Introduction: Giant Wood Lego Man (from a Single 2x4!)
A giant wood Lego man standing just short of 1'-3" tall (10x the size of a typical lego man!!) all made from just a single 8' long 2x4. I scaled every dimension from a typical Lego man and you can find those free plans at the link in the first step. He is a miniature version of myself, even with his own hammer. He is about as useful as me too.
Legs and hips were finished with burning and linseed oil. Body and arms were finished with red wood dye and linseed oil. Hands and head were simply finished with linseed oil.
Be sure to check out the build video too! https://youtu.be/xjOT5r2wNX8
(music in video is by Kirk Fleta, an independent musician from Gatlinburg, TN: www.kirkfleta.com)
Step 1: Scaling & Drawings
It all started by measuring every piece of the Lego man and transferring these dimensions into my computer. Autodesk AutoCAD was used to create the drawings. The exact dimensions were input for each piece and the whole model was scaled up so that the depth of the body & legs were 3" -- perfect for working with a 3-1/2" wide 2x4 with just a little bit of a waste factor built in for the round corners.
I went a little overboard creating a 3d model of the guy too. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing.
These plans are available for free at my website: http://www.jackmanworks.com/Plans
Step 2: Rough Cut Pieces From 2x4
Cut down the 8' long 2x4 into rough lengths for the body, legs, arms, hips, and head. These dimensions are listed both in the plans and also in the following steps.
Notice I paid close attention to knot locations on each piece during the whole construction process. I hid as many of them as I could within the glue-ups or on sides of pieces that would not be visible.
Step 3: Creating the Legs
The legs are cut to just over 5-1/2" in rough length and it takes 4 of these pieces glued together to have enough material for each leg. Flatten the face of the pieces with either a jointer or sander and glue them together. Then it's just a matter of flattening the glue-up, cutting a 2-1/2" wide piece for each leg, and cutting the shape of the legs using the template.
To transfer the template, I printed it out full size and used carbon paper to transfer this over to each piece of wood.
Step 4: Creating the Body
The body is created very similarly through laminating 4 pieces, this time just over 4-1/2" in rough length. The shape of the body is quite simple, so just measure and draw the lines on the body. Cut it down to the correct thickness and knock the corners off to create the body shape.
Step 5: Creating the Arms
The shape of the arms is a little bit trickier. Take 2 more pieces cut to 4-1/2" in length and draw the arm shape on each piece - this is a good place to use carbon paper again. Connect the dots and cut it out on your saw of choice. To finish them, use a router to create a round-over on one side of each arm -- make sure you have a left a right arm designated at this point! Otherwise, it's going to be an awkward conversation with Mr. Lego man when he's given 2 left arms.
Step 6: Creating the Hips
The hips are a little tricky too. Start with a piece 5-1/4" long. In order to create the cove shape where the top of the legs fit, I used my table saw. With this procedure you set up a temporary angled fence on the table saw. By nibbling off a little bit at a time and moving the fence a little each time, you can get the shape just right.
At this point the piece is still too thick so you can cut it down to thickness and then use that cutoff to create the circle that will be fastened to the hips in order to hold the legs. I simply used wood glue to hold the circle to the main part of the hips.
Step 7: Creating the Head
The head is another laminated piece made from 4 pieces rough cut to just over 4-1/2". This piece is glued together with wood glue and then mounted on the lathe. It's rough turned to the thickest diameter and then measurements are transferred to the piece. From there, the rounded corners are cut and final shaping and sanding is done.
Step 8: Creating the Hands
The hands come from another small cutoff. A compass is used to draw the pieces onto the 2x4. First cut the outside diameter and then sand that round and cut the inside diameter and hole for the hand.
Step 9: Making & Installing the Dowels
Rip the remainder of the 2x4 down the middle to create 1-1/2" square spindles. These spindles are turned on the lathe to create a 1" diameter dowel to act as pivot points for all of the pieces. (notice that the only dowel which is different is the one which attaches to the hands, which are closer to a 5/8" diameter)
These dowels are then cut to length depending on how deep you drill the receiving holes. Each dowel is glue into one side and the other receiving hole is left lose to allow for rotation of the parts.
If you are planning on applying a finish to the pieces, be sure to leave a little bit of wiggle room at the dowels which tighten up with a couple layers of finish.
Step 10: Final Shaping & Sanding
At this point it looks awesome, but it's not done! I think I hear him talking to me...maybe that's just in my head.
To do the final shaping of the pieces it's a combination of filing and sanding to get everything smooth.
Step 11: Burning & Stamping
Mr. Lego did not look personable enough so I thought making a mini-me was only appropriate. I used a wood-burner to create a beard and eyeballs to mock my own.
At the same time, I also turned up the heat to create a burned finish on the legs and hips. This is done with a propane torch and just enough time on each face to give it some color.
I also stamped "Jackman Carpentry" (my previous moniker) onto his chest using the toner transfer method. This is done by printing an image mirrored and then using acetone rubbed on the paper to transfer the image to the wood.
It was also at this time I decided to fashion him his own hammer from the leftover pieces (to mimic my mascot Jacko from my old logo). Maybe one of these days I'll sew him a hat!!
Step 12: Finishing
Red wood dye was used for his "shirt" on his body and arms. Linseed oil was used on the rest of the parts.
After waiting for all of this to dry, a couple of coats of poly were sprayed on every piece to seal them.
Step 13: Assembly!
He has a brain of his own. I would expect nothing less from one of my creations.
Step 14: Photos & the Jackman Timelapse!
I'm a bit of a timlapse nut, so with each completed project comes a timelapse! This was not one of my favorites, but it was good to see the Lego man exploring his natural habitat...
Very little scrap was left over from the 2x4. Other than sawdust, I saved all of my scrap pieces in this box.
Step 15: Done!
Hopefully this inspires you to go and create something with your hands, maybe even a 10x scale Lego man! I'd love to see it if you do, thanks for stopping by.
►Build video here: http://youtu.be/xjOT5r2wNX8
►Free plans here: http://www.jackmanworks.com/Plans
►See more on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JackmanCarpentry
►See more on my website: http://www.jackmanworks.com