How to Build a Wooden a Robot

Retro Robot & Son image by Infs from

Things You'll Need

  • Carbon tracing paper
  • A pen
  • Band saw or handheld Jigsaw with a woodcutting blade.
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Electric sander or sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Wood glue
  • Suitable pieces of wood or timber.

Robots are mechanical machines, mostly powered with electricity, that are used to automatically carry out industrial and domestic tasks with human-like skill. They make life for humans more efficient, less arduous and safer. Sometimes robots are made that resemble humans. Sometimes robots are just a series of circuits inside a thermostat. The fact that a robot reacts and responds to input is what defines it. It requires many technical disciplines to build a robot, but between realistic facsimiles and basic circuitry, there are thousands of variations of the humble automaton, even wooden toy robots for kids.

Draw, or print out from the computer, a 2D robot outline.

Place your paper outline on top of some carbon tracing paper. Place both sheets on a suitably sized, suitably flat, block of wood.

Trace the outline of the robot with a pen so that you are marking the wood through the carbon paper with the outline. These are the lines where you will be sawing. Design separate eyes or buttons to fix onto the robot's body at this time if you wish, and trace those designs onto suitable pieces of wood.

Saw the wood exactly along the lines of your designs using a Band Saw or handheld jigsaw with a woodcutting blade. Wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes while sawing.

Sand down the robot and other pieces (eyes, buttons) with an electric sander or sandpaper. Follow the grain of the wood, and sand until any rough edges are smooth.

Coat your robot with primer, so it is ready to paint in the color and style of your choosing. Not using primer means the wood can suck the moisture out of the paint, leaving an undesirable finish. Paint your robot and other pieces after priming, then let them dry completely.

Glue the eyes and other pieces onto the robot using wood glue, then leave to dry.


  • Follow all safety precautions. Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times in a woodworking area or shop.


About the Author

Nicholas Fix has been writing professionally since 2008. He reviews cultural events and other happenings in the city of London for the "LondonWord" magazine. Fix holds a diploma in creative writing from Oxford University and a Bachelor of Arts in German from Queen Mary University, London.

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