Introduction: TaunTaun Wooden Rocking Horse
I like Star Wars and I like making things.
I have a Son his 1st birthday was very recent.
I decided to make him a Star Wars themed rocking horse, I decided on making a TaunTaun rocking horse.
So in this instructable I will try to show how I made him his Tauntaun rocking horse.
I know I probably made some mistakes in the construction of this project but hey it works, and to me thats all that matters.
So on to the Tools and Materials.
- Hand saw.
- Jigsaw powertool
- Hand drill powertool
- Hand held beltsander.
- Screwdriver. Electric if you have one.
- Cutting jig.
- MDF (I used 18mm) but other types of wood will work, such as Plywood etc.
- Wood glue.
- Wood screws (multiple lengths)
- Wooden dowel. ( i used a broom handle as it is a tenth the price of the same diameter dowel.)
- Pine planks (this is what i used as I had it in the workshed.)
- Pine strip wood, or Pine battens.
I have tried to list everything Ive used but there might be something Ive missed, so make sure you read all the information before you start the project.
Step 1: Drawing Up Plans.
I used Illustrator to draw up some plans of my Tauntaun rocking horse.
I really just sorta made it up. There are some plans online for a rocking horse, use these easily found plans (google) to get measurements.
Once the plans were drawn up I arranged them on the size of the sheets of wood that I knew I was going to get.
I have access to a large format printer so I printed them out.
I arranged the parts out for a few reasons, 1, so I knew how much wood to buy. 2, It forms a cutting list of sorts, so I know how many of the different parts I need to cut out.
Step 2: Cutting the Body and Legs.
I cut out the body template from the printout, then I traced the outline onto the wood sheet.
I used a tick marker so the line was very visible when cutting them out with my Jigsaw cutter.
Using the first cutout body shape I used the wood part to outline the next part.
I had planned the body of the rocker to be only two layers thick, but once I had the two parts together (also knowing that the legs were going to be two thick) it just didn't look correct. So I made one more cutout. so the body will now be three thick.
The legs were cut out in the same way and they are two layers thick.
Last picture is just me laying out the parts for fun to see what it will look like, because i'm impatient
Step 3: Joining the Parts.
Once I had the body parts and leg parts cut out I needed to attach the multiple parts together.
Using the wood glue, I glued the two halves of the legs together, Then when glued (glue still wet) I clamped the two halves together. While the two halves are clamped I drilled pilot holes and screwed the two parts together.
I used glue and screws on these parts as i wanted to make sure that they were really joined together. The legs are going to be the parts that support the weight of the user so I wanted them to be strong.
Now the two parts are as one, I wanted to make them the same shape. I clamped the parts into or onto my work bench and sanded the cut edges so the matched this makes them look even more like one thick part.
I did this to the body and the legs. I rounded all the edges or the parts to soften them so when using the rocking Tauntaun there is no sharp edges.
Step 4: Attaching the Legs.
I Attached the legs using glue, screws and dowel pegs. I wanted to make sure they were strong and hold the weight of the user and itself.
Using a Flat spade wood drill bit I drilled into through the body of the Tauntaun in two places that I knew that would be covered by the legs when in place. Once I had drilled through the body I clamped one of the legs in place and marked the inside of the leg with the drill, so I knew where to drill the holes in the legs. I only drilled half way into the legs to give the pegs somewhere to sit and support the body.
Using wood glue to fill the holes I then inserted the pegs and added glue to the legs and clamped all the parts together, while clamped I drilled pilot holes and screwed the legs to the body.
I did the pegs in two places to stop rotation of the body and to help with alignment of the legs. This may seem overkill but the body is heavy and I wanted to make sure it would be secure and support everything it needed to.
As you might notice in last photo of this stage there seems to be hole marks on the outside of the right leg. This was a mistake. So make sure you are drilling into the correct side of the leg. I will have to fill the holes later, which I have to do with all the screw holes anyway so its fine.
This error did allow me to know the location of the pegs inside the legs so for a little more security I screwed the right leg to the end of the pegs inside its leg.
Step 5: Making the Rockers.
To make the rockers I used some 20mm pine planks. I wanted to use pine as the grain of the wood will give more structure to the rockers. I could have (and i originally planned to) used the MDF as the rockers but noticed I had some old wood planks sat in the workshed that would be perfect for the rockers.
To cut these out i followed the same steps as cutting out the body. I cut the template out and outlined it onto to wood.
I then cut them out with my Jigsaw. I numbered them and marked the ends to make sure they will all be the same when sanded down.
I screwed them all together (no glue used as I needed to separate them after sanding.) clamped them into my work bench and sanded them all to the same shape and size. Making sure the bottom of the rocker had a smooth curve.
Once they were all sanded to match I unscrewed them and sanded the paint off the planks. This step was only needed as these were old planks, new wood would probably not be painted.
I glued and screwed the rockers into pairs and marked a forward point that matches on both sets.
The last picture in this step was to see how the final rocking Tauntaun would look. Again because I like to see what its going to look like because im impatient.
Step 6: Attaching the Rockers to the Body.
Using a pine plank I worked out the width I wanted the rockers to be apart. (I eyeballed this) I just wanted it to be wide enough to not be easily knocked over sideways but not too wide to look strange.
I cut the plank to the width I needed.
Working from the middle of the rockers I centered the plank on the rockers and drilled and screwed the plank to the rockers. Making sure that the screws went into the middle of each layer of the rockers, and not the join between the two rocker layers. As this could lead to the layers splitting.
Once the plank was attached to the rockers i placed the body of the Tauntaun on the plank to make sure the balance was correct.
Then I marked the feet positions and also made note of the layers in the legs. This is for the same reason as the the rockers.
I marked and drilled two holes per layer of each foot. ( 4 per foot) Once those holes were drilled I clamped the Tauntaun upsidedown in my work bench, so the feet were up and level, so I could place the rocker and plank in place and drill pilot holes into the bottom of the feet and then screw the parts together.
Step 7: Arms and Horns.
I cut out the arms and horns in the same way I did the body and legs.
There is only one layer of MDF for these parts. I rounded the corners/edges of the parts by sanding them to create a smooth soft corner/edge.
In the fourth picture you can see the before and after of the corner/edge smoothing.
The arms and Horns were then attached to the body with glue then drilled and screwed in place.
I used two screws for each of these parts to stop the chance of these rotating about one screw.
Step 8: Making the Seat.
My original design for the seat was too small so I cut out the template and increased the size to fit better.
I then cut the seat out from pine. I had the chisel out the underside of the seat where it meets the neck of the Tauntaun. This is to make the gap between the neck and the seat less.
Last photo of the rocking Tauntaun is starting to take shape.
Step 9: Attaching Battens.
I attached a batten to each end of the rockers to make them sturdier and to make it look more like rocking horses ive seen in my research.
I did this in the same way I attached the main plank. Marking the two layers of each side and drilling pilot holes and screwing them down.
Step 10: Attaching the Seat.
After I cut the seat out of pine and had sanded it down I really liked the grain and how it looked. So I decided i wanted to mount the seat without having screws or nails visible, but it needed to be fixed strongly as to be secure for when my son is playing on the Tauntaun.
So to achieve this I went with a wooden peg design.
I placed the seat onto the Tauntaun and marked the outline of the body onto the bottom of the seat. Then I measured and marked the center line and drilled two pilot holes in the seat.
I then drilled the holes out with the spade hole drill bit. I drilled from the front/top/face surface of the seat, this is to stop the wood splitting on the side that will be visible, as sometimes the wood can split out when drilling with spade bits.
I then placed the seat into position on the back of the Tauntaun, I then drilled through the holes in the seat into the spine of the Tauntaun. This gave me the position to drill the full holes for the pegs.
I glued the pegs into the holes in the back of the Tauntaun and let the glue set.
I cut the pegs extra long originally and once they were glued in place I cut them down to slightly longer than they needed to be.
After trimming the pegs, I spread glue on the back around the pegs, and on the pegs and in the holes in the seat. More glue the better :)
Then I gently tapped the seat into place over the pegs.
I used some wood filler (made with wood glue and sawdust) to filled any tiny gaps around the pegs.
Once all the glue and filler had dried fully (over night) I used a handsaw to cut close to the seat but leaving a little bit of the pegs sticking up (as to not damage the seat)
Then using the handheld belt sander I removed all the peg above the seat surface and sanded it all flush to the seat.
I like the look of the grain in the wood and the wooden pegs.
Step 11: Hndle Hole and Filling.
Using the same filler made from wood glue and sawdust I filled all the screw heads and holes (that were made by mistake in earlier steps)
I also marked out and drilled a hole all the way through the head to house the handle bars for the rocker.
Using the same wooden dowel I cut a length that was three times the width of the body of the Tauntaun and rounded the ends on the sander.
This will also be left as plain wood like the seat. So I didnt glue it in place at this point.
Once all the filler had dried i sanded everything down.
Step 12: Painting.
I masked off the seat and removed the handle bars, as these parts are planned to be kept as wood.
Then using white emulsion I painted all of the rocking tauntaun.
After a couple of coats of the white, I painted the body of the Tauntaun a blue grey, and the horns a cream as per the inspiration photo I found.(admittedly the blue grey paint that we had and used is a bit lighter than we would have liked but this project is being done with materials I had at the house. But its for a baby and is going in a babies room so the light pastel colour looks right for his room)
When all that was dry I painted the eyes and little bump marks found on the Lego Tauntaun design im using as inspiration for this design.
Step 13: Finished Rocking Tauntaun.
Once all the paint has dried and cured properly its time to give the gift of fun to the boy.
I would probably do things differently if I were to make it again.
- Not making the mistake of drilling holes in the legs on the wrong side.
- giving myself a little more time ;)
- I am planning on varnishing the whole thing at a later date, but I needed to give it to him on his birthday.
I think he liked it.
Hes going to like Star Wars if its the last thing I do :)
Any questions please ask and I will do my best to answer them.
Thank you for reading my instructable, if you could give it a like, share or even a vote in the competition (if its in one) that would be fantastic.
Second Prize in the