If I Only Had a Brain


If I Only Had a Brain

ifionlyhadabrain_smallAn elegant drive mechanism powers this “punny” monster music box
By John W. Hutchinson
Photos and illustrations by John W. Hutchinson

For Halloween this year I decided to create an animated Halloween-themed extravaganza. My daughter suggested a Frankenstein monster, but I vetoed the idea because I couldn’t find an appropriate tune to go with him. And then one day, as I was browsing the list of hand- cranked musical movements at kikkerland.com, I stumbled upon “If I Only Had A Brain.” Oh, yeah! This is where I’d typically say, “And the rest is history,” but I’d like to think that Frank will become a part of my family’s history … “Remember crazy ol’ Grampa John?”

With the turn of a crank, and help from a watchmaker’s mechanism, Frank’s moods swing from happy, with a bright-idea light bulb, to sad, with a clueless question mark—they are punctuated with snarky half-smiles in between.

Watch the video of this monster classic cycle through his decision making process and then make your own!

If I Only Had A Brain from John Hutchinson on Vimeo.

Condensed instructions and the detailed drawings and patterns for the project can be found in Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Fall 2015 (Issue 60). More detailed construction instructions are attached.


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