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Project by Triumph1 posted 07-16-2015 12:31 PM 2539 views 7 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There was a call for artists at a local art gallery. A show was being sponsored by a long time Waukegan business Waukegan Tire. They gave us a tour of their main facility and let us scrounge through bins of parts. Artists were asked to submit work “that utilize the Waukegan Tire logo, ethos, products and services along with automotive themes in general”. It was a great opportunity and really got me design mind going. I did two pieces for the show and the “Independent” box was the first. What better way to design around an independent company than to have a box that has working independent suspension legs!

The body is constructed of bark inclusion maple. The grain wraps around the box. The joints are strengthened using brass and aluminum pins. The top and bottom are capped in black walnut.

The suspension legs are made from hard maple and black walnut. The curved leg portions are a bent lamination consisting of five 0.062” thick pieces of black walnut. They are faced with rubber tread sourced from the truck tire retread industry. The shocks are HPI racing RC shocks. They were some of the largest ones I could find. Instead of filling the shock bodies with oil I placed a spring inside to handle the box weight.

The lid is made from black walnut and maple. The joints are strengthened using brass and aluminum pins. The slash cut pipes are made from 1.25” diameter aluminum tubing that was shaped and polished.

The inner tray is made from black walnut and with maple handles. The grain wraps around the tray. The joints are strengthened using brass and aluminum pins. The handles also have brass pins holding them in.

The suspension is fully working. What you can’t see is that in every pivot joint I epoxied in brass tubing so that the assembly screws would not wear the wood away…40 little 5/32” diameter bushings.

“Independent” is 15” x 15” x 18”. It was finished with three soakings of Danish Oil and two buffing of Briwax.

Thanks for taking a look and keep making that sawdust!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

27 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3639 days

#1 posted 07-16-2015 12:34 PM

Your projects are always beautiful and unique, Jeff, but you’ve outdone yourself this time!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View michelletwo's profile


2587 posts in 2436 days

#2 posted 07-16-2015 12:36 PM


View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3302 days

#3 posted 07-16-2015 12:39 PM

Wow. Wow. Wow.
What fun you must have being able to design stuff like this.

I am just blown away, and smiling.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View tyvekboy's profile


1308 posts in 2433 days

#4 posted 07-16-2015 12:58 PM

Love the design and incorporation of different materials. Thanks for sharing.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View RogerBean's profile


1598 posts in 2374 days

#5 posted 07-16-2015 01:30 PM

I always look forward to your projects, and am never disappointed. Remarkable piece.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View UncleStumpy's profile


707 posts in 1733 days

#6 posted 07-16-2015 01:36 PM

You are the absolute craziest guy I know!

And that, sir, is a high compliment.

Brilliant idea to use parts from R/C cars – perfect size.

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View helluvawreck's profile


22674 posts in 2287 days

#7 posted 07-16-2015 01:39 PM

I love it. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View sras's profile


4363 posts in 2549 days

#8 posted 07-16-2015 02:57 PM

Creativity has no bounds …. Wow.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View savannah505's profile


1781 posts in 3006 days

#9 posted 07-16-2015 03:06 PM

Wow Jeff this is wild and different and very well done. One question – is it electric start or is there a pull cord?

-- Dan Wiggins

View shipwright's profile


7087 posts in 2218 days

#10 posted 07-16-2015 03:16 PM

This is just sweet Jeff. The combination of creative genius and mechanical aptitude you continuously display sets you well apart from the crowd. Up in the thin air.
“Independent” is a great name but “One Small Step” comes to mind as well.
Amazing piece, thanks for showing us.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View RootandBranch's profile


240 posts in 525 days

#11 posted 07-16-2015 03:56 PM

This is EXCELLENT!!! Don’t be surprised if J.J. Abrams calls with a role in the next Star Wars movie.

-- Don, -

View DocSavage45's profile


7654 posts in 2263 days

#12 posted 07-16-2015 05:25 PM


In one way or another you have been well described here. LOL! It’s great to see your creative risks. And I’m sure happy moments when it comes together. Nice integration of function, material and design!


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View mds2's profile


308 posts in 1365 days

#13 posted 07-16-2015 05:34 PM

Awesome work. I love your Instagram.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1848 days

#14 posted 07-16-2015 05:37 PM

Is this your ‘masterpiece’ ??? nice ,, very nice.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

442 posts in 2550 days

#15 posted 07-16-2015 05:51 PM

Ingenious and beautiful. Outstanding .

-- Dale, Ohio

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