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Cranky Crane Replica

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 09-04-2013 12:29 PM 1834 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

To read my journey in this project, check out my blog series here.

[Legebla ankaĆ­ en Esperanto]

My 14 year old daughter, who has been creating short film projects with her old Thomas the Tank Engine toys asked me if I could build her a Cranky the Crane. I told her that I could definitely make something like it. This project is made completely from wood, except for a few nuts and screws and a 6 inch electrical nipple. It was a bit of a struggle working out the gears that turn his head 360 degrees, but it functions very well. However, I would not give this to a small child as I cannot guarantee it is child safe.

I made it completely out of wood I had around the shop, the only thing I had to purchase was the electrical nipple. The magnet for the lift I scavenged from a discarded headphone and the casing around the magnet is a brass plumbing fixture from my plumbing drawer.

The only factor in which I have fallen down in this reproduction is that apparently on the real toy, the head comes off quite easily. Mine is epoxied firmly in place.

Note: The third photo is of a real Cranky the Crane for comparison.

Here’s a YouTube video showing the finished project where I describe it a little.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!





19 comments so far

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1809 posts in 2543 days


#1 posted 09-04-2013 01:12 PM

Great job, looks good.

-- Chris K

View eruby's profile

eruby

79 posts in 2236 days


#2 posted 09-04-2013 01:35 PM

Very Nice, I just skimmed your blog post. It’s amazing how much work there is in these smaller projects.
BTW if your cranky spins a full 360 degrees then you have built something better than my son’s Cranky. (the store bought one has a hard stop that doesn’t let Cranky spin all the way around.)

-- Eric - Baltimore MD

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

16954 posts in 2651 days


#3 posted 09-04-2013 01:47 PM

Nice job, looks fun….

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

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1650 days


#4 posted 09-04-2013 08:36 PM

Eruby, I honesty thought the real toy’s head spun 360. You can spin mine around like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. Never having seen an actual Cranky the Crane up close, I only had some images, mainly from eBay, and one seller’s statement that it was about 9 1/2 inches tall to go on. Hmm. Maybe I should patent my mechanism…

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View mbfunke's profile

mbfunke

76 posts in 2121 days


#5 posted 09-05-2013 03:18 PM

Seriously cool. Eruby is right, my cranky…I mean my kids cranky, doesn’t spin 360 either.

Also, having the head firmly attached is a feature I added to our second hand cranky. So good on ya there too.

-- Mike Funke

View CFrye's profile (online now)

CFrye

8738 posts in 1302 days


#6 posted 09-05-2013 04:44 PM

That’s great Dave! Would you/your daughter be willing to post one of her videos showing it in action?

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1650 days


#7 posted 09-05-2013 05:06 PM

CFrye, I think I can put a short video up about it. It’s very much more likely to happen next week.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2275 days


#8 posted 09-05-2013 05:19 PM

Wow, that takes me back to when the kids were into Thomas trains. Nice project, looks great!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View CFrye's profile (online now)

CFrye

8738 posts in 1302 days


#9 posted 09-05-2013 06:37 PM

Cool! Looking forward to it!

-- God bless, Candy

View nomercadies's profile

nomercadies

577 posts in 1801 days


#10 posted 09-11-2013 12:03 AM

Yes, let us know when show time is. I will put my laptop on a table out by the garage, sit in the car, and act like I’m at the drive in. Miss those days.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1650 days


#11 posted 09-11-2013 07:05 PM

The video is up.

Here’s a link to it on YouTube.

http://youtu.be/5o27wCDcaoA

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CFrye's profile (online now)

CFrye

8738 posts in 1302 days


#12 posted 09-12-2013 01:16 AM

Nice job Dave. That really shows off your handy work!

-- God bless, Candy

View nomercadies's profile

nomercadies

577 posts in 1801 days


#13 posted 09-12-2013 02:26 AM

Thanks for the video. Nice presentation and voice-over. Love the gear close-up.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1650 days


#14 posted 09-12-2013 09:40 AM

Thanks. It’s helpful that I’ve been gearing up to maybe make a few woodworking videos. That was a good first go.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View nomercadies's profile

nomercadies

577 posts in 1801 days


#15 posted 09-12-2013 01:17 PM

Here is a video I did for a student. It was intended to be used between classes as a reminder of some of the directions I was giving. It is just a “Hit the button and start talking.” example of what not to do. There was no script and definitely no second take, as you will see.

The quest is to develop skills then work from home to produce items of real value to be sold as fund raisers for the special education classrooms from which the students graduated. Kind of like recycling, but with people.

So many of the graduates have skills or potential but no ability to hold a regular job.

It is so complicated, but I think we are onto something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0SHmwMdqeY

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

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