In your childhood years, one of your earliest happy memories may have been riding on a wooden rocking horse complete with mock saddle. Now that you are a parent, you want to give your child the opportunity to experience the happiness of a rocking chair, too. We recommend looking at rocking horse plans as a good way to start on the DIY project.
Of course, wooden rocking horses come highly recommended for many reasons. For one thing, the durability of wood makes it an ideal material for a toy that will see plenty of use during its lifetime. Keep in mind that rocking horses must be safe to use for small children with safety being equated with durability of the material and stability of the toy, among other factors.
For another thing, wood is a beautiful material for a children’s toy. You can stain, varnish and paint wood with whatever hue desired without comprising the integrity of the material. You will find rocking horse plans that provide for detailed instructions from carving the details to putting on the final decorative touches.
But not all woods are suitable for rocking horses. Careful selection is necessary as, to reiterate, durability, stability and safety are critical aspect of what makes for a good rocking horse for any child.
In most rocking horses, a combination of heavy hardwood and softwood is necessary. While the heavy hardwood is for durability and stability, the softwood is for easier rock-and-forth movement of the toy. The most commonly used wood in rocking horse plans includes ash, oak, cherry, cedar and walnut, all of which are readily available from the lumber yard. Many have even made rocking horses from spare lumber in their yard just as long as it is still good quality.
We have to warn readers that the manufacture of rocking horses as a DIY project requires intermediate skills in woodworking including the talent for carving fine details into the wood. If you feel that such skills are still beyond your reach, we suggest looking for a woodworking professional with the right skills and equipment to do the job. Perhaps, you can learn from the master by observing the process.
If you still want to proceed with the DIY route, keep these woodworking tips in mind:
- Understand the complete process indicated in the rocking horse plans before doing the steps. This way, you have a general idea of how each step connects with the rest.
- Trace the image of the horse on the flat piece of wood instead of drawing in freehand so as to lessen the mistakes.
- Use the right tools and equipment to cut out the horse and then carve its details. Handsaws, band saws and carving tools are necessary as well as brushes for the finishing touches.
- Ensure that the rocking horse is stable before giving it to the child.
Indeed, with the right rocking horse plans, you can make this beloved toy as a gift to the kids in your circle of family and friends. Your gifts will then stand out in a good way from the electronic toys children receive nowadays.