This week in my mailbox I already found a Christmas catalog. (Big Sigh). Christmas catalogs already! It frustrates me when catalogs like this show up so very early in the year. But with the catalog I did get an idea for a new project. While thumbing through the it just to see if there was anything worth even looking at I came across a lawn or garden figure of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. The 30" tall figure looked good until I saw the price it would cost to get it to my door for a Christmas present. Eighty five dollars may seem ok to some people but the tinker in me said "No Way"! I knew I could design and build my own Tin Man much cheaper and so another project has born.
With some careful measuring of the photo from the catalog I came up with my version of the Tin Man that you see pictured here. I know that my Tin Man will not even come close to the $85 price tag that I found in the catalog. To break down the construction of the lawn figure I plan on using PVC pipe for the arms and legs, fiberglass for the body and head, and the remaining parts will be 3D printed. Throw in the nuts and bolts to hold him together along with more fiberglass and PVC for the axe and the project will be well on it's way along with a much cheaper price tag.
To start work on the Tin Man I first cut out Styrofoam disks to be glued together to make the head and body. This was a simple task of marking out 3.75" diameter disks for the head and 6" diameter disks for the body. These were then cut out using my band saw.
I then stacked up the disks to make the individual assemblies. The head will be 5.25" tall once completed and the body will be 8,25" tall. I used a special glue for Styrofoam called Foam Fusion from a company named the Hotwire Foam Factory. This glue looks and feels just like white wood glue but can be cut with a hot wire as where the white wood glue cannot. I weighted the assemblies down while the glue dried to keep everything firmly pressed together.
I have already started 3D printing all of the components that will be needed for the joints of the Tin Man. There are a lot of them. Forty 3D printed parts in total. Luckily these parts are not very large. Pictured above are the components that will be used for the shoulders, elbows and wrists for the Tin Man. The ball joints for the arms are on 1.5" in diameter and the leg joints are 2" in diameter. The largest part shown above is the drill guide for the PVC tubing to make sure that I get good accurate holes to mount the 3D printed parts to the PVC tubing. Once I get the Tin Man assembled correctly it will be a simple matter of taking him apart and then painting all of the parts with silver paint. When the parts have dried I will reassemble him again and he will be ready to use.
To help keep the Tin Man from falling down when displayed in a yard or garden I will pound a steel rod into the ground and he will have a receiving mount in the base of his body that this rod will slide into to keep him upright even in a heavy wind.
I will post more on this project as I get farther along with him so check back soon for the latest update.