Balancing Sawyer

This old-time toy has amazed generations of children. They love to watch the little sawyer rocking back and forth while leaning out over the table edge in a most impossible way. Following the dimensions given in the drawings, cut the sawyer's body from pine. Rip a strip thick x 1" wide x 15" long and use it for the two arms and the long saw blade. Fasten the arms to the body with glue and brads, and brad the hands to the upper, or wide, end of the saw. Round off the edges of the arms and body, and sand. Seal with shellac or give the sawyer blue overalls and a red shirt as befits a rugged woodsman. Felt-tip pens can be used to color the pine to avoid having to clean brushes.

Rig a loop of thread around the sawyer's neck, down his back, and between his legs. Hook it around one of the three notches in the saw blade. There are several notches so that adjustments can be made. Tie another thread through the hole in the lower end of the saw: and fasten it to a weight of about 12 ounces. The weight can be a smooth stone with a hole drilled through using a carbide bit, or a heavy fishing sinker. In a pinch, a small bag of sand will also serve.

Test the toy by placing the sawyer on the edge of a tabic and setting him in motion. You may have to adjust the amount of the weight and shift the thread harness to a higher or lower notch.

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Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

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