The head of the crane must spin 360 degrees as controlled by a crank handle on one side of the base. Since the rotary motion of the crank is 90 degrees off from that of the head, I needed to figure out a way to change the direction of this motion, preferably something home made, not purchased. (Though if something had been readily available, cheap and better, I would have put out the money.)
Using my smallest hole saw, I cut a few wheels from a piece of 3/8 in. hardwood. My first idea was to mark the wheel out for 8 spokes that would protrude out from the face. The spokes I used were from a bamboo skewer. This did not work well at all, and after several tries at variations, I rejected the idea and put my thinking cap on again.
Remembering several videos I saw, one about making gears and one about making the sprocket of a noisemaker (Hi Steve and Matthias!) I cut a few larger wheels and cut dents for 8 teeth. Then I used my band saw to deepen them. The gear now looked like an 8 pointed star. So I took my rat tail file and deepened and widened the gaps.
I created an angle to simulate the position the gears will be used from scrap wood as an open air proof of concept. Placing the gears on a larger skewer for an axle, I discover that they mesh well at right angles and the darn thing works! This is very enheartening. In actual use these will be upside down to the way they are shown.
-- - Ni faru ion el ligno!