Building an Outdoor Rocking Horse

Building an outdoor rocking horse for your children is easy using this horse diagram, pattern and step-by-step instructions.

| November/December 1982

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    This stallion's bounce comes not from curved inch feet inch , as is the case with rocking horses, but from a junked automobile leaf spring, the likes of which are littering scrapyards across the nation.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 078-100-01i2

Your tots can ride the range till sunset if you spend a few dollars and an hour or two building an outdoor rocking horse and playset, including rocking horse diagram, pattern and instructions. (See the rocking horse diagram.)

Although many toys found on store shelves today are downright clever, the cost of that ingenuity sometimes shines through all too brightly. Don't be discouraged, though, because — even in a world of alkaline batteries and high-impact plastic—there's still room for an honest-to-gosh old-fashioned hobbyhorse . . . a plaything that won't set you back more than a few bucks but is sure to thrill your tiny ones.

This stallion's bounce comes not from curved inch feet inch , as is the case with rocking horses, but from a junked automobile leaf spring, the likes of which are littering scrapyards across the nation. It doesn't matter what sort of vehicle "donates" your spring, of course, as long as it's in one piece and measures at least 4 feet from eye to eye . . . but do try to find one with at least one rubber end bushing intact, since this will help dampen the shock of each bouncing stroke.

Besides the main leaf, you'll need a piece of 3/4 inch plywood measuring 31 inch by 33 inch and another that's 7 inch by 11-1/2 inch . . . an 11-1/2 inch by 15 inch section of full inch-thick board . . . a 26 inch length of 1 inch dowel . . . a scrap of 2 by 4 that's about 6-1/2 inch long . . . a 7/16 inch by 40 inch hank of rope . . . and a 2-1/4 inch -diameter, 1-1/2 inch length of banister handrail.



The metal components include a piece of 3/16 inch by 1-1/2 inch by 1-1/2 inch by 5 inch angle iron, a 2-1/2 inch -long section of channel bar measuring 3/16 inch by 1-1/2 inch by 3 inch , and an 8 inch length of 1-1/4 inch square tubular steel. For hardware, you'll need a 1/2 inch by 6 inch machine bolt with two nuts, a 3-1/2 inch bolt of the same diameter, a 5/16 inch by 2 inch carriage bolt, two No. 8 by 1/2 inch roundhead wood screws, and an assortment of 5/16 inch machine fasteners: two 1 inch, four 1-1/4 inch, two 1-1/2 inch, and two 2 inch in length.

Begin by cutting the wooden parts to shape. To do so, use the grid diagram in this article to recreate the outline of the head and to position the necessary openings and embellishments. Then go on to trim the seat and the five-sided base. At the same time, lop a 12 inch piece from the dowel, and cut the 2 by 4 to form a broad wedge.






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