Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gruff Goats

My wife teaches Kindergarten and asked me to make some wooden billy goats to go with the story they are working with: "The Three Billy Goats Gruff".

These were to be simple silhouettes, nothing fancy, so it was very surprising how much fun they were to make. As you will see, I thought they were pretty fun to play with too.

First, I copied the design onto the stock. I oriented the design to allow the grain to run with the long, thin parts to give them as much strength as possible.

Then it was just a matter of cutting the shape out with the coping saw:

All cuts made - reassembled for fun, and to show how I chose to use relief cuts etc.:

The goat freed from the wood:

The brothers three:

Posing a la "The Bremen Town Musicians":

More fun:

There was some kind of magic in this little project. It's hard to explain, but I loved it!


  1. I see you've got the Olson coping saw as well, I just upgraded to that.

    Nice work on the goats! I'm sure the kids will love them.


  2. Badger - Thanks! And as for the saw, actually I got it at Sears years ago - it's a Craftsman, but seems to be exactly like the Olson. It is also much, much, nicer than what Sears sells now. It's depressing how much junk there is on the market - no wonder people just getting started with hand tools tend to get frustrated...

  3. Having recently become a parent, I'm buying books I loved having my grandfather read to me as a kid.

    I was greatly disturbed when I read through a current copy of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and saw they'd PC'd it to where the biggest BGG just pushes the troll off the bridge and he floats down the river.


    In the version my grandfather read me, the biggest BGG tears him up with his horns and the graphic for the page was bits and pieces of troll flying everywhere.

    Just curious to find out which version your wife uses.

    (I had to dig through eBay to find the author/illustrator of the book my grandfather had; now my son will get the non-PC version, as well.)

  4. Chris - Thanks!

    Ethan - I finally remembered to ask her, and it sounds like it's somewhere in between. Not as graphic as your version, but not as benign as that other one either.

  5. In case you're wondering (or your wife wants to read it), the version I grew up with was by P.C. Asbjornsen. A search on the popular buying/selling site of used things would pull up some examples...


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