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Get the Free Plan for this project:
Special Materials: (These are affiliate links. I will make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, should you purchase through these links)
Helicopter Wheels: https://amzn.to/3HdrjQC
Car Wheels: https://amzn.to/30VktQ0
One thing I love the most about being a woodworker is the ability to make just about anything. With enough time, materials, and a good plan (and sometimes without any plan whatsoever), we can turn raw wood into impressive projects.
One way that manifests itself is as handmade gifts. And, let me tell you, people love a thoughtful, handmade gift. So, I’ve put together three different, easy projects that even a brand new beginner can make in just one afternoon. And, they make great gifts!
The only power tools you need are a miter saw, drill, and a jigsaw. We’re also going to use easy-to-find dimensional lumber.
I start by printing out the template included in the plan and spraying adhesive to attach it to the wood. After my first attempt I realized that the template needs to be at least 6 inches from the edge.
Take the following steps, in order, to stay safe and make this build go smoothly:
- Put a scrap piece of wood underneath your workpiece and clamp them both to the workbench.
- Drill two holes each right next to the helicopter and car images and inside the car window. These will start the jigsaw cut.
- Drill all of the holes for axles, rotors, and the helicopter window. The holes for the rotors and axles need to be about 1/16″ (2 mm). The hole for the tail rotor axle is only drilled halfway and exactly the size of your dowel or 1/4″ (6 mm).
- Cut out each image leaving about 2 inches on the top and bottom before holding the edge while cutting those two areas.
To cut the axles to size dry fit the wheels and place the dowel through each vehicle, mark the length, and then cut them with a handsaw, miter saw, or jigsaw.
Once the rotor axles are cut to size, cut a 1/2″ (13mm) long piece of 3/8″ (9.5 mm) dowel and attach it to the top of the rotor axle with CA glue. Once that glue dries use a piece of sandpaper flat on the workbench to round the top.
The helicopter rotors can be cutout with a jigsaw, but it is quicker and cleaner to cut them on the miter saw.
The car uses 3/8″ (9.5 mm) dowel for its axles, assuming you use the wheels I’ve linked above.
Once the axles were cut to length, I glued one wheel to each one.
I brushed on Danish Oil, waited for 30 minutes, and then reapplied to any spots that needed it. 30 minutes after that I wiped away any excess.
After cutting each piece to length I measure 1″ from each top corner to mark the angle and then line it up on the miter saw to make the cut.
I use a 1 gallon paint can (use whatever you want) to trace a half circle about 1 1/2″ from each edge and 3″ high. Cut those curves out with the jigsaw.
I put the support in place on each leg, but on the outside of the leg, and lightly traced around it. This outline showed where I could drill holes.
I used a 3/8″ forstner bit to drill a 1/2″ deep hole.
Clamp the support in place and then finish each hole with a 1/8″ drill bit. Drive #10, 1 1/2″ (5mm x 38mm) screws into each hole.
The top is attached in the same way, but the screws should stay more in the center of the width of the top about 1″ (25 mm) apart.
Put glue in each hole and then insert the dowel. Use a flush trim saw to cut the dowel flush with the surface.
I sanded everything thoroughly. The curves on the legs can be sanded by hand, but I use a drum sander attachment for the drill and then round the edges by hand.
Use the 1/4″ dowel from the toy project and bend it to create a gentle curve. I used two heavier objects to hold the dowel on each side.
The end pieces have an angle that can is measured and then cut on the miter saw.
Cut the 1″ (25mm) hole for the dowel handle 1 1/2″ (38 mm) from the top of the each end piece.
Assembly for this project is done in the same way that we assembled the step stool: 3/8″ (9.5 mm) holes plugged with dowel.
Use wood glue and 1 1/2″ wood screws to attach the sides to the bottom.
Cut two 1″ (25 mm) pieces from the same 1×6 the bottom came from. Glue them to each end of the sides.
Clamp the ends in place and measure the dowel.
Attach the dowel to the end pieces and then glue and screws the end pieces to the rest of the tote.
I used 1 1/2″ (38 mm) screws to attach the sides to the bottom and 1″ (25 mm) screws to attach it to the supports.
After a final sanding this project can be finished in any way you want! It makes a great gift.
I put these three projects together to give even the brand new beginner an opportunity to create some handmade gifts. Go get the plans and get to work!
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