Here is another project.
This is a recent find and though I am still finishing up the Gypsy
Grandma, I couldn't walk away from this challenge.
It's a small horse, most likely a inner horse or from a children's
I have a friend that has a large collection of carousel carvings
and he helped determine it's age and the likely carving
studio in Brooklyn that made it.
The head which is solid , was only attached to the horse by a nail and
The body is hollow.
Three of the 4 legs have all joints loose. These will be removed,
repairs made then re-installed using dowels.
The paint is known as park paint. It is not the original paint or color
and will be totally removed.
The back legs are in such bad shape, though not obvious in this photo,
they have been braced by steel brackets on the inside of each leg.
The photos below give you an idea what was found while it was
disassembled to be repaired
These photos show some of the condition issues and previous repairs
in an attempt to keep it together and working.
I removed about 40 nails and screws added to the horse over the years.
When it was created only dowels were used with glue to hold it together.
Paint stripping has started above , once stripped all the legs were
Some parts of this are in such poor shape that new carved parts may be
New basswood will be added and carved to replace missing or damaged
The neck area was damaged badly because the previous owner(s) drove a
huge nail through the head into the body shattering the wood in that
A second nail of the same size was driven at the back end of the head
which did nothing since there is an open space under the head in the
body so that nail
was just floating in the air and did no damage to the body.
Originally the head was only glued in place. I will add dowels to help
Here new basswood has been added to a
hoof and carved into the correct shape
Shown from the bottom, to get the
correct thickness needed on one side 2 pieces of basswood sheets were
glued then carved.
There was a split from front to
back on one side. A shim
was created and glued in place
The legs have been re-assembled, new dowels installed at all joints and
they have been glued and doweled back to the body.
Though it's looking much better, still a long way to go.
When the head is ready for re-installation, it will have dowels
installed to help secure it better to the body.
Now there will be a lot of sanding to remove imperfections in the
surface before moving on to final priming and then painting
Below it is all together.... still more sanding.
All Together and Repaired
Other than some final sanding, it's
ready for the color to be added.
However that will be delayed a bit.
Another project surfaced and will take priority for a time.
Finally back to the horse.
This is the new base, stained to look
weathered The second
board is removable. The white plastic box in the center is for
The edge is cut on
a curve, painted red and overlaps the
electronics package., which will include batteries, sound module
the base so
simulate the look of a carousel floor.
and touch switch. It is attached to that
board.. It will play carousel music.
The back edge
is straight, the idea is this section
from a larger carousel floor.
Basically it's done
Still working on the electronics that
will play carousel music
This is the sound and touch switch electronics
The small green board is a self contained mp3 module, maybe up to
1 minute, Programmed through USB
The rest is a circuit I built to work by touch. The chip in the middle
is a timer, the white block is a relay.
Touching the touch pad on the pole disc, activates the relay for a
couple of seconds, which simulates pushing the mp3 module button
Replacing the speaker that came with the module, with a 4" high
efficiently speaker allowed me to remove the additional amp
I was originally intending to use. It is loud enough without the amp
As you can see it's self contained. Runs on 3 "C" cells.
This isn't the final version as I had to add a shielded cable for the
On the right is a power switch.
This mounts neatly under the one board that is removable on the
carousel horse floor.
Click here to See and Listen to the end
Below are a few examples of small Illions carousel horses, some were
inner carousel horses, some small horses were used on Children's
Generally, all horses are unique as they were hand carved.
The one above that I restored was most likely on a children's carousel.