Introduction: Wooden Lego Man
I was searching for my next maker project out of wood and wanted a challenge that involved proportion and scale.
I decided upon duplicating a Lego Man figure. This provided a cool test of enlarging an object without losing its appropriate dimensions.
My 1st attempt was not successful for he was too tall and only carved out of a single block of wood. I soon realized that, (1) he needed to be shorter in height and (2) have his features made from separate components. I then proceeded to cut the individual items for him from a long 3 ½ inch tall by 3 ½ inch wide block of pine.
A traditional Lego Man stands about 1 ¾ inches tall with the model’s head, midsection (including arms), and legs (including feet) roughly 1/3 of his overall body in equal lengths.
In the end I decided to make my work about 1 foot tall with equal corresponding areas each about 4 inches long.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Head
The head itself was originally cut with a band saw from a wood block which was about 3 ½ inches wide by about 3 ½ inches long with a height of about 2 6/16 inches. The final design measured about 2 1/2 inches across and had a height of about 2 6/16 inches. I also hand sanded the top and bottom of its edges in order to give it a more rounded look.
The button on top of the head was originally cut with a band saw from a wood block which was about
3 ½ inches wide by about 3 ½ inches long with a height of about ½ of an inch. The final design of the button on top of the head gauged around 1 9/16 inches across and around 7/16 inch tall: I traced around a 1 9/16 measuring cup in order to accomplish this. I centered the button so that there was about a 9/16 of an inch space between the edge of it and the edge of the head with wood glue used as an adhesive to connect it.
The collar was originally cut with a 2 inch hole saw from a wood block which was about 3 ½
inches wide by about 3 ½ inches long with a height of about 1/4 of an inch. I centered this so that there
was about a 1/2 inch space between the edge of it and the edge of the head with wood glue then used as an adhesive to connect it. The calculation of the center of the collar became about 14/16 of an inch from its outer edge, in order to proceed to the next step.
I then drilled a hole with a 3/8 size drill bit approximately 1 1/8 inch into the bottom of the head. This was done in order to fit the corresponding 3/8 size wood dowel that was in the center of the midsection of the piece which protruded around 13/16 of an inch tall out of it.
Step 2: Midsection
The midsection was drawn out of a pine wood block which originally had an area measure of 5 6/16 inches long by 3 ½ inches wide by 2 inches tall.
The top of this area measured about 1 15/16 of an inch wide by about 2 6/16 inch in length with a wood dowel centered in it (that stuck out of it) about 13/16 of an inch: the hole for the wood dowel went about 1 ¼ inches into it, so the head could be attached to it. Once I drilled the 3/8 hole for the wood dowel I tapped it into place in the midsection with a mallet.
The sides were each about 3 15/16 inches in length, cut on an angle. Once a centerline was drawn (1 ¾ inches off either side of the block) 6 points (lower: line A, middle: line B, upper: line C) were figured out from center and then angles on both sides of the midsection were determined and cut. It’s around either 1 6/16 to 1 7/16 inches from the edges of the bottom of the midsection where the circular leg connector was located.
The connector that attaches the legs in place were cut an shaped, with a band saw, which was about
1 ¼ inches around. The leg connector was attached to the bottom of the midsection which had a height
of around 2 inches. It’s also centered at the bottom of the block on either side (front/back) with a measure around
½ of an inch in and is around ½ of an inch thick.
I used a total of 8 Neodymium Magnets (4 on each side) on the circle connector that allows the
legs to attach to it. They were held in place by using super glue as an adhesive.
Step 3: Arms
The holes for the # 6 T-Nuts on both sides of the midsection are about 1 inch below its top edge, lined up with the wood dowel that holds the head to the body and are about 1 inch from the side of it as well. I drilled a hole for the #6 Tee Nut which involved going in about ¾ of an inch into the midsection area from its top surface. I then used super glue and wood crack filler to set it in place after I tapped them in with a hammer.
The arms should be close to mirror images of each other and were made from 2 blocks of pine which were about both 4 inches in length, about 2 1/2 inches wide, and about 13/16 inches in height. The arms had many dimensions and angles to them cut with a band saw. I have a diagram, in inches and photos, which outlines several measurements including the general height of the arms themselves at about 15/16 of an inch. Also, the arc of the inside elbow on the arm was approximately 127 degrees.
The #6, 1 ½ inch long machine screw should line up perpendicular to the angled sides of the
midsection so when drilling the hole for the Tee-Nut this should be taken into consideration. I then used #6
machine screws that were 1 ½ inch long and #6 fender washers to attach the arms to them. I then used super
glue and wood crack filler to set the Tee-Nuts to the wood surface after I tapped them in with a hammer.
When the arm Is attached to the midsection, there should be a gap between those two about 3/16
of an inch on the front side, about 4/16 of an inch the back side, and about 2/16 of an inch on the top. The #6 Tee-Nut that connected the hand to the arm was centered about 7/16 from the right edge and about 13/16 down from the top edge of its front.
I then drilled a hole for the Tee-Nut about 1 inch into the arm in order to accommodate the length (1 inch) of the #6 machine screw that goes through the hand into it. Once again I used, super glue and wood crack filler to set it in place after I tapped it in with a hammer. Also note, the general height of the end of
the arm was shaped so it was about 13/16 of an inch.
Step 4: Hands
The hands should be close to mirror images of each other and were made from 2 blocks of pine (cut and trimmed with a band saw) which were both about 4 inches in length, about 2 1/2 inches wide, and about 1 ¼ inches in height.
The hands are about 1 1/2 inches across on in terms of Outside Diameter with a distance of the inner circle that becomes the interior of the claw about 15/16 of an inch. The top of the hand has an opening with measures about 12/16 of an inch with its overall length approximately 1 15/16 in appraisal. Note, these measures of the hand were made by using a 1 9/16 of an inch measuring cup and a quarter. The height the Lego Man’s hand was about 1 5/16 inches.
The step that connected it the arms that was about 9/16 of an inch tall, about 7/16 of an inch long, and about ¾ of an inch across its drill hole for the #6 1 inch length machine screw was about 5/16 of an inch up and 5/16 of an inch from the left or right edge. The hole for the ½ inch long #6 metal insert was 8 millimeters from the bottom of the hand.
Step 5: Legs & Feet
The feet and legs should be close to mirror images of each other and were made from 2 blocks of pine (cut and trimmed with a band saw) which were both 4 3/16 inches in length, 3 1/2 inches wide, and 1 10/16 inches in height. The legs and feet had many dimensions and angles to them. I have a diagram, in inches, and photo s which outlines several measurements length, height, and width of its many various features.
In order to attach the legs to the connector attached to the bottom of the midsection I made notches on both legs which were about 1 15/16 inches from the bottom of the foot and into it about a ¼ of an inch.
The arc on the top of the leg was created tracing a disk that had an area of 2 1/16 inches. Finally, I used that to cut its outline out of metal from a cookie container, divided the diameter appropriately and trimmed with a tin snip to get the shape for the inside of top notched part of the leg. I then preceded to superglue the metal to the wood once I got the exact shape I needed.