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Gallivanting Gorilla

The next animated wood toy I built from David Wakefield's book was the Gallivanting Gorilla.

I didn't take any pictures during construction of the boy because it was rather straightforward. I noticed that Wakefield said the curves for the gorilla's face are very subtle and to take care when cutting and sanding them.

Since cherry has bad wood burn problems on the band saw and scroll saw with regular blades, I put a spiral bit in the scroll saw.  It is very hard to control the cut with this spiral bit, but it leaves zero wood burn on cherry.

Plan Errors

The good news, I found zero errors in the plans.


I made patterns for the 3 parts from 3/16" plywood....

Wood Selection and Finish

I used American Cherry dipped in 100% mineral oil. I sanded all the pieces to 220 grit used a drum sander on the drill press.

Completed Toy



Unexpected Action

When I dry-assembled the toy before final glue-up, it would not operate by pushing the toy by hand on a smooth board.  I thought there might be an error in the plans. But when I attached a piece of string to pull it, It worked find on a cloth surface. You must pull the toy with the string for it to work. The bottom of the gorilla's arm actually contacts the floor, and the pulling action overcomes the contact between the arm and the floor.  This gives the toy a galloping action.  Pretty neat design :)

 Youtube Video

You have to see the toy in action, to really appreciate it, so I made a Youtube video...

Closing Thoughts

This is an easy toy to build, as long as you keep the gorilla's facial features intact. It is fun to watch it gallop as you pull it.






Recent Photos