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Author Topic: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift  (Read 5437 times)

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Offline CHARLIE

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FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« on: December 23, 2006, 01:04:16 PM »
Why are you getting a picture of Ella's rocking horse?  Because it is a major accomplishment in my life and I'm proud of the way it turned out. :-)  It's definitely a 1 of 1 for me.  Back in the mid 1980's (that was in the last century) I saw an advertisement for the plans of this rocking horse called Merrilegs. At that point, I decided I was going to build one for my first grandchild, if I ever had one.  Ella was born in July of 2004 and I decided she was old enough to enjoy a rocking horse this year.  I started early and it's a good thing. The plans were no more than a full sized drawing of the parts to cut out with very little instructions.  In fact, on the plans it said that the reason there are no instructions is because most of the fun of woodworking is figuring out how to accomplish a task.  Well, let me tell you......I did a lot of figurating and scratched my watch and wound my butt a whole heap of times. For example, I wanted to make absolutely sure there were no flat spots on the rockers. Solved that by making a template, taking the extra time to make sure it had a very smooth arc, clamped it on a rocker and used my router with a pattern bit to transfer the smoothness to the rocker.  Another more minor problem was assuring that when I connected the two rockers together that they were absolutely even on the bottom and front and back. Now that might sound easy, but try it when you are trying to dowel and glue two cross members while keeping it all straight and even. The major problem I overcame was when I fastened the legs to the horse's body. The legs angle both out and back and the rockers angle up.  So I had four loose legs with a compound angle on the bottom of each hoof to connect to the heavy body and fit to the rockers.......then dowel and glue. I won't bore you with the details of how I accomplished this, but I'll tell you this.......it wasn't magic!  I chose to build the rocking horse out of pine primarily because it's easier to cut and sand than oak.  Plus, I want it to be a toy and not a show piece. I want it to show the wear of being played with. Well, that would make the rockers too soft for wear, so I resawed and planed two 1/8 inch thick strips of oak and glued them to the bottom of the rockers to give them a harder wear surface.  The tail and mane are made from mop strings.  I have to laugh about the ears, halter and reins.  For the ears I had a hard time finding 1/8 inch thick leather. What I found was raw hide. So I had to dye it to try and match the horse. The bottle of dye said I had to apply a finish over it, so I had to buy a bottle of finish. Cost of a pair of ears?  About $9 each! Plus I have a bottle of dye and finish that will sit in my shop for many years to come. :-)  Per a suggestion from my cousin John, I'll use the left over leather to make a sharpening strop.  By the time I bought the leather and hardware for the halter and reins, I had spent just under $20. I needed two "D" rings, which only came in packs of 10. I needed two small rivets which only came in a bag of 50, plus a small tool to set the rivets.  So.....I'll now have eight "D" rings, 48 rivets and a rivet tool in a shop drawer for eternity. Oh well, my son and daughter can figure out what to do with them after I kick the bucket. :-)  Anyway, Ella is getting this horse for her 2nd Christmas and I'm glad to be done with it! I'm hoping it will become and heirloom and used by Ella's children someday........



 
Charlie
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 01:17:17 PM »
Ella's will have a ball with that.A very nice job,charlie.Merry Christmas.
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Offline farmerdoug

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 01:20:58 PM »
Charlie,

All that effort and thought is what makes it so special.  Great job!! 8) 8)

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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2006, 01:23:02 PM »

 YEP, At's nice.   REAL nice.  8) 8)
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2006, 01:49:03 PM »
Charlie, that is a very nice job. Hope we see some pictures of the grin on that young lady's face. 8)
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Furby

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2006, 02:10:41 PM »
You did real good Charlie! 8) 8)
Why not use up the rest of that stuff making more?
Either as gifts or to give to local folks in need.

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2006, 02:34:24 PM »

 I bought a book off ebay, on how to make olde timey swingin horses and rockers also, and how to carve them rascals. Think I brung it down here.  8)
All truth passes through three stages:
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Offline Norm

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2006, 03:50:52 PM »
That is one lucky young lady!  :)

I always wanted one of those as a young child, we were dirt poor so I got a stick horse instead.  :D

Offline blaze83

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2006, 04:37:25 PM »
wonderful job Charlie,

I'm sure any frustration from the building of it or the left over parts wil go completely away when young Ella's face lights up with a big smile as she see's it for the first time.  I'm sure it will be in the family for a long time 8)  it's very nice
I'm always amazed that no matter how bad i screw up Jesus still loves me

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006, 04:57:23 PM »
That's a very nice rocking horse Charlie.  8)

I still have mine from wayyy back when. ;D
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Offline pigman

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2006, 05:24:51 PM »
That shore is a nice looking rocking horse Charlie. 8)  About those extra parts, if there are no more grandchildren, there could be great-grandchildren in the future. 8)  You had better start building more rocking horses for them. ;D

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Offline Kevin

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2006, 05:33:45 PM »
Looks great Charlie, that's one lucky little lady.

Offline Corley5

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2006, 06:19:50 PM »
Great job  8) 8) 8) 
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Offline Onthesauk

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2006, 09:36:27 PM »
That's beautiful Charlie.  And it will stay in the family for generations.  Years ago I built a toy chest for my neice and my Mother painted Swedish designs on it.  My neice is now in law school but still has the toy chest.
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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2006, 09:49:04 PM »
Little Ella is going to remember grandpa for a long long time.  8) :)
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Offline isawlogs

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2006, 09:57:47 PM »
Nice work Charlie ,there is one little misses thats going to be grinning over this horse .  8) :)
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2006, 11:10:43 PM »
Thanks for all the compliments! :)  Furby and Pigman.....read my note carefully. It's a 1 of 1.  At least for now. I'll have to forget what I went through to build this one before I attempt another. Of course.....with my razor sharp memory...that might be tomorrow. ;D
I hope to get a picture of Ella when she see's the horse. If I do I'll post it.  My woodturning sure did suffer while I built it though. :( 
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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2006, 08:00:51 AM »
Charlie, once Christmas is over and you take a little breather, you'll be good to go again.  ;D
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Offline asy

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2006, 08:19:26 AM »
Charlie, it's just glorious!

My ex fatherinlaw started making a rocking horse for my son when he was born. It was gorgeous. He only ever finished the head, now my son's 13 (next week) and still no horse. :( (Mind you I don't expect he'll ever finish it... And if he did, I doubt he'd give it to my kids).

One question, as you can't really see the scale, are her little legs going to reach the platform between the rockers, or should you use some of that leather to make stirrups!?

Please try to get photos for us, we can't wait!

asy :D
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Offline jgoodhart

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2006, 10:52:00 PM »
Charlie now that you have all the templates and supplies you should just keep building them horses, it looks great ;)

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2006, 08:59:40 PM »
Spectacullar equine Charlie! Yep, give that saddle some stirrups, but I'll bet she'll put her little feet up on the shoulders! After all, it's a rocker not a bucker! ;)

Offline Patty

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2006, 07:38:30 AM »
Wow Charlie! You did a very nice job. Your thanks will come when little Ella sits on that horse and smiles up at old Grampa! ;) 
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2006, 12:20:40 AM »
Ella is 2 years old and what made it all worthwhile was seeing how excited and pleased she was when she saw the horse and sat on it. The best part was when she finally got down, without any prompting she walked over to me and gave me a big hug. ;D

Donna, the horse has a 1 inch diameter 9 inch long oak dowel fastened underneath the horse just behind the front legs for her feet. There is also a handle the runs through the horse's head.  You just can't see them very well in the picture that I posted.

You were right Patty, the smiles made it worthwhile but the hug was the best part.
Charlie
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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2006, 05:20:21 AM »
Gosh.

I guess someone's gotta say it, may as well be me...

PHOTOS CHARLIE!  ::)

asy :D
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2007, 01:21:20 AM »
This says it all!  Made the effort well worth it.



 
Charlie
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Offline beenthere

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2007, 01:33:51 AM »
It sure does Charlie. Great job, and a pleased grand daughter there.
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Offline Norm

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Re: FINALLY!! Ella's Christmas gift
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2007, 07:25:56 AM »
She's a cutie, way to go grandpa.  :)


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