The Boy found the children’s book Make It Work! Building by Andrew Haslam at our local public library last week. When we got home, he sat drooling over all the projects and loudly pointing out his favourites. After some cajoling and batting of the eyes (his – not mine), he managed to convince me that model building was probably something WE should do together. So, we rather painstakingly, narrowed down his choices to one.
Over the ensuing week, we set to building the model tower crane depicted in the book.
It was not a quick project. We spent a few hours per day over several days gathering and purchasing all the necessary bits and bobs, rummaging through my stash for things we could use, measuring and cutting all the component pieces, sanding, joining, and of course, waiting for glue to dry. A few times The Boy’s interest was tested but, with a little cajoling of my own, we got it done.
In a few instances, we strayed from the plans. For example, instead of creating joints using the suggested hot glue gun (which I happily avoid anyways), we created them using carpenter’s glue and little triangles of newsprint. And instead of making the boom in two large pieces and then glueing these two pieces together as shown in the book, we made one large boom all at once. We did the same for the tower.
I was also happy to find a use for a few odds and ends from my recyclable stash too. You know those little plastic hooks that come with store-bought socks? I’ve saved a veritable heap of them! It was nice to finally use a couple of them in this project. Also, the side of a small mandarin orange crate came in handy; we used one to make the two wooden platforms on the vertical tower.
In truth, our tower crane is not quite done. There are still a couple minor kinks to work out. We’d like to tweak the chain winding mechanism; it could run a little more smoothly we think. And the horizontal boom could use a small platform to rest on for additional stability. But otherwise it’s pretty darn nifty.
I’m now thinking I’d like to build myself a model of a bridge… No, not for The Boy! For ME!! Doesn’t that sound like heaps of fun?