Did you know that LEGOs were once made out of wood? The inventor of LEGO, Ole Kirk Christiansen, was a carpenter from Denmark. The original toys were wooden, but switched to plastic in 1947. With this project, I make a LEGO-style Frankenstein figure out of wood.
You might recall from the poisoned apple project that I had some trouble with the top cap. The second attempt looked more like LEGO hair than dripping poison. Of course, that meant I needed to build a LEGO figure to go underneath the hair, and since Halloween is approaching rapidly, Frankenstein seemed like a good choice.
The head is a piece of maple. The turning is rather straightforward (a LEGO head is a rounded cylinder, more or less). I gave my Frankenstein a bit of a brow ridge and used the Lichtenberg burner to add a forehead scar. Other facial details were carved with chisels, and I dyed the wood with Transfast. Don’t forget the neck bolts!
The body is mostly made from walnut. The body required very little work — just some angled cuts and sanding. The arms are maple. I turned the profile of the hands, did some offset turning to add the required angles, then drilled out the centers of the hands and used the oscillating spindle sander to open them up and clean up the edges.
The legs are mostly bandsaw work. Once the profile is cut, you can use the oscillating spindle sander to clean it up.
I joined the pieces with 5/8” dowels. The dowels are only glued on one side, so I can still move the arms and legs of the figure if I want to. This makes our Frankenstein posable to a certain extent (much like actual LEGO figures).
This is another fun Halloween project that keeps to the spirit of the holiday but won’t make children cry. You can use this same basic principle to make any LEGO figure you want, though — it doesn’t have to be a halloween project.
Do you have more ideas for Halloween projects? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for watching!
Assembly time! This weeks project is a Lego man Frankenstein.
I wasn’t planning on filming this piece. After shaping the outside there were so many things that could go wrong, I had to turn the camera on. Only one small piece flew off while turning it, so I’m really happy it all worked out in the end.
I think it’s locust wood, but I’m not 100% sure. It’s 4 1/2″ tall and 8″ in diameter.
Hollow form turning is the pinnacle of traditional woodturning, both in terms of difficulty and results. In this project, I turn a hollow vessel from a piece of ironwood. Ironwood is used to describe a number of wood species, but all of them are dense tropical hardwoods.
The first step is to turn the basic shape of the vessel between centers. Using a bowl gouge, I pare away most of the excess material on the outside of the vessel. I also add a tenon to mount the piece in the chuck.
As with all tropical hardwoods, ironwood will dull your tools quickly. It is imperative to start with sharp tools and to re-sharpen frequently (more than you think is necessary). If you are using carbide tools, make sure you have a fresh insert.
To make this piece easier to hollow, I used a handheld drill to add a depth hole. This isn’t strictly necessary, but it does make the work easier.
The trick to hollow form turning is obtaining an even, consistent wall thickness. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a pair of outside calipers designed for woodturning. The piece of ironwood used for this project has a couple of defects in it, which actually make it easier to check the thickness.
When it comes to the actual hollowing, there’s no magic to it. I used Easy Wood Tools’ #1 Hollower for most of the work, moving slowly and steadily to avoid blowing through the side walls of the piece. If your piece has small cracks, you can use epoxy or CA glue to fill them in.
Once you’ve finished hollowing, all that’s left is turning off the tenon, sanding, and finishing. I did this by reversing the piece and adding tailstock support to hold the wood steady while I worked.
Hollow form turning is tricky, but straightforward. When in doubt, remember to check your wall thickness often, cut slowly, and sneak up on your desired thickness to avoid blowing out the sides.
Thanks for watching!