How to make a flying bird out of wood pattern

Written by henri bauholz
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How to make a flying bird out of wood pattern
Make a model wooden bird from a pattern or template. (OliaFedorovsky/iStock/Getty Images)

Whirligigs are comical wooden devices that point into the direction of the wind and spin in the breeze. Prospective woodworkers can take a clue from the craftsmen who design those spinning devices and create a stationary flying duck. One of the designs could make for a popular indoor wall plaque or an outdoor ornament that can be placed around the house or in the garden. Or, use the design method as a preliminary step toward constructing a functional duck with wings that spin in the breeze.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • One 2.5 by 30 cm (1 by 12 inch) plank, 30 cm (1 foot) long
  • One 2.5 by 10 cm (1 by 4 inch) plank, 30 cm (1 foot) long
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Bird guidebook
  • Safety glasses
  • Scroll saw
  • Wood clamp
  • Table clamp
  • Medium grade sandpaper
  • Orbital sander
  • Acrylic paints
  • Polythene brush
  • Electric drill
  • 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick dowel
  • Wood glue

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  1. 1

    Search whirligig designs for an image of a duck in flight. Bird books are also another source of images for a flying duck. What you need here is the head body and tail stretched out in a horizontal line. This will be the image you want to draw on the larger plank.

  2. 2

    Draw the duck body onto the larger plank. It can be a little bit longer than 30 cm (12 inches) if you want.

  3. 3

    Clamp one end of the board to a work table and cut as much of the design out as possible with the scroll saw. Be sure to use a fine-cut wood blade to make the cut.

  4. 4

    Turn the board around in the clamp and finish the cut with the scroll saw.

  5. 5

    Place the cut piece of wood in a table clamp and sand the edges with a medium grit sandpaper.

  6. 6

    Draw two wings on the smaller plank. Cut them out and sand each wing, just like you did with the main body.

  7. 7

    Paint each part of the duck with acrylic paint, to create a realistic duck. You can consult a bird guide to get an idea of what colours a wild duck might have.

  8. 8

    Drill one 6 mm (1/4 inch) hole at the base of each wing and in the upper part of the duck's back.

  9. 9

    Cut a 7.5 cm (3 inch) long piece of dowel.

  10. 10

    Fit the duck's body and two wings together with the dowel and glue.

  11. 11

    Hang the finished product wherever it is appropriate.

Tips and warnings

  • Lots of attractive duck designs can be found in art museums and bird books.
  • Use safety glasses when cutting with the scroll saw.

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