One of my favorites, Tin Man puppet

One of my Christmas projects about a year ago was to make puppets for the kids in the family. I made the dragon whose picture I posted a few days ago, along with three doll-like puppets. But my prototype remains one of my favorite projects ever. I tried to make a puppet of Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, a movie that I loved when I was a child.

I cherish this piece in part because it required the use of several techniques in turning, shaping and joinery as well as techniques I did not know about from the fascinating realm of puppetry. And most of all, I will never forget my 4 y.o. daughter’s face that literally lit up when she saw it for the first time, even before it was painted or had the strings on. It was just an articulated, wood-colored figurine then, but I had never seen her so fully dedicated to a toy. She absolutely loved it.

This made me think that in this day and age where we may believe that kids only appreciate “modern” toys with all the bells and whistles, there is still much room left for traditional wooden toys whose true potential lies in getting children’ imagination going.

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3 thoughts on “One of my favorites, Tin Man puppet

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  1. He is fabulous! There is always something magical about puppets. I do admire how you have done the knees and elbow joints. I bought a new mini lathe in the New Year for making puppets and toys so I am really looking forward to seeing your future creations and ideas. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Flo 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the positive feedback Florence. I turned the arm and leg sections between centers, but cut the joint sections while the blank was still square. This gave me more accurate joints than I would have had if I had tried to cut the male/female sections once the pieces had been turned round. It also reduced the risks that come with cutting round objects on any saw. To hold the blanks in place, I made myself two specialty chucks that were the opposites of the pieces I turned (again, male vs female).

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      1. Thanks for sharing Patrick. Apologies for late response. Cutting the joints whilst still square is such a great idea. Never thought of that. So simple when someone else points out 🙂 Keep up the good work. Happy Easter.
        Flo 🙂

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