Fish Toy - Semi-Fail

  • Advertise with us
Project by jimleigh1313 posted 11-12-2011 02:20 AM 1940 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got this design from a book. This was my most frustrating project ever. I screwed up from the beginning. The design called for pine, but hardwood was cheaper, so I bought it…big mistake. The problem came during the drilling…with a dull bit…without a drill press. The issue was chip-out and a hole that was not perfectly aligned. It also took forever to get the axle hole bigger because I didn’t have the proper size bit. After that, I tried to dilute oil-based stain with water to make the stain lighter…won’t do that again. This ended up standing the grain on the eyes and the wheels. (BTW does anyone know a good way to sand the perimeter of circles?). The eyelets that I hold the fin to the body also kept coming off. This was a problem because the eyelets had to be reopened every time. Also, the green wasn’t what I had in mind going into the project. Its a little too dull.

Oh…also, I had my first injury, and a stupid one at that. I tried to fit the pattern on the perfect size board. Perfect size meaning exact the correct width. The problem with this was when I got to the end of the pattern, the scroll saw blade slipped out of the wood and right into the tip of my middle finger. You don’t think of a scroll saw causing injuries, but I tell ya…it tore right in. After a full sprint to the bathroom and two weeks of full finger bandages, it ended up healing right away.

But at least it works. The wheels are offset, so it sort of ‘waddles’ which causes the fin on the end to flip back and forth looking as if its swimming in the water. It’s a slightly lopsided and I never could get it sanded right, but I don’t think I kid will mind too much.

10 comments so far

#1 posted 11-12-2011 03:44 AM

Very,very cute !!!


View whit's profile


246 posts in 4398 days

#2 posted 11-12-2011 04:35 AM

Love it!

A hint on opening the eyelets – instead of trying to open them by making the round part oblong, twist them so they form one link of a spiral. They’re easier to get back in shape and they’ll close better.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View polecat's profile


78 posts in 3090 days

#3 posted 11-12-2011 04:49 AM

I’m sorry’ But I just [ LMAO ]

-- polecat, south alabama

View Lotidus's profile


110 posts in 3095 days

#4 posted 11-12-2011 05:05 AM

Its a case of the card board box ideal. You may think it turned out bad but the kid probably loves it just like thy love playing with the box the big fancy toy came in better than the toy itself. They only care that they are having fun and that you made it for them. I have found that out myself several times. Also if you dont think it looks up to par of what you intended. Call it arts and craft that way you dont have to explain your artistic vision to anyone.

-- Lotidus

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3286 days

#5 posted 11-12-2011 05:36 AM

I like it, how is the rear fin attached that allows it t go back and forth?

View B13's profile


463 posts in 3114 days

#6 posted 11-12-2011 08:29 AM

I like It. the green gives It a vintage look. about the round edge sanding cut off a screw head put It Inn your drill and center It Into the round wood wheel, eye,ect. spin and sand.

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3982 days

#7 posted 11-12-2011 12:04 PM

I like it. It’s so ugly that it’s cute. Kids will put many miles on it.

-- Joe

View jimleigh1313's profile


65 posts in 2831 days

#8 posted 11-12-2011 08:39 PM

Thanks for the comments and tips guys!

View jimleigh1313's profile


65 posts in 2831 days

#9 posted 11-12-2011 08:41 PM

Pat, there is a pair of small screw eyes on both the body and the fin that are connected together.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2919 days

#10 posted 12-11-2011 01:42 AM

This is what I would call an instant antique of great folk art.
It looks like it was made 100 years ago by someone that cared, by someone with a great sense of humour and with a willingness to persevere.
The colour, the happy accidental hardwood markings and the overall roughness make it a real beauty.
It also makes me think my projects for my own child are sometimes too perfect. Thanks for the post.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics