Intro: Wood Chopper Windmill
This is a fun to build toy/decoration that easily provides entertainment or simply catches one's eye. It can be built with simple woodworking tools and can easily be throw together within a few evenings.
I know this is probably annoying, but I've entered this in the Toy, Fathers Day, and Epilog V Contest's. If you like it, show some love by giving me a vote :)
6" X 6" (1/4" thick)plywood-for arms
10 1/4" X 5 1/8" (1 3/8" thick) softwood-for body
13 3/4" X 8" (3/4" thick) plywood-for base
5 1/2" X 12 5/8" (1/16" thick) balsa or plywood-for windmill sails
2 3/4" diameter wooden wheel (can be purchased at a hardware store)
12" long stiff wire
2 x 12" long (5/8" thick) dowels-for uprights
9 1/2" coat hanger wire
1 x 1/4" nut, bolt, and washer (at least 3" long)
1 x 1/16" nut, bolt, and washer
Sharp craft knife
drill bits to match dowels and bolts
needle nosed plyers
( I included an image of the template I used)
Step 1: Cutting Out the Parts
The first step is very simple, cut the parts out with the template provided with the fretsaw.
Drill the holes needed in each of the body parts. Careful that the holes are straight, especially for the body, because if they are not, the moving parts will not work properly.
Shape the body as you like with the carving knife and sandpaper, then paint. Feel free to be as creative as you like :)
Glue the shoulder spacer onto the body.
Bend a small part of the wire around the tip of your needle nosed pliers. Make sure when you secure the wire under the bolt that the wire does not slip over the head of the bolt.
At this point, I fitted all the moving parts together, and made sure everything worked. I needed to trim the bolts down a bit so I cut them to length with a hack saw. Also glue the nut to the bolt and the washer with a bit of wood glue.
Now for the base. Measure 2 in. down from each corner and use those as reference points to cut off the corners evenly. Measure 3/4 in. down from one end and and mark the holes for the upright positions 2 in. apart. Drill the holes with a 5/8 in. drill bit and then fit the dowels in. This step may be a little hard to follow, but the most important thing is that the uprights are 2 in. apart and are about centered at one end of the base.
Measure 6 in. of coat hanger wire and cut it. Now make a 90 degree bend in the middle of it (doesn't have to be too accurate.) Make another 90 degree bend about 1/2 in. down, make your next 90 degree bend an inch away from your last one. The last bend will again be 90 degrees and 1/2 in. up from your previous bend. The piece of wire should have a U shape in the middle of it now.
Drill a 1/8 in. hole 2 in. down from the top of each upright. Fit the coat hanger, and bend the piece of wire you had fitted to the arm previously, to fit around the coat hanger wire.
Now for the windmill. For the wooden wheel, you can either make it yourself, or most bigger hardware stores carry stuff like that, anyway just make sure it is 7 in. in diameter. To measure where you will cut for the windmill blades, first take a ruler and draw four lines that will split the wheel up into 8 equal parts. Next, take a protractor, and wherever the line reaches the edge, draw a 45 degree angle across the curved edge of the wheel. You should then end up with 8, 45 degree lines. Cut with a handsaw about 1/8 in. deep. Now drill a 1/8 in. hole in the center of the wheel.
Use the template to cut out the windmill blades if you have not done so already. Glue each blade in.
To mount your windmill on the coat hanger wire, take your tape and wrap it around one spot on the wire until it fits snugly into the hole on the windmill. Glue the windmill onto the tape using a fairly large amount of wood glue.
Attach all the wires and such where they need to be and place the figure so that the wire is perpendicular from the coat hanger. Now glue the figure in place, and add any decorations you want. I decided to cut some smaller branches to look like logs that the wood chopper is cutting.
There you have it! This little guy definitely looks very cool on a windy day and will turn many eyes. Happy Building :)