Snazzy Turtle--He waddles and wags his tail!!!!

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Project by Murano posted 01-31-2012 07:59 AM 2597 views 6 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this turtle from plans created by Mike Jagielo.

The shell of the turtle started out as three pieces of 3/4 inch pine laminated into a single block. Then I sanded and sanded and sanded (you get the idea) to make the shell shape. The inner portion of the shell was hollowed using a pattern bit on my plunge router. This was needed to make room for the wheels. The body of the turtle began as three rings of 1/2 inch plywood stacked and glued together. I wanted to make the body more visually appealing, so I used my bandsaw and piece of oak to create home-made veneer. I covered the exterior of the body with this veneer and I think it looks pretty good. The head began as a walnut board 3/4 inche thick. I laminated the boards into a single block. Then I cut the head with the bandsaw into the rough shape and then formed the shape of the head using a rasp and lots and lots and lots of sanding. The eyes are two maple balls purchased from a craft store. The centers of the eyes are walnut plugs that I made with a plug cutter. The feet were fun to make. They began as 1/2 inch walnut. Then I used a Forstner bit to make the holes and filled each hole with a plug of aspen to make the toes. The tail is a little piece of walnut. You can see the picture for details of the cams, rocker bars, and maple wheels and rods that were used to give the turtle motion of his legs and tail. The head of the turtle swings from side to side.

A picture is better than a 1000 words. Here is the video showing how this turtle likes to crawl, with a bit of help from my buddy, Nathan.

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10 comments so far

View grace123's profile


238 posts in 2909 days

#1 posted 01-31-2012 08:05 AM

Cute idea.

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3724 days

#2 posted 01-31-2012 08:30 AM

great job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3335 days

#3 posted 01-31-2012 05:31 PM

Great toy and toy! I like the inside of this project well done!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View lew's profile


12324 posts in 3902 days

#4 posted 01-31-2012 05:49 PM

Very Cool! I think the little neighbor kids might like one of these!!


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

View paplou's profile


324 posts in 3491 days

#5 posted 01-31-2012 05:55 PM

Love it. That kid will treasure that toy for life. You did a beautiful job on it.


View Bertha's profile


13550 posts in 2840 days

#6 posted 01-31-2012 06:00 PM

Very cool. I love the eyeballs!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3611 days

#7 posted 01-31-2012 08:52 PM

That is really cool!!! Nathan will get lots of miles out of that turtle.
OH YEA, Welcome to LJ’s.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View PurpLev's profile


8540 posts in 3795 days

#8 posted 01-31-2012 08:55 PM

very cool!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View grace123's profile


238 posts in 2909 days

#9 posted 01-31-2012 10:08 PM

Did you use hardwood for the rocker bars? Are the dimensions for the inside fairly critical? I would imagine this requires a bit of precision measurements to make the feet and tail move and not bind.

View Murano's profile


3 posts in 2457 days

#10 posted 01-31-2012 10:19 PM

To Grace123: I used maple for the rocker bars. I used a stiff steel wire to connect the feet to the rocker bars. I thought over time a softer wood would become loose and then the rocker bars would not work correctly. The measurements and placement of the wheels, cams, and location of wire rods into the rocker bars required meticulous measurements and a little trial error. If the wire rods were not the right length the assembly did not move. This project was a lot of fun.

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