Octopus Whirligig

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Project by johnhutchinson posted 210 days ago 1106 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Octopus Whirligig
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Since I’m in the middle of some downtime, it seemed like a good opportunity to clean up and organize some files.

I was delighted to find a picture of my octopus whirligig, and some video clips that I shot with my ancient Sony Mavica. The camera recorded to a 1.4MB floppy. Remember those? So I took the picture and the low-res clips and stitched them together into a “feature length” video.

I was working on my deck at the time, went to Home Depot to pick up some supplies, and ran across a cedar fence post finial that looked like an octopus head. The deck project took a little longer than expected, but the octopus whirligig turned out to be the perfect accessory. :) 

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

14 comments so far

View aussiedave's profile


3014 posts in 409 days

#1 posted 210 days ago

Very cool John, you must really like the challenge of mechanical workings in wood…Excellent Octopus.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View johnhutchinson's profile


472 posts in 214 days

#2 posted 210 days ago

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, Dave. I’m savin’ the big guns. :)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Julian's profile


477 posts in 1275 days

#3 posted 210 days ago

Your creations are great and entertaining.

-- Julian

View GnarlyErik's profile


179 posts in 719 days

#4 posted 210 days ago

Love it! I have really started looking into animated pieces after seeing Owlcroft’s dragon – which turns out you were involved in too, and I saw yours of course. Nice work and great ideas!

I have now built one dragon to my own design, based on yours – hope you don’t mind – see below. I’ve just guessed as to the mechanics involved and it’s turned out pretty well, though not quite as ‘active’ as yours. I used ‘cogs’ on the axles to provide the motions. I may or may not post it – since ‘if you’ve seen one dragon, do you really need to see another?’ It was quite a fun challenge to figure everything out, and my ‘tires’ are 1/8” rubber gasket material glued to turned wooden wheels and they work quite well, though you can see the join.

My dragon is for a small 18-month-old grandson, but my wife really loves it. She wants me to build another for her, only that one to be about two or three feet tall or so. She says she wants to pull it down the sidewalk in our little town. Not sure if I’ll do it, but if I do, I will post that one.

Last year I built a four foot tall 3-D rooster out of paper mâché over wire, on a spindle like a weathervane – then coated it with F/G cloth and paint. It is not posted here since it was not wood. That was for a joke on a close friend where I left it set up in his yard when he was away. He and his wife are really into exotic chickens, and it took them about a month to figure it out!

Thanks for posting your keen ideas!


-- Candy is dandy and rum may be fun, but wood working is the best high for me!

View doubleDD's profile


2281 posts in 628 days

#5 posted 210 days ago

These are some very entertaining projects you come up with John. I like it with the eyes in the video. You have some expert building skills and ideas.

-- --Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View johnhutchinson's profile


472 posts in 214 days

#6 posted 210 days ago

Beautiful dragon, Erik !!! The whole idea is to start with an inspiration and make it your own. “How To Make Animated Toys” by David Wakefield is where I got my start.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View hoss12992's profile


2450 posts in 478 days

#7 posted 210 days ago

Wow, this is awesome! VERY creative. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

12937 posts in 923 days

#8 posted 210 days ago

Very cool

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View HillbillyShooter's profile


4277 posts in 877 days

#9 posted 210 days ago

Charming! Thanks for sharing both your octopus and reference for beginning animated toys.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View luv2learn's profile


1618 posts in 888 days

#10 posted 210 days ago

John, your projects certainly have KID appeal, and I am the biggest kid of all. I love your whirligig.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View deon's profile


2136 posts in 1611 days

#11 posted 210 days ago

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Doe's profile


914 posts in 1415 days

#12 posted 210 days ago

Really cool. Could you show some pics on how it works? I googled Savonius rotor so I understand the concept but I’m not getting how the movement happens.

I love automata and I’m learning how they work using kits (fish and man in rowboat done, skateboarder in progress). Would you consider a blog on how you dream these up?

Thanks so much for posting your creations.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Manitario's profile


2243 posts in 1468 days

#13 posted 209 days ago

Very cool!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Fishinbo's profile


11210 posts in 761 days

#14 posted 206 days ago

Awesome work, it’s really cool and fun. Fantastic tentacles and movements. You have great creativity and imagination.

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