As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
THERE ARE MORE VIDEOS IN THE SECOND ARTICLE (LINK BELOW)
If you are interested in building your own version of this project, I have a set of detailed plans available for purchase for a modest price.
This includes 1:1 plans which you can print out and tape (or glue) together to create full size traceable plans for Bending Form to make the curved sides, which I think is the most challenging part of the project. Read More... »
What could be better than a child's noisy push/pull toy? How about TWO noisy push toys?
I built the pushtoy on the right over 18 years ago, back in 1998, when my son was a toddler. It is based on a photo of a wooden toy that I found online. I was intrigued by the idea, and got together with my brother and designed and built a version of it. This is way before the time of youtube... I didn't even own a digital camera back then, and I have no photos at all of the build, let alone any video.
I recently decided that it would be fun to revisit this project. However, this time I would thoroughly document and film it for my youtube channel.
Here is how it works. There is no axle through the center of the piece. Instead, the axles are just stubs that connect the wheels to the outside frame. The wheels are connected together by four dowels, and there are eight noisemaker blocks that can swing freely on the dowels.
As the wheels turn the noisemaker block falls forward, and bangs against the neighbouring dowel, as shown in this photo...
... then as the wheel continues to turn, the block turns upside down, and then falls forward again (this time while upside down) and bangs against the other neighbouring dowel. To the left side of the photo you can see an example noisemaker block mounted on a dowel.
There are two blocks on each dowel, which is eight blocks in total. So there is a constant rattle of blocks banging back and forth. I strongly recommended watching the video above to get a sense of the noise and activity of this toy.
Here is a look at the finished toy. It is about 29 inches tall, and about 11 inches wide. There aren't any straight lines, so all the measurements are approximate!
Here is a closeup of the top handles. I don't own a lathe, and have not turned since shop class in the 7th grade. These handles are large shaker coat pegs. Of course, you could turn your own handles if you would like.
The curved sides are made of laminated maple strips, and just for fun I slipped in a constrasting strip of teak, which gives it that brown stripe down the center of the sides.
Here is a closeup of the wheel assembly with all the noisemaker blocks.
I love working with contrasting woods, and this project is a great one for unleashing your inner creativity. I picked four different species of wood for the noisemaker blocks, and if you check the other photos you can tell how I chose different species for the original toy as well.
Here below are a few more photos. The first one shows one of the axle ends. These were hardwood balls that I bought at a craft store. I used the drillpress to burn in a charred ring, for decoration, and mounted them onto the end of the axles. The other photo shows the new pushtoy with the original pushtoy.
NOTE: Click the button to go the second article where there are more details (including two videos) on the Noisy Push Toy construction process.
Thanks for reading!