Magazine article Sunset

The Woodworker Puts the Waddle in the Duck and the Hop in the Bunny

Magazine article Sunset

The Woodworker Puts the Waddle in the Duck and the Hop in the Bunny

Article excerpt

Ready to join this year's Easter egg hunt, a waddling duck or hopping rabbit will come to life as preschoolers push them along. These simple wooden push toys are easy to make in a few hours (plus drying time for paint); setting their wheels off-center is what gives them their characteristic gaits. Each one costs from $8 to $15, depending on the quality of materials you choose.

To make each toy, you'll need about 40 inches of 1 by 12 (we used pine), about 30 inches of 1/2-inch dowel, a 2-inch wooden drawer knob, some small scraps of 1/16-inch-thick leather, wood glue, a small can of primer and a small can of white or gray enamel, and several 1/4-ounce bottles of model enamel to paint on eyes and other features.

A band saw is ideal for cutting out the body pieces and wheels, but a jigsaw or saber saw will also work. You'll need a drill with 1/2-inch and 9/16-inch bits, at least two C-clamps, sandpaper, a paintbrush, and solvent for cleanup.

Start by enlarging our patterns on paper and tracing the outlines onto the wood--one silhoutte of the larger middle piece (outlined) and two of the side pieces (shaded). After cutting and sanding the three pieces, apply glue and use the C-clamps to hold them together until dry. …

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