Making the Zoetrope




About: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary widely, and I have no clue what I plan to make next...

A Zoetrope is an animation toy that literally translates to "life turning." While I had many challenges on this build, I have to say is it easily one of my favorite creations. I have a particular fondness for toys....

My main worry was that the wedges would de-lamiate from the block due to the turning. I took very light cuts with the bowl gouge and tried my best to not get a catch.

Hollowing was done with a square nose scraper, again to reduce the possibility of catches. It was slow going but after about 20 minutes I had it hollowed out and the walls as thin as I was willing to go.

The zoetrope works really well and you can find lots of different animation strips online. You also can make your own if you have the skill!

Thanks for looking!



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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    That is a really cool toy. May have to make one for myself. I don't understand why it was necessary to cut the slots before turning. Would it not have been much safer and less nerve wracking to turn first and cut the slots after?

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm not sure it was, but my worry was that the bits would be so thin and unsupported that they might just snap off from the act of sawing them.

    But, it might have been fine!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is great, I was nervous just watching, I messed up so many times when first started lathe work. Great instructable.


    4 years ago

    Zoetropes are the best! I've been planning on making one for so long! Great design!

    1 reply