Like a panda bear or a zebra, an orca (or killer whale) is easy to recognize by its distinctive black-and-white markings. Maybe that's one reason why kids love them so much. Here's a unique do-it-yourself project that can add this favorite to your own child's (or grandchild's) menagerie for less than $50.
The secret is that the entire project is made from just one 4-by-8 sheet of plywood. The rocker's laminated plywood construction not only makes it inexpensive, it actually makes it much stronger than the equivalent dimensional lumber, and much easier to make.
To build, simply trace all but five of the project's pieces onto plywood (we used birch, but any plywood relatively free of voids will work) and cut the pieces out. Laminate the pieces together (glue, clamp and allow to cure) to achieve the necessary double-thickness. Next, sand everything and paint according to the guide included on the pattern. When the paint is dry, assemble with screws and glue. Once the glue's dry, you're ready to rock.
The rocking whale measures 43 inches long by 16 inches wide by 25 inches tall.
The Rocking Whale plan, No. 913, is $9.95 and includes step-by-step instructions with six photos, full-size traceable patterns, construction diagrams, a cutting layout and a complete shopping list and cutting schedule.
A package of four rocking toy projects, No. C73, is $24.95 and includes plans for two rocking horses, a rocking airplane and a rocking dinosaur. A catalog picturing hundreds of do-it-yourself projects is $3.95. Prices include postage and handling. Please allow about four weeks for delivery (for rush delivery, add $1 per item up to $3 maximum and allow about two weeks).
To order by mail, clip this article and send it with a check or money order to U-Bild Features, c/o The Lawrence Journal-World, P.O. Box 2383, Van Nuys, CA 91409. To order by credit card, call 1-800-828-2453. Visit U-Bild on the Web at www.u-bild.com.