Working from the plans of others

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Blog entry by LeeinEdmonton posted 07-10-2009 12:34 AM 3025 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Iam a retired hobbyist & I enjoy making toys which are then donated at Christmas to inner city kids. As a consequence I immediately deviate from the author’s finishing suggestions & put no finish whatever on the toys & rely entirely on contrasting colors of the wood species involved to provide interesting contrasts. Why ? With the recent scares concerning toys with toxic finishes (China) & because I never see either the parents or the children who receive my toys I go with no finish because I do not want some child denied the use of one of my toys due to parent concerns as to the safety of the toy. That said….. I usually build the toy I have selected to the author’s specs. And then the fun starts. You are all likely aware of David Wakefields design of the waddling duck of which perhaps a zillion have been made by daddies & grandfathers. Well….. It occurred to me that he has to design the toy in a manner that it can be made quickly or he will have a hard time making a decent living. I’m not so constricted. The first modification I made was to eliminate the wings integral to the body & instead made the wings out of contrasting wood.
Of course this made the overall body wider hence the wheels had to be spaced further apart. Worked fine.
It then ocurred to me that the cheeks of the duck’s head should also be of contrasting wood. That too worked fine.
Then while the waddling makes the duck endearing, why not have it quack as well ? This meant a section at the rear of the duck had to be excavated with the drive axle passing through. A cam then mounted on the drive axle to contact a push rod angled through the body to the head. The upper half had to be seperate from the bottom half of the head and mounted on a pivot dowel so that the push rod would push it up & down as the toy is pulled …. hence quacking. The angle has to be precise or binding will take place between pushrod & cam resulting in a lot of fooling around to make the thing work properly. Even then, in knowing this, I still do a lot of fooling around to make it work consistantly. My wife shakes her head during the fooling around process…oh well.
As you can imagine my waddling – quacking duck has resulted in a lot of pencil markings on the author’s original plans.
So for those of you who feed your scraps into a woodstove, you might consider toy making instead to use them up and excersize your imagination to make it interesting for you.


-- Lee

7 comments so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5222 days

#1 posted 07-10-2009 12:43 AM

Could you send pictures of the workings of the ducks? Nice post thanks.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 4918 days

#2 posted 07-10-2009 12:50 AM

Sorry John…no pics of the “working cam & rod” only of the finished project. The attached pic shows a quacker version right in the forefront of the group.

-- Lee

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 4918 days

#3 posted 07-10-2009 12:52 AM

Ooops….Ive forgotton how to post a pic to the blog forum.

-- Lee

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5584 days

#4 posted 07-10-2009 02:34 AM

Post it in projects then. I’d love to see it. You’re a great ole quaker yourself.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Jeff Roberts's profile

Jeff Roberts

35 posts in 4642 days

#5 posted 07-10-2009 03:17 AM

Love the David Wakefield designs! I’ve made quite a few in the last 12 years for my daughter and for gifts. Recently, I had my daughter help make a gorilla and a hippo for her cousin’s birthday (her first bandsaw experience). I never made the waddling duck. Glad to see you’re taking the author’s advice in experimenting with new designs. Look forward to the pictures!

-- Jeff, Dayton, OH

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 4918 days

#6 posted 07-10-2009 03:46 AM

Will try it again. However, not a photo of the works but does display the waddling duck in the forefront of a group of toys donated last yearl


-- Lee

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4767 days

#7 posted 07-10-2009 03:55 AM

Great post! It is good to see people useing their imagination, even when they have a plan to work from. That is how new designs come about.

Thank You


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

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