Introduction: Desktop Caber Tosser
I present for entertainment and enjoyment; a man in a skirt, throwing big sticks.
I have no idea why I made this. Kitewife stood and watched me during the test-runs, and asked me; Why?
The best I could answer was Why not?
But, who doesn't want a miniature Scotsman to toss his little caber all over their desk?
What the heck is it?
The Desktop Tosser is a small catapult, without a fixed fulcrum, that requires laser cutting.
Step 1: Files and Other Needful Things
I've attached the files you need in as many formats as I can.
If you don't have your own laser cutter, you can use the first file to get the parts made up by Ponoko - I used a single 2.7mm thick "P2" sized sheet of bamboo. I’ve added manly details to my design files which Ponoko has laser engraved on the two outer pieces.
You will also need glue to join the sheets of bamboo or plywood (PVA works well for both), several small clamps or clips, and at least eleven fingers.
If you have your own laser cutter; download the compatible design file below and cut it from a 3mm thick sheet of plywood. You’ll still need glue and clamps to join the plywood sheets.
Step 2: Starting the Body
There are three kinds of part to the body - two mirror-image outer pieces (with the details of face and clothes), two body-parts with no bottom to them, and two with a bottom section and a hole in the kilt.
Start by gluing together an outer layer and the first of the layers with no bottom - this will allow a leg to move freely.
Clamp, and leave to dry according to the instructions of your glue.
Step 3: Starting the Legs
While the first part of the body is drying, take the leg that matches the first side you glued, and glue the two discs in a stack on the inside of the thigh.
Clamp, and leave to dry.
Step 4: Adding One Leg to the Body
Lay the glued leg-plus-discs onto the already-glued body-parts, then layer-and-glue the two body parts with a bottom to the kilt.
This will trap the first leg in between the layers, but should allow it to move freely.
Again, clamp and leave to dry.
Step 5: Building the Base
Layer, glue and clamp the two rectangles together - make sure that the slots line up properly.
Leave it to dry as required.
Step 6: Adding the Second Leg
Lay the Tosser on his side, detailed side down, and slot the base over the long part of the foot you have already fitted.
Add a blob of glue to the top disc, then fit the second leg into place.
Before the glue sets too far, make sure that the legs line up (that's why you've got the base), and then clamp around the "hips" and leave it to dry.
Step 7: Finishing the Body
You should be used to this by now - glue and clamp the last two parts of the Tosser's body.
Step 8: Adding the Base
This is the only bit of gluing you can't clamp:
Fill the slots of the base with your chosen glue, then stand the Tosser in place.
Because you cannot clamp this stage, it is really important that you leave the glue to completely dry, set or cure. Even if the instructions say it will be cured in an hour or two, I'd leave the Tosser somewhere safe and come back tomorrow...
Step 9: The Arms
While the Tosser is settling into his base, you'll have time to assemble his arms and hands.
Just like the body, it's a stacking of layers - start with a complete arm, then a hand-plus-thumb, then four hands-without-thumbs, then the second hand-plus-thumb, then the final full arm.
Make sure they're all lined up, then clamp the stack and leave it to dry as long as the base.
Step 10: The Caber
Included in the cutting files are four rectangular strips.
If you do not want to use pencils as your cabers, you can glue and clamp the four layers together to make a square-section caber.
Step 11: Fitting the Arms
Start with the body standing up straight.
Remembering that the legs are not fixed to a specific point, adjust the Tosser to stand in the pose you prefer.
Without gluing, slide the arms onto the torso to line up roughly with the two curves that mark the tops of his shoulders. Friction should hold the arms in place.
Balance you caber or a pencil in the Tosser's hands, and adjust the arms so that the "caber" doesn't quite fall forwards.
Take a careful note of the position of the arms, then slide them off, add glue and slide them back into place. Before the glue goes off, check that the arms are in the right position, then clamp and leave to dry.
Step 12: How to Toss a Caber*
First, let me make it very clear that I have never tossed a caber in real life. The nearest I have come to this traditional sport is throwing pool noodles at my children.
A caber is a tree with the branches cut off. A tree, people - I do Science, Make stuff and drink beer. Physical activity is not my thing.
So, rather than learn how to toss a caber for real, I watched a load of YouTube videos of cabers being tossed.
It seems the trick is to get it vertical, then, as it inevitably falls over again, you give the bottom as hard a flick as you can to launch the caber in the right direction.
So, with the Desktop Tosser, you need to balance your "caber" in his hands, then get a grip of the back his kilt. Gently tip him forward, then, as the caber starts to fall, push down hard on the back of the kilt to throw the caber up and forwards.
*I went through half a dozen versions of this title before I found one that did not make my inner teen giggle like a schoolboy.
Runner Up in the
Big or Small Challenge