Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tower Crane Building with The Boy



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?

♥M

26 comments:

  1. Oh wow! That is amazing. This could probably go in the tree fort. When did the cast come off? Did I miss a post about that?

    And yes! Build a bridge.

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  2. W☼W! such precision! kind of reminds me of your quilts : )

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  3. waoww ! well done ! impressive !
    ^_^

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  4. This is so awesome!!! I can't wait to build things like this with my kiddo! Beautiful work!

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  5. No, it doesn't! This is the point: to provoke one's creativity, to enjoy the process and then a new (personal)creative process to follow. For me this is what happens every Saturday at our workshops for children and adults... But YOU KNOW that, Michele!:)
    A wonderful tower crane! Your son must be very happy and proud! I suppose you'll make together something else?... Oh those "odds and ends"!!!!!!.... Do you want to make an exchange? (Just kidding!) We have plenty of them, too - for making puppets, for the workshops and for "just in case"...:0)))))))
    Have a fantastic new week!

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  6. This is wonderful!!!
    I can imagine the patience that took to build this!!

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  7. You have both done a great job with this. Quite a daunting project looking a the pictures so congratulations on your patience!

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  8. Wow! So impressive! Beautiful job, nice pictures! Congratulations to both of you!

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  9. Magnifique !!! Incroyable réalisation !!!
    Bravo
    Nadia

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  10. Nifty is right...that is the hard thing when working with kids - is when the project is this detailed - you must help them maintain their interest.

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  11. this tower is fantastic!!! I want that book!! :-)

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  12. Absolutely amazing. He should be so, so proud of this!

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  13. Oh what a fun project and it turned out great! So that book has the instructions for building a model bridge too? What a great book! I love all the recycled parts you used in your crane. Good luck with adjusting it to work a little more smoothly.

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  14. Brilliant! Absolutely and totally brilliant! AND so beautiful! I do hope this lovely piece of sculptural art will be saved and displayed for many, many years.

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  15. Habéis hecho un gran trabajo. Pero sin lugar a dudas has de felicitar a tu hijo. ESPECTACULAR!!!!!!

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  16. Fantastic crane! Am off to try and find the book in our library for my son. Thank you.

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  17. Congratulations! the young artist is like his mother. the perfect team. kisses

    from madrid

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  18. This is an amazing project. You two are making such memories. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was not familiar with Haslam's book.

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  19. Hi Michele,
    You both look like such awsome parents! What a beautiful projectto do together. Tell your boys I'm very impressed by their work!
    Have a greqat day,a nd enjoy playing with the crane,
    Giac

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  20. How fun! I love that the boy is learning to build. I need to make a similar kit with my son.

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  21. so good! i must find this book!

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  22. Whoa!!!!! That is crazy impressive! I could never make something like that -- even now. Wow. Well done!!!

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  23. Wow- this is amazing! I have two little boys who would love the chance to create this! I never thought about how useful those sock hangers could be!

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  24. where to begin with my oohs and ahhhs??? and how about your photography? you are blowing me away with your skill and eye for the perfect shot.

    that is one lucky boy.

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  25. i'm back because i am just now seeing this on the crafty crow! awesome!

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