Trike riding chimp push/pull toy

by Mike Screen

Monkey on tricycle

Monkey on tricycle

I've always loved those old tinplate toys. I'm just about old enough to had a few of them as a child.
A recurring motif or theme is the monkey on a bike or trike.
In our supposedly enlightened times we no longer
subject primates to such exploitative and demeaning activity.
My example however is a willing and enthusiastic participant who got a nice uniform for the gig as well.
I based him on the old tin toy monkey examples I found in books. He cycles furiously along with the torso lifting and falling with the effort.
I placed a pivot point through one of the upper legs and the tricycle frame.
As the leg passes through the pedal cycle, it causes the torso oscillate backward and forward. He's made of birch plywood, painted with acrylic and sealed with yacht varnish before all parts are assembled.

Comments for Trike riding chimp push/pull toy

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Jul 14, 2020
Regarding bike toy
by: Mike Screen

Hello Tony

Your trike looks really promising, shaping the blanks after gluing up allows you to make them look less bulky.
I found planning the components from multiples of birch plywood thicknesses to be a real revelation. Glue up the blanks and shape them with a drum sander and rotary cutting tool...Neither are for the faint hearted. A sixty grit drum sander can reduce timber (and knuckles) to dust disturbingly quickly.
The biggest and most fun technique is to model the mechanism first in stiff card and paper fasteners. This usually works really well until you realize gravity has a mind of its own and wont always participate like you want. Generally, if it works in card, it will translate into timber or whatever material. It also allows you to drill all the fulcrums and pivot points while the component is easy to hold.
The other problem is surface traction on the wheels. I found that some of the wheels of my designs would skid/lock/fail to rotate correctly when being pushed. I then discovered rubber 'O'rings and set them into grooves on the wheels.
Finally, I'm a convert to machine screws and nylon lock nuts for fastenings/pivot points. The only downside being that they look a little sterile and industrial. I never found the commercially available dowel peg pins very durable or easy to fit.
Here is a link to my Youtube and Pinterest pages showing some toys in motion:

Click for more photos on Pinterest

Click for toys in motion on YouTube.

Jul 13, 2020
Thanks for sharing another one of your wonderful toys.
by: Tony

Hi Mike,
Thanks once again for sharing another one of your wonderful toys.

I like your description - very amusing.

Do you have a video of these toys in action, on a popular video sharing platform perhaps?
It would be cause for much amusement and distraction in these times when we need much entertainment.

I have tried to make a boy on a tricycle, but my patience expired and it is resting on my PHD shelf. (Projects Half Done.)

If you would like to have a look, here is the link which is not live, so you will have to copy and paste the text into your browser.

Looking at it again, I realize that perhaps I shall change the design just a little to suit my limited skills. A fancy way of saying instead of trying make an exact copy, lets see what I can make instead.

I very much suspect that it is one of those very clever plastic molded toys make to look like real wood.

Thanks again for the inspiration.

Regards, Tony Slattery

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