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TheWoodfather

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Reply with quote  #1 
One toy that every kid I’ve ever met loves playing with is a rocking horse. It’s easy to see why; they get to ride and rock on it, it’s brightly painted, and it’s an animal they can pretend play with, great for imaginative play.

Pony Rocker Scandinavia
 
20150125_112243.jpg 
 
I’ve made a few of these now, mainly for friends children. This first one went to a good friend of mine who just had her first child. I started making it when she was around 5 months pregnant…I finally gave it to her the same day that her child turned 6 months old…oops.
 
Though to be fair, I made this one through a period where I had only an hour a week in the shop. Generally this style takes me 2-3 days to put together now.
 
The second one was made for a special little 3yo girl I found out about through facebook. She has very severe autism and finds it extremely hard to communicate. By chance her family lives close to me, only a 15 minutes drive. Her parents were setting up a Sensory room for her so I offered to make a Rocking toy for the room. She was too shy to look at me when I took it over for her, but since then I’ve heard she loves to play on it as well, it looks like she likes it in the photos at least. :-)

1907299_550821405049255_7789174141539519787_n.jpg  10383117_550821428382586_4359427176653686045_n.jpg 
 
I don’t have many photos of this build as I filmed it instead, the video is on my Youtube channel.



Not having a bandsaw makes building the rockers a bit of a challenge. I show my technique in the video but if you have a better system for me, yell out, I'll give it a shot on the next batch.
 
I just wanted to say thanks to the team here, I love the designs I've bought and hopefully I'll have a bit of time to start making a few of the cars and army tanks for my boy and his friends to play with.
 
Cheers,
Mario
Ken Martin

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Mario
The photo of the big smile on the little girl says it all.
Really nice work, and I like your paint job.
   I watched your video and subscribed to your channel.  The video was interesting and I like the way you kept things simple.  I have a rocking horse on my To Do List for my grandson, and your info will be a big help.
Keep it up, and please post more of your stuff.
Thanks again for sharing.

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Kenneth W Martin
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https://www.etsy.com/shop/FuzzyDuckCreations
ctowne

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Reply with quote  #3 
These are great.  Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story of the little girl.  Sometimes we really don't know the positive impact toys can have on children.  We all get the playing part but stimulating imagination and providing a constant consistent companion is just great.
Cindy
TheWoodfather

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Reply with quote  #4 

Thanks a lot guys.
   My son was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum last year as well. Fortunately he is on the very edge of the spectrum, he has a little difficulty communicating but it certainly shouldn't control his life.
   Obviously since then I've learnt more about it and what sort of activities children like him, like. Rocking horses surprisingly are high on the list. Something that seems like a simple toy stimulates them in different ways; rocking back and forth translates to air rushing against their face, hearing the sound of the rockers as they go and then simply experiencing the movement.
   Plus, they are just good fun too. :-)

Ken Martin

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Reply with quote  #5 
Woodfather
   Thank you for the great explanation about what these children might be feeling.
I have new motivation to create several rocking horses for these special children.
It is sad that there are so many of them anymore.
Maybe we can provide some joy and piece to a few of these special kids, with the Rocking Horses.
Thanks again.

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Kenneth W Martin
http://FuzzyDuckCreations.com/
https://www.etsy.com/shop/FuzzyDuckCreations
Udie

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Reply with quote  #6 
The Woodfather (Mario) - Your story and generosity was inspiring, thanks for sharing.
Excellent video, great assembly tips. Your method of using screws first and then drilling for the dowels will really help our members/guests in simplifying the assembly as a hole. Using a block of wood when cutting the dowels to length was really thinking out of the box - loved it.
Ceefa

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you Mario for a wonderful video and showing us your techniques for building the rocking horse. I found it fascinating the way you were able to square everything up as this is most important to get it rocking smoothly. The children will obviously enjoy riding it, particularly as it "even sounds like a real horsey"
TheWoodfather

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Reply with quote  #8 
Unfortunately I lost some footage at the glue up time.
I use the square in multiple spots to make sure both sides are positioned correctly.
Then I get a long dowel (think, broom handle length) and rest it through the hole for the handle.

Then when I stand back and look, any discrepancy in positioning will be exaggerated by the long dowel, it's really easy to see which way you need to adjust. Hopefully you can tell what I mean by this photo:

20140919_112641 (Medium).jpg 
Excuse the mess of a shop, this was in the midst of renovating it, it is MUCH nicer looking now!


Udie

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Reply with quote  #9 
Woodfather (Mario) - Thanks for the great tip on using a long dowel for squaring up the two sides during gluing.
Ken Martin

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Reply with quote  #10 
The Woodfather
   Great tip about the dowel.  I can see there that would be a big help.
I really like the way you work, and you video was very clear and easy to follow.
Thanks again.

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Kenneth W Martin
http://FuzzyDuckCreations.com/
https://www.etsy.com/shop/FuzzyDuckCreations
pdaunno

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Reply with quote  #11 
Great Job and a lot of fun for the kids!
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Thanks,
-Paul
Douglas

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Reply with quote  #12 
Good Job , great idea with the dowel. [thumb]
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