Flutterby™! : sandbox excavator

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sandbox excavator

2007-01-09 07:29:39.717565+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

I have a soft-spot for serious wooden toys, the type that are large enough for kids to ride on. When I was growing up we had a crane and a tractor with a trailer from Community Playthings (which, alas, doesn't seem to be making toys at the same level of coolness any more, probably due to product liability issues) that were beefy enough that not only were they great for playing with as they were intended, we kids used them as dollies to move things that were too heavy for us to move alone, and repurposed them in other interesting ways. And my grandfather built me a beautiful wooden boat that I was able to row around our back pond, that lasted for many years despite the childhood neglect I heaped upon it.

With the recent acquisition of the new tools (and not to brag or anything, it's kind of tacky when a guy starts mouthing off about the capabilities of his tool, but I ripped a 2x6 along a straight-edge this weekend to put a good edge on both sides of it, two 8 foot rip cuts along a guide with a circular saw, no blade burn, and a surface I didn't have to finish) Charlene and I have bandied about some simple projects for next year's fundraiser auction for the San Geronimo Valley Community Center.

So here's a basic sandbox excavator that used this more complex excavator for inspiration.

[ related topics: Children and growing up Boats Toys Woodworking Festool ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-09 16:36:05.509721+00 by: Jim S

I wonder if one more joint at the bucket, tied to the elbow joint with a linkage so it moves in the same rotation wouldn't be a good idea? The arm might get a bit thick since you need room for three members on the forearm, but it would let the bucket roll to a position to carry, as it is it looks like a lot of "pulling toward" and not a lot of "picking up". Darn it. Now I'm going to have to break out my modular prototyping system (err... lego) and try some things.

I might add... for a child sized pond boat you could look for "double paddle dory" http:// www.duckworksmagazine.com/00/DM2000/designs/dpdory/index.htm. I built one for my daughter years ago, very fast construction, very sturdy boat. I scaled it down to fit a 4x8 sheet of marine plywood and it works well for small people. Don't make a boat like this for someone that does not know how to swim, and if it is to be used in anything larger than a pond, add bouancy chambers. (Oh, and thin coats of polyester resin don't cure properly and are hideous to remove. Given a do-over I'd spring for epoxy resin.)

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-09 16:50:59.065596+00 by: Dan Lyke

I've thought about a couple more additions, but anything more than two handles requires an indexing system so that the child can let go of one handle to manipulate another. Not that that's impossible, just that it's more complex and requires figuring out what little hands can grasp.

On the dory plans: I believe that the boat my grandfather built for me was out of The Boy Mechanic[Wiki], it was a double flat-end out of plywood that held 3 kids perfectly. That dory looks interesting, although cutting the scarph scares me a little bit. Not too many ponds in backyards here in Marin, though.