David Wakefield's Cross Crocodile animated wood toy

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Project by DaleMaley posted 03-27-2016 05:18 PM 618 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After getting David Wakefield's book on patterns for animated wood toys, I am building the ones I find most interesting to me.

The Cross Crocodile is the same basic design as the Hungry Hippo. There is a short dowel on the inside of each of the two front wheels. As the wheels turn, the dowels lift the mouth open, then it falls closed with a nice clunk sound. You can set how often the mouth opens by how you orient the 2 front wheels. You can get 1 opening per rev, 2 openings per rev, or 2 openings per rev with a space between openings.

This project uses the common scroll sawing technique of compound scroll sawing for the main alligator body. You apply a pattern to 2 sides, then saw side 1 and then side 2.

I made this one from Brazilian Cherry, then applied mineral oil when it was done.

This is a relatively simple animated toy to build. The only issue I had was an error in the pattern in the book. The geometry is wrong for the small piece that connects the 2 sides of the rotating mouth. Since I didn’t find the error until final assembly, I was able to remove enough material to get it to work.

To see my Trials & Tribulations of building this project, see my woodworking web site.

Still pictures do not do these designs justice, you need to see and hear the model in action…….so I made a Youtube video:

In the video, I try running the toy down a ramp, it crashes, but it is a rugged design :)

The little ones in the family should really enjoy playing with this one!


-- Dale, Illinois,

3 comments so far

View ClaudeF's profile


251 posts in 1124 days

#1 posted 03-27-2016 06:30 PM

View htl's profile


2005 posts in 576 days

#2 posted 03-28-2016 01:41 AM

Another cool pull toy project!
These so much fun to make and give away.
Great how to also!!!

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View fd_cox's profile


52 posts in 993 days

#3 posted 03-28-2016 01:38 PM

Great pull toy

-- Floyd - Harrison Arkansas

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