Rocking Hippo..and friends

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Project by rcs47 posted 06-11-2010 05:53 AM 3851 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My Dad started a tradition of making a rocking horse for the grandkids. With the first Great Grandson, he said that was the last rocking horse he was going to make. I said I would take over the tradition.

He gave me his plan – Rocking Horse, Pattern No. 56, Created By U-Bilt, Van Nuys, California.

The pattern includes an elephant head that I already made for the new Great Nephew’s sister, and his brother has the horse (pictures also included). So I had the idea to make a hippo (going with a jungle theme – elephant, hippo. But then there’s the horse). After looking at many different hippos on-line, and laying tracing paper over the horse head for size, I came up with a hippo head with the help of my wife Dee.

The hippo is built using red oak. To get the color, I first used General Finishes, Merlot Water Based Dye, followed by GF American Walnut mixed with Mixol # 24 (Stone Grey). Dee does all the detailed painting (many years of decorative painting. When I used to help her, I would paint something one solid color to save her time, she did any detail work, but I digress). Two clear coats of GF Satin Poly go on before Dee does any painting to seal the wood. I add another three coats after the paint.

The rocking horse is red oak with only clear coats the GF Satin Poly. The elephant is maple (the head is three layers to give the trunk strength) with a Minwax custom mix stain and GF Satin Poly. Again, Dee did all the detailed painting.

-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 06-11-2010 06:11 AM

Those are all great, super job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View olg28's profile


21 posts in 2978 days

#2 posted 06-11-2010 09:32 PM

Nice job and original idea ! hypo…
I think my wife will ask me to make one for our son, so I’m searching plan and drawing for the head, She loves Tigger (from winnie the pooh…)

View OttoH's profile


891 posts in 3032 days

#3 posted 06-12-2010 04:08 AM

Very Nice Doug! I now have that infamous novelty Christmas song stuck in my head.

“I want a hippopotamus for Christmas, Only a hippopotamus will do, Don’t want a doll, no dinky Tinker Toy, I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy

-- I am responsible for how I respond to everything in my life - - Deadwood SD

View rcs47's profile


190 posts in 3152 days

#4 posted 06-12-2010 05:34 AM

Thanks for the comments. They make a great break from making furniture, although I only make a few pieces every year.

Otto, I have to say you got me with that Christmas song. I have not heard it, but Dee thinks she’s heard it before. I’ll have to look for it online.

-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

View slimt's profile


111 posts in 2960 days

#5 posted 07-08-2010 04:35 AM

Thi gives me something to think about , we just had are first grandchild and he’ s sure to need one . Keep those family traditions going !

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3103 days

#6 posted 07-28-2011 08:15 PM

Great rockers. I need to make something like this for my daughter. Although my daughter likes horses a lot so I’d go with the traditional one but I love the different animals you’ve done.

-- Matt -

View ralbuck's profile


4562 posts in 2288 days

#7 posted 04-28-2013 02:05 AM


-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

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