This classic wood project offers students a great opportunity to design their own shape and take ownership of their creation (it might even make saving money fun!). Careful measurements are needed to make room for and fit the plexiglass windows in customized projects; students may need to have had lots of practice using compasses and rulers to get this right before they start cutting.
Submitted by Steve Mung
Submitted by Steve Mung
Tools & Materials
- 1 piece of 2x10, 10” long
- Two circles of 5” diameter clear plastic / plexiglass
- Water-based, non-toxic finish
- Glue stick
- Band Saw
- Coping saw
- Router with ¼" rabbet bit
- Drill press with bit large enough to fit coping saw blade through the hole
Design your “piggy” - you can use the template given, or you can design your own shape. Start by drawing a circle with a 4-½” diameter, and make sure that you leave at least 1" of wood surrounding the circle (this circle will be cut out, and that’s where your coins will go). Also, if you want your bank to stand up straight and stable, make sure there is a flat spot on the bottom, or two “feet” for it to balance on.
Sketch your design on the piece of 2x10, or print and resize the pic outline design, then glue the pattern onto the wood using a glue stick. Before you cut, make sure your inner circle is ½" less in diameter (¼" less in radius) than your plexi glass, as the pattern may not be exact after printing and resizing.
Drill a hole somewhere inside the 4-½” circle. With a coping saw, cut along the line and remove the inner circle.
Measure the thickness of your plexiglass. Using the router with a ¼" rabbet bit, set it to whatever thickness your plexiglass is, and cut out a rabbet on both sides of your bank along the inner edge of the circle. You should end up with a 4-½” diameter hole for your coins, and a 5”diameter rabbet on each side to place the plexiglass in.
Using the coping saw or band saw, cut around the outer edge of your bank shape.
To make the coin slot, mark a 1-3/16” line (lengthwise, front-to-back) on the top of your bank. Using a drill bit with a slightly larger diameter than your coping saw blade, drill a hole at either end of the line. Use the coping saw to saw out a slot between your two holes, and clean up with sandpaper.
Sand all edges of your bank with sandpaper, and apply your finish. Let dry.
Glue your plexiglass circles in place, and start adding coins to your bank!
- Design your coin bank so that your animal “eats” the coins through a slot in its mouth.
- Design a coin-retrieval hole in the bottom. You could carve a plug out of a chunk of cork or rubber to cover a hole in the bottom of your bank, for example. Or, design a way to make one of the plexiglass panels removeable.
- Make your animal bank wider, and create a 3-D shape for it by using a router or Dremel to shape and round the 90 degree side angles.
- Paint a design or a quote onto the plexiglass.
- Design a coin bank that acts as a Rube-Goldberg machine, with parts that move as the coin drops through the slot. Or, design a coin bank that sorts coins by size into different storage spaces.