Zoetrope: A Wooden Animation Toy

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Project by Peter Brown posted 01-26-2015 05:28 PM 1626 views 4 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Zoetrope: A Wooden Animation Toy
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A zoetrope is an animation toy that literally translates to “life turning.” While I had many challenges on this build, I have to say is it easily one of my favorite creations. I have a particular fondness for toys….

In order to make it, I needed 8 slits in the top. I devised many solutions for cutting these, but none seemed really practical to get 8 evenly cut slits. That was until I realized I could easily cut them on the radial arm saw.

After the cuts were made it was off the the lathe, after a quick stop at the band saw to knock off the corners. My main worry was that the wedges would de-lamiate from the block due to the turning. I took very light cuts with the bowl gouge and tried my best to not get a catch.

Hollowing was done with a square nose scraper, again to reduce the possibility of catches. It was slow going but after about 20 minutes I had it hollowed out and the walls as thin as I was willing to go.

I used BLO for the finish. Most zoetropes are painted black on the outside to draw your eye to the animation. I really wanted to avoid that, and so I tried to just darken the wood a bit…

The zoetrope works really well and you can find lots of different animation strips online. You also can make your own if you have the skill!

-- Peter Brown - Collector of WD-40 and wood splinters

4 comments so far

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 2732 days

#1 posted 01-26-2015 06:54 PM

That’s a pretty nifty toy :)

-- Marty, Ohio

View Patrick's work shop's profile

Patrick's work shop

141 posts in 2620 days

#2 posted 01-26-2015 10:43 PM

Great work and cool project

-- Patrick's work shop

View marter1229's profile


437 posts in 4523 days

#3 posted 01-28-2015 03:50 PM

Nicely done!

-- It's all fun, Terry******N. Idaho

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3879 days

#4 posted 01-28-2015 05:53 PM

Interesting!. Thanks for the post. It turned out nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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