The Climbing Bear

Here’s a classic child’s toy that’s been around for generations. It’s quick and easy to make…and a joy for the kids to play with. And you can make a stack of them at the same time by “pad-sawing” them out on your Bandsaw.

Start by cutting out your 5″ x 5-3/4″ blanks of 3/4″ hardwood. We used poplar, but any good quality, clear wood will work nicely.

Next, make a photocopy of the pattern shown here and print it out to the appropriate size. Trace the pattern onto a piece of hardboard and cut out a tracing template that you can use for transferring the pattern to your workpieces.

Cut your bear blanks to size, fasten a stack of 4 or 5 of them together, using Double Stick Tape and cut the entire stack out at once on your bandsaw.

Now, cut out a top bar for each bear. Make them about 7″ long x 3/4″ wide by 3/4″ thick. Use your drill press with the table tilted to 55-degrees to drill the 3/16″ diameter holes in the bear’s paws, as shown. Reset the table to 90-degrees and drill the holes in the top bars.

Use a straight-slot screwdriver to carefully separate the bears, then finish sand the bears and bars to a smooth surface using small drum sanders and a Strip Sander.

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Add face decorations to one or both sides of the bears. Cut 1/8″ diameter sash cord into pieces 50″ and 8″ long. To assemble, thread the 50″ cords through the bears, bars and beads, then knot the ends. Use the 8″ cords as center supports, passing them through the bead and center hole of the bar, then making a loop in the top end.

To make the bear climb, hang the support lop from a nail or a hook. First pull one cord, then the other, and the bear will “shimmy” up the ropes to the bar. Release both cords and the bear will slide back down.