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Scented Skunk wood toy

This pattern came from David Wakefield's book of animated toy designs.

Google Sketchup

I used the program IRender to make this rendered image from Sketchup.

This shows how it works.........

Wood Selection

I went with maple for the light color and walnut for the dark color.

End-Grain Glue-up

Because end grains have very little strength when they are glued together, you usually don't do this in woodworking.  But in this project, you need to get 2 contrasting colors together for the middle stripe to start behind the head.

Since the final product will be laminated, there is not strength requirement for the middle walnut head attached to the maple stripe.  In this application it works ok.

 2-color blank

Here is the 2 color blank for the middle spacer, or stripe, glued up.  I added a pine scrap piece because I need to plane down to 5/8" thickness. You are not supposed to plane short pieces less than about 9 inches, so I often glue on scrap pine to give about 12 inches of length for planing.

Glued up blank for 2 walnut tail sides

Main Body

The method to make the laminated 3 piece body is:

1. Cut out 2 sides about 1/4" bigger than the final size

2. Cut out center piece about 1/4" bigger also using actual 1 piece of side as
           a pattern.

3. Laminate the stack

4. Cut final outline of body. Then drill holes. Sand out band saw wood burn.





The tail is made in a similar fashion to the body process described above. You can cut part of the maple blank to final shape, except where the walnut outside pieces contact have to leave 1/4" extra where the walnut goes, so you can final band saw after lamination.



I cut out the cam with a hole saw on the drill press. Then I chucked it on the wood lathe using a 1/4" threaded rod and nut. I turned down the cam until it just fit the forked notch. 

Final Assembly

I dry assembled the skunk. The tail would not go forward enough, due to not enough clearance between the bottom of the walnut tail pieces and the main body. I used the Dremel with a 1/2" drum sander to remove material..........until the tail operated correctly.

I attached a string and pulled the skunk on my old pool table.  Sometimes the back wheels would bind up and not turn.  Inspection showed more clearance was needed between the bottom of the 2 walnut tail pieces and the main body.  So more Dremel drum sanding was done until there was adequate clearance.

There was no way to try out the final assembly without gluing up the tail first, or I would have checked for adequate clearance.  This is the 2nd plan in the book that I found an error with.

Completed Scented Skunk Toy

 Youtube Video

This one is a fun toy also........


 Closing Thoughts

This model takes more time than the simpler designs, because you have the extra lamination and cutting steps for the main body and the tail.

So far, 2 out of 3 plans in Wakefield's book have errors which are significant enough to cause the models not to work. I had higher quality expectations for his book, but apparently nobody checked to see if the designs in the book could be built.j

Wakefield apparently buys 1-3/4" diameter wheels from a supplier that uses 5/16 axle holes.  All of the suppliers I buy from use 1/4" axle holes. So you have to adjust his plans and drill 5/16" diameter axle holes in the body to give the right clearance for 1/4" diameter axles.

This one is really fun to watch operate.

The grandkids should enjoy playing with the Scented Skunk.

April 1, 2016 Update

The macramé cord that I ordered showed up..........

This nominal 1/4" diameter cord fit fine in a 1/4" drilled hole, and then a knot fits fine in a 1/2" diameter hole. I dipped the ball in mineral oil also.











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