Introduction: Pumpkin Turkey

Happy Holidays All! This was a very quick and easy holiday project i made in about an hour for my little nephew for Thanksgiving. The only materials needed are a jig saw, wood glue, small scraps of leftover wood from my shop floor, a section of 1/4 inch dowel, a router, a hand drill, a sander or sandpaper, paint (optional), and a leftover pumpkin from Halloween. The actual kit can be stored and re-used in the years to come.

Step 1:

Step 2: Template

I made a quick template for the design out of habit, and for possible reproducibility. I originally desined the turkey to have one row of 5 big feathers, a smaller row 3 small feathers, two wings, and a head. This is the design you can see in the pictures. With this number of feathers, there are different designs that could be assembled. I liked the turkey with only a single row of the larger feathers and no small feathers. I also liked it with 3 big feathers, and one small feather at each end of the large feathers.

Step 3: Transferring the Template

I found large enough pieces of scrap wood in the corners of my woodshop and under my tablesaw. This was wood intended for the firepit, so it was nice to give it purpose again. When tracing the templates on to the scrap wood, I tried to keep the wood grain running in the lengthwise direction of the feathers, however, this was generally only for personal preference and aesthetics.

Step 4: Cut the Pieces

I took my jig saw and cut out each outlined template.

Step 5: Rounding the Edges

I then took each cut piece and routed about 1/4 inch of each edge. Please Note: I do not have a router table. Routing the edges on the platform edge as I did would not be recommended. The router is not stable, and is a very powerful cutting tool. If you have a router table, please use it. My next purchase will hopefully be a router table. Also make sure to use safety glasses when running any power tools.

Step 6:

Step 7: Smoothing and Shaping

I used a stationary sander to smooth out all surfaces of the pieces and to remove and imperfections in the wood including the burns from the router you can see in the prior pictures. This step also removes potential splinters. It would not take much more time or effort to in this project to use regular sandpaper and do it be hand. Please note: a belt sander can dig quickly into pine. If you use one do not hold the pieces in one place one the sander for more than a moment. This can misshapen the piece.

Step 8: The Spike

In order to connect the turkey pieces to the pumpkin, I used 1/4 inch dowel sections. Smaller dowels may insert easier, however, as pumpkins are tough I thought they would break easily as well. I took a hand drills and a 1/4 inch forstner bit to make the holes for the dowel sections.

Step 9:

I drilled about 1/2 inch into the end of each feather as seen in the pictures above. I then drilled into the neck of the turkey head, and into one side if each wing (not the same side).

Step 10: Cut the Dowel

I took a leftover section of 1/4 inch dowel, and cut sections of about 1.3 inches. One end was flat, the other cut to about a 45 degree angle. I put a drop of glue on the flat end and pushed it into each hole. I pushed the 45 degree end against my bench to make sure the dowel was in all tge way. This blunted the cut edge a little which was nice for safety.

Step 11: The Kit

I let the glue dry, and viola. The turkey kit is complete. It can be painted to add depth and color and you can see later, but I thought it would fun (and surprisingly messy) to paint it with my nephew.

Step 12: Assembly

One the kit was dry, i took a leftover Halloween pumpkin and started assembling. The pieces all went in easily with a little push. I started with the back row of large feathers. I positioned each feather at a height and angle to match the prior ones.

Step 13:

I then pushed the smaller feathers into the pumpkin in front of the big feathers.

Step 14: The Whole Bird

Once I pushed in the wings and head, it was complete.

The final painted project is also above fully painted. My nephew may still be a little young for the painting as more paint ended up on the furniture that on the turkey. However, it was washable, and he had a lot if fun (me too).

Possible design alternate: i was thinking it would be nice to paint an oval on top of each big feather with chalkboard paint. Not to much as it would likely be too black, but enough for people to chalk on something for which they arr thankful...maybe next year.