carving "Thunderbolt" #1: The idea & the rider

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by mpounders posted 01-18-2011 05:29 AM 1370 reads 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of carving "Thunderbolt" series Part 2: Starting the Horse »

I have had an interest in automata (A self-operating machine or mechanism) since making a limberjack machine a few years ago. I have wanted to create a machine that incorporated caricatures that I carved and that would be fun to look at, an animated toy of sorts. A well-known carver I admire, Lynn Doughty, suggests that you should strive to make your work stand out, to attract attention, and draw people in. So, I felt a carving that moved would be something different, something that makes you want to look closer. Adina Huckins’ jointed dolls also influenced this carving as did Wanda Sowry and her wonderful creations! So the idea that keeps rising up is a little boy dressed up as a cowboy, riding one of the old mechanical horses that used to be found in front of stores for the kids to ride. A crank would be turned to give the little boy his ride on old “Thunderbolt”. So I figured I’d blog the process a little bit.

I completed the head several months ago and have spent the time trying to figure out how to do the joints. I have decided (at least at this date) to use dowel and pin joints. The little groove on the ends allows 360 degree rotation whne held in place with a simple pin. I’ll probably restrict the movement to less than that, but this design allows me to get the arm and head placement exactly at the angle that looks best. The waist and legs are simple joints that will allow movement back and forth, as the horse moves.

Here is the progress on the cowboy so far. I am starting the process of carving the horse, so I can get him seated properly in the saddle. I’ll post some pictures of that procees nest time.

Thanks for looking!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

9 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3382 days

#1 posted 01-18-2011 05:50 AM

now that is really neat…i love the concept and your doing a wonderful job of it…cant wait to see him seated on the horse…thanks for sharing this…your a wonderful carver..maybe some kind of large bird can be next…having its wings in motion…that would be fun…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 3113 days

#2 posted 01-18-2011 05:57 AM

Very cool, can’t wait to see the next step!

-- ~Julie~

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3129 days

#3 posted 01-18-2011 06:55 AM

Thats cool.
And he looks good too, looks better sitting than in pieces! :-)

-- Theresa,

View mahadevwood's profile


415 posts in 3099 days

#4 posted 01-18-2011 11:06 AM

  • great work*
View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4240 days

#5 posted 01-18-2011 01:26 PM

oh my—this is wonderful (a major undertaking from my perspective) – and so much fun, as well. I am already smiling at the little guy preparing for his ride to be.

WONDERFUL and how nice that we get to follow along on the creation.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View sras's profile


4838 posts in 3208 days

#6 posted 01-18-2011 05:20 PM

This is going to be fun to watch!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View helluvawreck's profile


31959 posts in 2946 days

#7 posted 01-18-2011 06:38 PM

Your carving is very nice and what you are fixing to do sounds most interesting. I’ll be watching for it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4485 days

#8 posted 01-18-2011 09:16 PM

this is looking awesome, and I can’t wait to see more.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3204 days

#9 posted 01-21-2011 09:01 AM

I’m watching along as your last blog got my attention. So far, so great!!!!


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics