Child's Airplane Rocker

This was made from plans I got here:

Reasonably easy to follow. I used tracing paper and a burnisher to transfer the full size plans to wood, then used jigsaw to rough cut the patterns. Also, I found it easier to use full pics to trace rather than use a mirror method. That is, the plans had some parts that weren’t really full size. For example, only 1/2 the lower rocker. To trace this, they recommend a procedure to fold over this or that and so on. But I found it easiest just to go to copy store and use a large format copier to make a full size copy and tape the pieces together, and then trace a full size.

The hardest part was probably sanding the rockers so they were smooth and matched each other perfectly. If I had to do it again, I’d probably make a single template first and then use that to clean up perfect edges using a flush trim router bit. I did use a 1/4” rounder bit to smooth out all edges, (except for the bottom part that connects to the lower rocker, which is per the instructions.)

The wheels were made on the table saw. I searched for some methods and found that using my cross cut sled this wasn’t that hard. What you have to do – carefully – is put a small nail the distance away from the blade that is the radius you want. Then put a square piece of wood dead center on the nail. Which isn’t hard. For example, a 5” wheel will just have the nail 2.5” away and then you take a 5” square board against the blade. You just have to measure or eyeball placing the piece vertically. Then you just press down on that pivot point and do multiple cuts as you spin the block around. Pretty soon it’s not a block, but a surprisingly decent round wheel.

For the screw holes, I used countersink bits and then glued in some mushroom caps I found online somewhere. For something like $ 5 for a pack of 100 in the size I needed, I thought this would be much better than trying to make such things. (Which would have been an ugly mess and taken a long time.)

I think that’s most of my learnings here. Except maybe that I’m weak with free form jigsaw cutting and need to work on that. (More patience and relief cuts would probably help.) Also, I do have an orbit or whatever it’s called ability on my jigsaw, but I should get a thinner scroll type blade to go with it.

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