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How to Make a Wooden Toy Ark

Updated July 20, 2017

The story of the great flood and Noah's ark is one of the world's most well-known tales. A well-crafted wooden model of Noah's ark is a great gift for a child, as well as a satisfying wood work project. In the Bible the ark is built from gopher wood, but as nobody is quite sure what this is supposed to be elm or other attractive wood will suffice.

Place the wooden block into the clamp and use the saw to cut the basic curved shape of the bottom of the boat's hull from the block. Do this with two cuts along the length of the block taking off two of the edges of one of the block's faces. Make further cuts the length of the block until a nice curve is achieved, leaving a strip of flat wood at the apex of the hull's curve so that it can stand up flat on the floor.

Use the chisels, then files and finally sandpaper to create a smooth curve for the outside hull of the boat. Take the block out of the clamp, turn it the other way up and chisel out the inside. Use the files and then the sandpaper to get the internal curve and texture smooth. Varnish the whole thing.

Turn the boat shape upside down on the wooden panel and draw around it. Draw another line inside this one, following the first but about a quarter of an inch inside. Cut around the second line and fit the piece into boat shape. Sand off any parts which stop it from fitting tightly.

Cut pieces from the panel for walls and roof of the cabin to sit on top of the boat. Drill small holes in the walls for windows. Sand and varnish all the pieces, glue them together, gluing the bottom edges of the cabin walls to the piece which fits into the hull of the boat.

Allow the pieces to dry, pop the cabin and cabin floor piece into the hull and test the toy to see how well it floats. Cut a few animal shapes from the remaining panel, paint and stick down on the deck of the boat.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-by-4-by-10 block of elm wood
  • Clamp
  • Pull saw
  • Wood chisels flat and curved
  • Wood files
  • Thin wooden panelling one foot square
  • Pencil
  • Wood glue
  • Paints
  • Varnish
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
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About the Author

Will Milner started writing in 2005 for the University of Sheffield newspaper "Steel Press" and continues to write for the Sheffield-based magazine "Now Then." He gained a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Sheffield.