/8 dowel in a 3/8 hole is a tight fit, even with sanding and a sloppy second drilling.

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Vin, Where did you get the wheels/axles? I went to Hobby Lobby and all they had were wheels that look like they belonged on a tractor, not that it mattered. They sold the axles separately to "fit" 3/8" holes in the wheels. They ended up being smaller than the 3/8" holes that I had already drilled. Now I have to buy 3/8" dowels to plug the holes and re-drill. How darned hard can it be to make a grass hopper :blink:

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Thanks, I got past without a blowout! As this for my wife's 2 yo nephew, it was justification to buy a set of long needed brad pt. bits. Now if I can just convince her that she needs something that will require a drum sander :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vinny, my first one was done like Marc's, letting the 3yo do the painting. I think I'll do another without the paint, copying your idea if you don't mind. Would have never thought I would make 1 grasshopper pull toy, much less 2 :wacko:

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Hardly my idea....just changed the finish.

The wiping varnish really doesn't like to dry in the usual 24 hours in all the nooks and crannies ...I've been waiting 3-4 days between coats. And wiping onto small parts is a nightmare. I might actually use a pair of tweezers for the next coat.

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Ready for final glue up after four coats of arm r seal. Used Marc's method of mixing it with 50% Naptha for the last coat. Trick is though, a really LIGHT sanding before that last coat or it doesn't cover of the scuff like it will full strength.

Love me some arm r seal. Smooth as glass



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