I finished one more turkey assemblage just in time for Thanksgiving.
When I first got the idea for this guy, I thought assembling the pieces would be quick and easy because most of the parts were going to attach to the hole in the center of the coffee basket that would become the turkey’s body.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had originally envisioned. Holes had to be drilled out because they weren’t quite large enough, pieces had to be forced into place because they didn’t want to cooperate and, for a long time, the turkey just refused to stand upright.
I got him done, thanks to much help from my husband, who has mad turkey robot engineering skills and, when it comes to helping his wife with mechanical projects and power tools, the patience of a saint.
Here’s what I started with: a coffee filter basket, a bunch of old measuring spoons and two gold furniture feet.
Step 1 was to slide a bolt through the hole in the tablespoon that would become the turkey’s head …
… and then slide the bolt into the hole in the coffee basket.
So far, so good.
Next, I laid out the rest of the measuring spoons in a fan shape, with the largest ones in the middle and the smallest ones on the ends …
… and slid them onto the same bolt the head was attached to. I secured them in place with a nut.
He was already starting to look like a turkey.
At that point, I pulled the measuring spoon tail feathers off so I could drill holes into the bottom of the coffee basket for the turkey’s legs.
Then I put everything back together again.
In order to keep the turkey upright, I had to add a couple of additional tail feather spoons that rested on the ground like a kick stand (the husband’s idea).
Finally, I dug out a few beads and baubles to use as the turkey’s facial features …
… but when I had them glued on, I was underwhelmed. He felt a little blah. I wanted him to have more personality.
So I dug back into my stash of beads and baubles and tried again.
With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought I’d make a turkey.
Technically, he’s a “turkey assemblage,” but I am calling him “Robot Turkey 2.0,” because he follows in the footsteps of last year’s original Robot Turkey (pictured below).
Off and on over the last 12 months, I’ve been hunting for turkey parts at garage sales and thrift stores, which was a little difficult because I didn’t really know what I wanted the new guy to look like. All I knew was that I wanted him to be different than the original.
As usual, I overcollected. I now have two boxfuls of metal junk (aka turkey parts) in my basement (so odds are there will be several more robot turkey iterations to come). As I sifted through the pieces last weekend, I decided I’d start RT 2.0 with an old Jell-O mold.
I thought the mold resembled a turkey breast, so that would be the body. Then I drilled a couple of holes into the bottom of the mold …
… so I could attach his legs, which were made out of silver cabinet pulls.
Here’s how they’re attached inside.
I cut a dowel the same height as the Jell-O mold/body and glued it in place with E6000. My plan was to glue a mini tart pan that looked a lot like turkey feathers to the dowel, so the feathers would be sticking up behind the body.
The tart pan feathers looked great. Unfortunately, I realized at this point that there were some center of gravity issues — i.e., the turkey kept tipping forward when I tried to set him on his feet. I thought maybe if I put some weight in the back of the Jell-O mold, it might help balance him out …
… so I pried the tart pan off the dowel and filled the Jell-O mold with some mortar (because in addition to making a robot turkey last weekend, I also happened to be tiling a wall in my bathroom).
The mortar did the trick. I glued the tart pan back on after the mortar dried and he stood straight up.
I found a metal knob to use as the turkey’s head, a couple of small silver disks to use as eyes and a gold hex nut to use as his beak.
I glued the facial features onto the head and glued the head onto the Jell-O mold body. I also attached a fancy swirly paper clip under his head to look like a waddle.
The weight of the head messed with the center of gravity again, but, happily, I discovered that if I screwed the legs a little further into his body and arranged his feet so they were slightly pigeon-toed, I could get him to stand straight up.
Isn’t he cute? I’m not sure if he’s an improvement over the original, but he definitely has his own personality.