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Project by Triumph1 posted 07-16-2015 12:31 PM 3007 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


16273 posts in 4148 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


2715 posts in 2945 days

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


View SPalm's profile


5316 posts in 3811 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


1731 posts in 2942 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


1605 posts in 2883 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


734 posts in 2242 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 (online now)


30465 posts in 2796 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


4761 posts in 3058 days

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

Creativity has no bounds …. Wow.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View savannah505's profile


1811 posts in 3515 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


7935 posts in 2727 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


241 posts in 1034 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


8474 posts in 2772 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


310 posts in 1874 days

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

Awesome work. I love your Instagram.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2357 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

489 posts in 3059 days

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

Ingenious and beautiful. Outstanding .

-- Dale, Ohio

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