Octopus Whirligig

  • Advertise with us
Project by johnhutchinson posted 12-13-2013 08:30 PM 3108 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Octopus Whirligig
Octopus Whirligig No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

Since I’m in the middle of some downtime, it seemed like a good opportunity to clean up and organize some files.

I was delighted to find a picture of my octopus whirligig, and some video clips that I shot with my ancient Sony Mavica. The camera recorded to a 1.4MB floppy. Remember those? So I took the picture and the low-res clips and stitched them together into a “feature length” video.

I was working on my deck at the time, went to Home Depot to pick up some supplies, and ran across a cedar fence post finial that looked like an octopus head. The deck project took a little longer than expected, but the octopus whirligig turned out to be the perfect accessory. :) 

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

14 comments so far

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2800 days

#1 posted 12-13-2013 08:40 PM

Very cool John, you must really like the challenge of mechanical workings in wood…Excellent Octopus.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2605 days

#2 posted 12-13-2013 08:51 PM

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, Dave. I’m savin’ the big guns. :)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Julian's profile


1618 posts in 3666 days

#3 posted 12-13-2013 09:07 PM

Your creations are great and entertaining.

-- Julian

View GnarlyErik's profile


343 posts in 3110 days

#4 posted 12-13-2013 09:14 PM

Love it! I have really started looking into animated pieces after seeing Owlcroft’s dragon – which turns out you were involved in too, and I saw yours of course. Nice work and great ideas!

I have now built one dragon to my own design, based on yours – hope you don’t mind – see below. I’ve just guessed as to the mechanics involved and it’s turned out pretty well, though not quite as ‘active’ as yours. I used ‘cogs’ on the axles to provide the motions. I may or may not post it – since ‘if you’ve seen one dragon, do you really need to see another?’ It was quite a fun challenge to figure everything out, and my ‘tires’ are 1/8” rubber gasket material glued to turned wooden wheels and they work quite well, though you can see the join.

My dragon is for a small 18-month-old grandson, but my wife really loves it. She wants me to build another for her, only that one to be about two or three feet tall or so. She says she wants to pull it down the sidewalk in our little town. Not sure if I’ll do it, but if I do, I will post that one.

Last year I built a four foot tall 3-D rooster out of paper mâché over wire, on a spindle like a weathervane – then coated it with F/G cloth and paint. It is not posted here since it was not wood. That was for a joke on a close friend where I left it set up in his yard when he was away. He and his wife are really into exotic chickens, and it took them about a month to figure it out!

Thanks for posting your keen ideas!


-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View doubleDD's profile


10017 posts in 3019 days

#5 posted 12-13-2013 09:32 PM

These are some very entertaining projects you come up with John. I like it with the eyes in the video. You have some expert building skills and ideas.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2605 days

#6 posted 12-13-2013 09:44 PM

Beautiful dragon, Erik !!! The whole idea is to start with an inspiration and make it your own. “How To Make Animated Toys” by David Wakefield is where I got my start.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2869 days

#7 posted 12-13-2013 11:21 PM

Wow, this is awesome! VERY creative. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30587 posts in 3314 days

#8 posted 12-14-2013 12:06 AM

Very cool

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3268 days

#9 posted 12-14-2013 01:15 AM

Charming! Thanks for sharing both your octopus and reference for beginning animated toys.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View luv2learn's profile


3100 posts in 3279 days

#10 posted 12-14-2013 02:26 AM

John, your projects certainly have KID appeal, and I am the biggest kid of all. I love your whirligig.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4001 days

#11 posted 12-14-2013 06:22 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Doe's profile


1437 posts in 3806 days

#12 posted 12-14-2013 12:27 PM

Really cool. Could you show some pics on how it works? I googled Savonius rotor so I understand the concept but I’m not getting how the movement happens.

I love automata and I’m learning how they work using kits (fish and man in rowboat done, skateboarder in progress). Would you consider a blog on how you dream these up?

Thanks so much for posting your creations.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3859 days

#13 posted 12-14-2013 04:47 PM

Very cool!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3151 days

#14 posted 12-18-2013 02:54 PM

Awesome work, it’s really cool and fun. Fantastic tentacles and movements. You have great creativity and imagination.

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