Stack-em-up pachyderm.

Meet Elliott the elephant, who has it all. Over Humpty Dumpty—because you can put Elliott back together again. In fact, lie stacks up pretty nicely in the hands of a three- to six-year-old. As the kids get older, they can park Elliott on a night table or bookcase and still enjoy his company.

Start by Machining the Head.

1. Remove the pattern insert from the center of the magazine, and copy the full-sized patterns for all elephant parts. (Note: Make two copies each of the upper body, lower body, and ear patterns.) Next, cut out the patterns (one copy each) for the head, upper body, and lower body, and adhere them to 1 3/4″- thick stock that has been surfaced on both faces. (We selected cherry. You can also laminate 5/4 or 4/4 stock to achieve this thickness, although the lamination lines may detract from the appearance of the project.)

2. Rip and crosscut the stock for the head to its finished dimensions of 4 1/8″ square. Next, fit your tablesaw with a 5/8″ dado set elevated to cut 3/4″ deep, and cut a centered groove along both edges of the head blank. Now, save this saw setup for Step 5.

3. Locate the «first hole» center points for the trunk and ear holes where shown on the pattern and on the Head Side and bore the 5/8″ holes ¾” deep. (For these and the remaining large-diameter holes, we used multi-spur bits, although Forstner bits will also work. We clamped the stock securely to our drill-press table before boring.)

4. Next, cut three 5/8″ plugs ¾” long from the same stock. (Note: You can also cut 1″ lengths of dowel stock, but plugs give you a better fit) Apply glue sparingly to the plug edges, and insert them ¼” into the holes. (We marked our plugs first to make sure we wouldn’t insert them too far.) While the glue dries, bore the 3/4″ eye holes where shown and dimensioned on the head pattern. Then, switch to a 1″ bit, and bore a posthole in the head and through the lower body where dimensioned on the patterns.

5. Using the 5/8″ dado setup you saved in Step 2, rerun the ear grooves to trim the ear-hole plugs flush with the bottom of the grooves. Next, bandsaw and sand the trunk-hole plug flush with the face. Now, lay out the «second hole» center points for the trunk and ear holes where shown on the patterns, and then bore these holes as dimensioned.

Next, Shape the Body Parts.

1. Bandsaw the head, upper body, and lower body to shape, keeping your blade outside the line. Then, sand to the line. (We used a 1 ½”-diameter drum sander.) Now, tilt your tablesaw blade to 15° from square, and bevel the top surface of the upper body where marked on the pattern.

2. Fit your table-mounted router with a 3/8” round-over bit, and rout all contoured edges on these three pieces. Next, switch to a 1/4″ round-over bit, and rout the front and back edges—but not the sides—on the base of the head. Now, finish sand the head, upper body, and lower body.

3. To make the two spacers, adhere a second copy of both the upper and lower body patterns to a 6×10″ piece of ¼”-thick cherry stock. (Note: Be careful to orient the patterns correctly with respect to the grain.) Locate the dashed cull me for each spacer, then bandsaw and sand the spacers to shape. Next, sand both faces smooth. Now, glue and clamp each spacer to the bottom face of its respective body part. (To keep the spacers from sliding under clamping pressure, we drilled 1/16” pilot holes and then nailed them in position using #17 x 3/4″ brads.)

4. When the glue has dried, drill the pesthole through the upper body and spacer. (We used a backup board to minimize tear-out.) Next, fit your table-mounted router with a 45° chamfering bit set to cut 1/8” deep, and rout the posthole edges on all three parts, including both top and bottom on the upper body.

5. To make the post, cut a 5 3/8″ length of 1″ cherry dowel. (Note: If your dowel is a full 1″ in diameter, sand it until you can insert it easily into the postholes.) Then, sand a 1/8″ chamfer on each end.

The Eyes Arc Easier Than They Look.

1. To machine the eyes, first rip and crosscut a 1 ½ X 12″ piece of ¾”-thick contrasting stock. (We chose maple.) Next, lay out six reference marks across one face of this piece at 1 ½” intervals. (We made six eyes to allow for error.)

2. Position and clamp a fence 3/4″ from the center of the bit oil your drill-press table. Using your combination square, make a reference mark on this fence that aligns exactly with the center of the bit. Now, align this mark with the first reference mark on your stock, and bore a 5/8″ hole ½” deep. Repeal this operation to bore a total of six holes, and then keep your fence in position for Step 4 below.

3. To make irises for the eyes, crosscut several ¾”-thick end-grain slices of 1 1/16”-thick walnut stock. Next, cut six plugs from the end grain using a 5/8″ plug cutter. Glue the plugs into the holes in your maple stock, then sand them flush.

4. Make a second set of reference marks 3/16″ to the left of the first set on this piece. (See Step Two of the four-step drawing.). When the glue has dried, chuck a ¾” plug cutter into your drill press. Align each of the offset reference marks with the mark on your fence, and cut a ¾”-long plug at each location.

5. Clamp a scrap of ¾”-thick stock to your drill-press table. Bore a – ¾” hole 3/8” deep in this piece, then switch to a ¼” brad-point bit. Without moving the scrap piece, insert each eye plug into the hole with the walnut end down, and drill a 3/8″-deep hole. Now, cut six 1 ½” lengths of 1/4″ dowel, and glue one into each plug.

6. When the glue has dried, chuck an eye plug into your drill press as shown in Step Four of the four-step drawing. With the drill running, make a reference mark -3/16″ from the bottom edge of the plug. Then, sand the end of the plug round as far up as the reference mark. (We used a folded piece of 100-grit sandpaper.) Now, repeat this step for the rest of your plugs.

7. Bore a ¾” hole 7/16″ deep in a piece of ¾”-thick scrap, then drill a ¼” hole through this piece using the same center point. Next, position your handsaw fence 3/4″ from the blade. Insert each plug into the hole and trim it flush with the scrap piece. Now, select your best pair of eyes, and glue and clamp them into the eye holes in the head. (To do this, we used small spring clamps.)

Now, For the Ears, the Trunk, And the Finish.

1. From 1 1/16”-thick walnut stock, cut one piece to 3 x 8″ for the ears and one to 2 ½ x 6″ for the trunk. Next, resaw the piece for the ears to 5/8″ thick, and sand it smooth. Cut out the full-sized Ear and Trunk patterns you copied from the pattern insert. Then, adhere the ear patterns to the 5/8”-thick piece, aligning the flat edges of the patterns with one edge of the stock. (Note: We’ll adhere the trunk pattern later after we taper the blank.)

2. Cut out the full-sized Trunk profile shown on the pattern insert, and adhere it to one edge of the trunk blank. Next, bandsaw the trunk taper to shape, keeping your blade outside the line. Sand to the line, then remove the profile pattern. Now, adhere the trunk pattern to the face of the blank, aligning the small end of the trunk with the tapered end of the stock.

3. Lay out and drill a 1/4″ peg hole 15/16″ deep in the trunk and cars where shown on the patterns. Before drilling, lay a large handscrew clamp flat on your drill-press table and clamp the stock to hold it upright.

4. Bandsaw and sand the ears and trunk to shape. To hold the trunk level while cutting, adhere one of the tapered waste pieces to the back face of the blank. Next, remove the patterns and the tapered waste piece from the trunk, and then fit your table-mounted router with a 5/16″ round-over bit. Rout all contoured edges of the ears and trunk. (For safety, we adhered pieces of scrap stock to these parts for handholds before routing, using double-faced carpet tape.) Now, finish-sand the ears and trunk.

5. Dry-fit a ¼ x 1 ¼”-long multi-use peg into each of the holes you drilled in the trunk and ears. (We found our pegs at a local hardware store, but you can also find them at hobby shops and crafts stores.) Leave about 9/32″ clearance between the peg head and the edge of the part. Next, assemble the ears and trunk with the head to check the fit, (The pegs should hold the parts snugly in place but should allow them to be lifted off easily.) Adjust the clearance as necessary, and then make a reference mark on each peg shank. Now, apply glue, and insert the pegs into the holes as far as the reference marks.

6. Apply your choice of finish to all parts, including the post. (We brushed on a generous coat of Watco Natural Danish oil finish. After it had penetrated for 30 minutes, we applied a second coat. We then wiped all parts completely dry after 15 minutes.)

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