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Dancing Ballerinas - For My Dancing Granddaughter

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Project by Pimzedd posted 06-03-2018 11:16 PM 1805 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Back in December 2014, John Hutchinson posted his version of Dancing Ballerinas that he made for his Granddaughter http://lumberjocks.com/projects/109204. It was one of my MANY LJ Favorites. Well my Granddaughter began taking dance lessons a couple of years ago. So it was time for me to make one for her.

I started by trying to figure out how to make the gears. After some research I got smart. I discovered that John had written an article for Scrollsaw Woodworking & Crafts -Gizmos & Gadgets 2015 which included the plans. So being the smart man that I am or at least the lazy man, I purchased a back issue with the full scale plans, instructions and photos. The plans are excellent.

I don’t get in a hurry about much anymore so I started construction in February. Finished on Friday. Just in time for the Granddaughters recital on Saturday. By the way Friday was her 7th birthday so it was a recital/birthday present.

The box and gears are baltic birch plywood. The dance floor is maple. The plans called for the ballerinas to be made out of 1/4” plywood. I used 1/4” Sintra which is an extruded PVC foam stock. I wanted smooth surface and wanted the scroll sawed outline to show the detail. It worked well.

My only concern was finding decent dowels. Rather than buy them, I decided to make my own. I tried a version that used a jig to feed stock into the bandsaw. Worked but not what I really wanted. Kinda rough and needed lots of sanding. I then found a version by Mattias Wandel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUmlMtpAj9o&t=125s that used a chisel mounted like one of the old hand-held pencil sharpeners. I cut some square maple stock and knocked off the corners to make the stock octagonal. Mounted the stock in a hand drill and feed it into the jog. After a little tweaking, it came out straight and smooth.

Once I had the dowels, the rest just took time. When assembled, two of the gears needed at little adjustment. Once done, it cranked and played well.

I presented it to her at the party after the recital. As you can see by the smile on her face, she was pleased.

Oh yea John has a video of his operating at https://vimeo.com/116498188 Mine works exactly the same.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school





9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117166 posts in 3661 days


#1 posted 06-04-2018 12:00 AM

That’s great nice work.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20920 posts in 3189 days


#2 posted 06-04-2018 12:09 AM

That is a super gift for a gran daughter. It will be a family heirloom you can be sure!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

3037 posts in 2252 days


#3 posted 06-04-2018 05:33 AM

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

2029 posts in 1706 days


#4 posted 06-04-2018 10:09 AM

Jim is right, an heirloom to be passed on

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View lew's profile

lew

12209 posts in 3839 days


#5 posted 06-04-2018 01:01 PM

Wonderful gift! I know she will treasure it forever!!

Just as a side note, if you decide to make more gears, Matthais Wandel at has a nice software program for printing gear patterns.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View UncleBuck's profile

UncleBuck

246 posts in 164 days


#6 posted 06-04-2018 01:06 PM

my daughter is also a dancer very nice gift she will cherish all her life. great job

-- Terry Uncle Buck Carvins "woodworking minus patience equals firewood "

View K7SU's profile

K7SU

30 posts in 77 days


#7 posted 06-04-2018 11:31 PM

Very cool! You are a good grampa!

-- Kelly Klaas K7SU

View Nowa's profile

Nowa

24 posts in 2164 days


#8 posted 06-05-2018 04:13 AM

Great project. Very inspiring! Can you share a web address for where you found the plans?

View Pimzedd's profile

Pimzedd

611 posts in 4227 days


#9 posted 06-05-2018 12:44 PM

Thanks for all the great comments.

Lew, I knew that Matthais had his gear generator. I also knew of another that is free and tried to use it. I just was not sure about the ratios needed to make the music movement play at the correct speed while having the ballerinas dancing at a good speed. Therefore, I took the easy way out.

Nowa, i purchased the plans at https://foxchapelpublishing.com/gizmos-volume-2-2015.html. As you can see, you get plans for several other items. May try the clock someday.

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

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