Saturday, October 2, 2010
Carys was turning six at the beginning of October and had recently become StarWars obsessed (we let them watch the original 3 movies a few weeks back and they loved them). Lin and I like to add a few home made presents to the mix on the kids birthdays; So, we decided to make a few StarWars themed things for Carys' birthday.
Lin started out making a set of StarWars figures using wooden craft pegs (more about that on her post here). We were going to make a Millenium Falcon using a couple of plastic frisbies, but then thought it'd be nicer to create something a bit larger and more durable so that they could use it with the figures for some make-believe fun.
It took us a little while to decide on the components to use. We found this weird wooden board at the local thrift/charity store. I think it's used for carving meat and the grooves capture the juices (there's even a "patent applied for" stamp on the back). I forgot to get a picture of it in its original state; the picture below shows it after a little bit of modification. It was originally symmetrical - I rounded off one of the handles/ears and cut a groove in the other in preparation for adding the front prongs.
Here's a quick overview of the components:
There's the weird carving board, a plastic lid (another lucky thrift store find as it fits perfectly in the groove of the carving board), some PVC pipe (2" diameter) and a 90 degree elbow joint (both from Home Depot). There's a dollar tree airfreshener case (the white tear drop thing by the black pipe) and some wood. There are some other bits and bobs that aren't in this picture (I hadn't figured out what was going to be used at the time): a hinge for the cargo bay ramp, some more wood for the internal walls, screws, nuts/bolts, wood glue, some grey spray paint, a few plastic bottle caps, and the outside case of a CD spindle.
From the 'ingredients' picture you can see that I cut and sanded the carving board first and then made the front 'prongs'. For the prongs, I looked at a few online plans and scaled the dimensions to fit the cutting board. I used a scroll saw to cut out the shapes and then screwed and glued them onto the main board.
While the glue was drying I made the internal structure. It's made from the outside of a CD spindle and some wooden boards (2" hobby board from Home Depot). I cut the CD spindle to fit the height of the lid and then measured out the boards to fit up to the edge of the curve. That was a bit of a mistake as the lid didn't fit with the boards that long and I ended up having to sand the ends down a bit.
I thought it'd be fun to have internal doors but didn't think the spindle would survive with large chunks cut out of them, so I just put some painters tape where I wanted the doors and then painted it all leaving some see-through areas after the tape is removed.
I gave the lid it's first coat of paint, bolted on a few bottle caps and wood disks to mimic some of the structures seen on the original, and then gave it all another coat. The lid needs to be cut in a couple of places to make room for the cockpit attachment/corridor and for the cargo bay ramp.
I used a miter saw to cut one end off the PVC elbow (so that the cockpit would face forward) and to cut an angle into the corridor (makes it easy to screw the pipe into the base). My first attempt failed as the corridor was too short, but I had plenty of pipe left over for another go. Everything was given a coat of paint.
I cut the airfreshened body down to a size that would fit snugly over the pipe and then used hot glue to attach it. I like the fact that the cover comes on and off so we can put pilots in there.
Here's the final set-up (with cargo bay ramp attached with a hinge):
And, just to finish off, a gratuitous set of action shots: