|leftover wood, wooden dowel (~ 9 mm),
kid-compatible acrylic paint (saliva and sweat-resistant)
|scroll saw, drill press, hole saw, printer, sandpaper
|marginal, toy-safe acrylic paint is ~ 4€ per 50ml
The Tigerente is a popular German childhood figure. I decided to make one as a simple woodworking project. This is a quick and easy project which can probably finished in one two two sessions, with the longest periods by far consisting of waiting for the glue or paint to dry.
I selected a piece of leftover fir board roughly 40x20x2cm. I sawed the board in half and glued both halves together to achieve a thickness of 4cm, making the toy more stable. I downloaded a sassy image of the Tigerente that I liked (search for "Tigerente", there are plenty) and printed it on a piece of paper. Glued that on the wood and cut out the outlines on the scroll saw. Sanded down rough corners and edges until I was happy with the form with 80 and then 120 grit sandpaper.
Selected another piece of leftover wood with a thickness of 2 cm and cut out wheels using a hole saw and, ideally, a drill press. Try to find a diameter that looks good optically, go for the larger diameter if in doubt (toy will roll more easily). Sand down the wheels. If your wheels end up eccentric (like mine did because I used a handheld drill), consider threading them onto a threaded rod, affixing that to a drill and using the drill to sand down the wheels.
Paint body and wheels whichever way you fancy. Typically black and yellow. Regarding the paint: You are looking for paint that is "Speichelecht" and "Schweißfest" and fulfills the regulations of EN 71-Part 3. Use multiple layers, sanding in between layers with 120 or 180 grit until satisfied with paint coverage. If you want to go all the way, apply a layer of shellac for a nice shine and a silky surface feel.
Take a wooden dowel and saw from it two pieces of a length of (body thickness + 2x wheel thickness + ~3 mm) for your axles. The 3 mm wiggle room allow the wheels some freedom to turn apart from the body. Drill out the diameter of the wheel bores to the thickness of the axles. Drill two holes in the duck body where the wheels should go, using a drill that's 1-2 mm wider than the axle. Glue one wheel on each axle, thread axles trough the body, glue on other wheel. Sand down and paint over wheel if required.
- Drill a small hole in the center of the front part of the duck and screw in a noosed hook. Attach a length of string, so your kid can pull it.
- Glue some black threads to the top as hair (which the Tigerente has sometimes).
- Give present to other parent's kids, feeling smug that you give higher quality toys to them than their parents do. Be frustrated that kid doesn't appreciate your craftsmanship and plays with the doll singing the "Frozen" Theme over and over again anyways.
- Martin made a version:
- make wheels on the wood lathe rather than with a hole saw (could be improved further with a better parting tool):
step 1 (after your blank becomes round): mark what to keep/where to part
step 2: use a parting tool to define the wheels
step 3: repeat parting until there are enough recognizable wheels
step 4: finish the parting cut off the lathe, using a Japanese saw for example
step 6: drill a perfectly centered hole using a drill chuck on the wood lathe!
- laser engrave the pattern & finish with beeswax instead of painting: