Child's Airplane Rocker

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Project by Scottlj posted 05-06-2016 03:43 AM 850 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was made from plans I got here:

Reasonably easy to follow. I used tracing paper and a burnisher to transfer the full size plans to wood, then used jigsaw to rough cut the patterns. Also, I found it easier to use full pics to trace rather than use a mirror method. That is, the plans had some parts that weren’t really full size. For example, only 1/2 the lower rocker. To trace this, they recommend a procedure to fold over this or that and so on. But I found it easiest just to go to copy store and use a large format copier to make a full size copy and tape the pieces together, and then trace a full size.

The hardest part was probably sanding the rockers so they were smooth and matched each other perfectly. If I had to do it again, I’d probably make a single template first and then use that to clean up perfect edges using a flush trim router bit. I did use a 1/4” rounder bit to smooth out all edges, (except for the bottom part that connects to the lower rocker, which is per the instructions.)

The wheels were made on the table saw. I searched for some methods and found that using my cross cut sled this wasn’t that hard. What you have to do – carefully – is put a small nail the distance away from the blade that is the radius you want. Then put a square piece of wood dead center on the nail. Which isn’t hard. For example, a 5” wheel will just have the nail 2.5” away and then you take a 5” square board against the blade. You just have to measure or eyeball placing the piece vertically. Then you just press down on that pivot point and do multiple cuts as you spin the block around. Pretty soon it’s not a block, but a surprisingly decent round wheel.

For the screw holes, I used countersink bits and then glued in some mushroom caps I found online somewhere. For something like $5 for a pack of 100 in the size I needed, I thought this would be much better than trying to make such things. (Which would have been an ugly mess and taken a long time.)

I think that’s most of my learnings here. Except maybe that I’m weak with free form jigsaw cutting and need to work on that. (More patience and relief cuts would probably help.) Also, I do have an orbit or whatever it’s called ability on my jigsaw, but I should get a thinner scroll type blade to go with it.

11 comments so far

View Matt's profile


77 posts in 373 days

#1 posted 05-06-2016 12:02 PM

Looks like one happy customer. Nice plane!!

That doesn’t look like the Van’s RV-8 that is associated with that tail number though. :)


-- My "projects" always look better with beer goggles.

View htl's profile (online now)


2031 posts in 581 days

#2 posted 05-06-2016 01:10 PM

Very nice and your younguns got room to grow on it too, way to go.

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

View BreadWinner's profile


7 posts in 1670 days

#3 posted 05-06-2016 01:51 PM

I’m going to have to make this for my son. He’s 16mo and loves airplanes! Nice job

View Scottlj's profile


67 posts in 1139 days

#4 posted 05-06-2016 01:56 PM


Hah… that’s really funny. The N number is just her birth year and initials. I didn’t think to check the registry database or do a search. But since she won’t be filing any flight plans, I think it’ll be ok!

View BurlyBob's profile


3481 posts in 1687 days

#5 posted 05-06-2016 02:12 PM

Looks like that pilot is having way to much fun. I’d say got a happy customer there.

View Matt's profile


77 posts in 373 days

#6 posted 05-06-2016 02:40 PM


Hah… that s really funny. The N number is just her birth year and initials. I didn t think to check the registry database or do a search. But since she won t be filing any flight plans, I think it ll be ok!

- Scottlj

That is fantastic, I figured you had some form of relation with the owner of the RV and thus the attachment to it. It’s a much better, and more meaningful N number.

-- My "projects" always look better with beer goggles.

View Deela40's profile


92 posts in 2509 days

#7 posted 05-06-2016 02:41 PM

Good work.

I made a rocking horse for my daughter, and I have been looking for something to make for my newborn son so he has something he can play with too when he gets older. May go with this design.

Thanks for sharing the details.


View bushmaster's profile


1252 posts in 1704 days

#8 posted 05-06-2016 03:21 PM

Looks like she is flying high

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Scottlj's profile


67 posts in 1139 days

#9 posted 05-06-2016 03:34 PM


Here’s another place I looked at for patterns:

As someone who’s still a novice, I typically use plans – maybe modified slightly – as opposed to designing my own, so I’ve found them useful. The only other point I forgot to make in my first post is I also try to be careful with the paint / finish products for the kiddie stuff. (I.e., stuff without VOCs, etc. since you know they’re going to try to chew on stuff.)

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 1258 days

#10 posted 05-06-2016 04:38 PM

That kid looks pretty happy with it. Nifty rocker and well made.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View Mean_Dean's profile


4943 posts in 2569 days

#11 posted 05-07-2016 12:08 AM

Great looking airplane rocker! She looks like one happy aviatrix!

-- Dean

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