Introduction: Wizard of Oz Nutcrackers

About: I have been a woodworker for over 40 years, working in a cabinet shop to making custom interiors for executive jets. I have a full shop in my garage and have been making wood pens for the past 3 years. I am al…

My wife has watched the Wizard of Oz since she was a little girl, so I thought why not make the Wizard of Oz Nutcrackers for Christmas.. As stated in my instructable on the Bride and Groom Nutcracker, I started in 2014 with the Grinch and 3 other Nutcrackers. So 2015 was the year of the Wizard of Oz.
I started the process searching the Internet to see what others have done and also printed out a photo from the movie. The goal was to get as much information, good or bad, so that I could design the 4 mail characters plus toto.
I hope you enjoy this instructable and if you have questions please ask.

Step 1: Establishing the Height

This can change based on your preference, but it helps me in selecting the wood and marking it on the lathe. When I mark the parts I leave room for the lathe tools. So for the head, my goal is a 2" dia round, to get this I mark off 3" of wood to allow the tool to cut in and round.
My plan for the 4 characters was to make it all in wood other than hair. Dorthy's dress is all wood cut on the lathe then sanded on the oscillating disc sander to shape the contour. I did the same with scarecrow's hat.

Step 2: Turning All the Pieces

I started with turning squares 3" in square x 10" long. I turned Scarecrow and Tin Man first as they have similar shapes and both have hats. Scarecrow's hat is a cone and a disk. I cut these separate as I wanted more of a floppy cowboy hat as the base and knew I would need to use the oscillating sander for the shape. Tin Man's hat was all done on the lathe, but I did use a disc sander to cut a 10 to 15 deg angle on the head so that the "funnel" hat sat on a slight skew.
The Lion was next turning a pot belly and a slightly pear shaped head. After turning the body I sanded the back to give the pot belly shape.
Last was Dorothy, as I wanted to make sure her height was the same as the others, flaring the bottom and establishing the waist with a belt line. This again was going to be sanded on the Disc and Spindle sander to get the shape.. See photos..

Step 3: Cutting the Slots for the Cracker Lever Arm

As the heads are not attached to the bodies, I marked and cut the bodies on the bandsaw to accept the cracker lever arms.

Step 4: Cutting the Arms and Legs

As the bodies are 4", I turn the arms at 3 1/2". Again this is up to you..
The legs are all dependent on the body and head height. These are all turned with 5/8" dowel to get to 1/2" dia.
Hands are shaped round on the end of the arm.

Step 5: The Base

I wanted the bases to be different than any I have seen, and what better than the yellow brick road..
I started with a flat base approximately 3"x 3". I then cut and sanded 1/8" pine pieces to get the shape

Step 6: Figuring Out the Painting Scheme

I wanted to have something to go by when painting, and adding the detail.. This helped me to understand what color paint and accessories I needed to buy.
It also allowed me to focus on the details before applying a drop of paint.. In woodworking measure twice and measure again..

Step 7: Tin Man

The big part of the Tin Man was needing a heart.. I cut a counter bore 3/8" x 1/8" deep for the clock. Then I drew the heart and cut it on my 1971 Powermatic bandsaw.. Love the saw.... Sanded it, then cut and sanded a 3/8" x 1/8" clock..
The oil can was turned on my lathe then handle added. The axe is all of wood cut and sanded.

Step 8: Dorthy

I knew that I wanted to give her dress a wavy look, so I sanded it and when drawing the lines to paint I added a wave. A lot of work and patients.
For Toto, I started out looking for a dog I could buy then paint.. No luck, so I made one from wood.. Bandsaw, file, chisel, and sandpaper drawing the shape, and refining as I worked it..
Lately ruby red slippers.

Step 9: Scarecrow

For the Scarecrow, I needed hay, so I found a small bail of it and cut to size. I used this for hair, and the look of stuffing on the arms.
I used burlap on the bottom of the head to match the photo of the cast in the movie.
I also added a black crow..and apples from the tree that threw them at him.. They were also turned on the lathe.

Step 10: Cowardly Lion

I found some great looking hair for the Lion at Michael's..
I drilled out holes for whiskers on the face, and made the badge of courage on the bandsaw.
In the movie I always remember his tail and him grabbing it. So I made the tail with string and put a piece of the hair I used on the end..

Step 11: The Wizard of Oz Nutcrackers 2015

Hope you enjoy and please ask questions.