Tumbling Toby

Tedswoodworking Plans

16.000 Woodworking Plans by Ted McGrath

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Here's a simple wooden toy that's guaranteed to delight youngsters and intrigue grownups as well. Toby is counterbalanced so that a light tap will set him somersaulting back and forth along the parallel bars, and he'll keep going for some time.

This toy can be made quickly from just a few scraps of pine and dowel. Low in cost and easily mass-produced, it's an ideal item for sale to gift and toy shops.

Start by enlarging the pattern squares to I" on heavy paper. Then transfer the figure to the enlarged grid. Cut out the pattern, and use it to trace the figure on W pine. Jigsaw to shape and drill a Yi" hole through the hands. Insert a 3" length of dowel so that it protrudes an equal dis-

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tance on each side and glue in place.

The parallel bars are shaped from pine. Rasp a gentle curve along the top of each bar as shown. Drill holes in the bottom edge of each bar for %" dowel uprights.

Cut two base pieces and drill three %" holes in each, two for the upright supports and one for the long stretcher. Sand all parts carefully and assemble the parallel bars with glue. Temporarily place a spacer block between the bars while the glue dries to keep them parallel and spread about an inch apart.

Finish the toy with a couple of coats of thinned shellac. Toby can be left natural or painted with enamels or colored with felt-tip pens.

Coffee Table

Crisp, uncluttered lines and an interesting contrast between elegant walnut and natural maple make this table a worthy project for the woodworker of moderate skill.

The top is an assembly consisting of a W walnut plywood panel, edged with maple strips. The lower leg assembly is made entirely of hard maple.

Legs are shaped from 2" nominal stock and are Wi" square at top and bottom. Cut the two long stretchers to overall length from % x \% x W/S stock, and shape tenons on each end. A tenon length of VA" is about right. Note that the stretchers are tapered from VA" at each end to a midpoint width of The end rails arc shaped from % x 1 % x 15!4" stock, and are not tapered.

Make an identifying mark on all legs, rails, and stretchers so that tenons and dowel pins male with the parts for which they were individually fitted. Lay out and cut mortises, and bore the legs for %" dowel pins to fasten the end rails.

Sand all parts thoroughly to remove maehin-

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ing marks before assembling the frame with glue and clamps.

Next, the plywood panel for the top is cut to overall size and rabbeted around all four edges. Use a plywood-cutting blade with your table or radial saw to produce a smooth, nonsplintered cut.

Shape the two tapered edge strips for the top from maple, then cut the two end strips. Set up a dado cutter, and run a % x %" groove along all edging strips. Also cut Y* x %" tongues on both ends of the wide strips. Assemble the top with glue and clamp overnight.

When the top has dried, cut two clcats to fit across the underside. Drive a small headless brad into the top center of each leg and use these brads to punch marking holes in each cleat to locate dowel sockets. Bore the legs to a depth of 1 " to take Yt x dowel pins. Groove the pins to release trapped air and glue, and drive them into the legs so that ¡4" protrudes. Bore a hole through the cleats, using the punch marks as centers, and glue the cleats to the legs.

Complete the assembly by turning the top upside down and placing the frame assembly on it.

When it is centered, fasten the cleats to the lop with countersunk %" ^10 wood screws.

While many prefer the contemporary look of open-grain oiled walnut, a tabletop such as this, which may be subjected to spilled drinks and wet glasses, is best given a paste wood-filler treatment prior to sealing. Use a walnut-toned paste wood filler, and mix with turpentine according to the manufacturer's directions. Apply the filler to the panel with a brush, and work only a small section at a time. When the wet appearance is gone, rub the filler well into the pores of the wood, using a pad of burlap. Rub first across the grain and then with it. Remove all traces of surface filler before it begins to harden, as it is difficult to remove once it sets up. For that reason, don't try to do the entire lop at once.

Sand the panel lightly, taking care not to go across the grain of the end strips. Dust the surface and use a tack cloth to pick up all traces of dust. Finish the top with at least three coats of urethane varnish, rubbing down with 4/0 steel wool between coats. The lower frame and underside of the top should each receive at least two coats.

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