Thursday, September 14, 2017

How to make a mechanical worm toy out of wood

I made this toy out of scrap pieces of spruce, pine and plywood.

First of all I cut the frame pieces to size using my table saw and a cross cut sled.

I decided to join the frame pieces using finger joints. I made a simple jig for my cross cut sled to make accurate repeatable cuts. I do not have a dado blade so I made single blade box joints.

I then glued the frame together. 

I turned a scrap pine cylinder to size on the lathe. I then turned eight small wheels on it using a straight chisel and a spindle gouge. I then cut the wheels on the table saw and sanded them flush on my disc sander.

I then used my center finder and located the centers of the wheels. I then drilled an off center hole to each wheel. 

I moved to the lathe again and used a bowl and a spindle gouge to turn the worm. 

I cut the worm in half and then mounted each piece on the chuck to finish the turnings. I removed the last part using the spindle gouge and a skew chisel.

I then sanded the frame with my orbital sander. I filled any gaps of the finger joints using saw dust and glue.

I then drilled the holes on the frame. To prevent the wood from splitting I clamped a piece of wood from the back side.

I marked the hole positions of the worm pieces with an owl. I secured the pieces in a plywood piece with a large inner hole. I then used the drill press to drill the hole.

I wanted the toy to have removable parts. So I opened up the holes that receive the rod with a saw. I then added removable stoppers to prevent the rod from moving around!

I made a template for the pieces that climb on the wheels and cut them on the bandsaw out of plywood. I sanded them with my rotary tool and a sanding drum bit. 

I then started glueing and assembling all the parts. 

I also added two dowels to act as the worm’s antennas. I jointed the worm with the mechanism using bamboo sticks.

I fine tuned the wheels and my little worm was ready to roll.

It still needs a few adjustments but overall it is pretty fun to play with! 

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