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It's been a while since I thought about this project. My father and I made it for a school project when I was in the fifth grade. I think that it is made mainly of 1x1 inch wood and 5 mm plywood. The majority of the cutting would be doable with a miterbox, and a cordless drill would work just fine for the pivot points. I don't have the dimensions, but I'm sure that your students will be able to figure out the relationship between the arm length and the counterweight length with a bit of research. Sadly the link to the original plans no longer works. The weight that I used was lead picked up from a gun range. It would be a good idea to find an alternative to lead. Best of luck with your class project, and hopefully this will be a good learning experience.
It might reveal more of the pattern than forging would.
Arduino Controlled CNC / 3D Printer Hybrid