MLK Cherry Back Scratcher .... 25th wedding anniversary gift

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Project by Dan'um Style posted 03-06-2008 02:34 AM 2904 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few days back another lumberjock (mr woody) posted a nice back scratcher. My wife the Peggster saw it and let me know it was a must have.

I saved the previous posting to my favorites … and well after about an hour in the shop here it is.

Made from Memphis “Martin Luther King” cherry.

Finish is seedlac shellac.

Started with a 1×1 x 20-something cherry offcut. Sketched out the squigglie shape with a black sharpie.
Bandsaw, tape, and belt sander are the primary tools used.
Sanded to 400 grit.
Teeth on scratcher formed with dremel..

wood story … for those who have read it before it is ok to skip this part

About 12 years ago we lived in Bartlett, Tennessee which is a suburb of Memphis. In the Sunday paper we noticed a classified ad for cherry and walnut lumber @ a dollar a board foot. Never missing a wood bargain, we called, got directions and drove into southern Memphis to take a look at it. Seller met us at an old shed across the street from an old church. Shed was stuffed with rough-cut boards of cherry and walnut. Dusty, and undisturbed for many years it really looked like a mess. Not to go home empty handed my son and I dug through the pile of lumber, finding the best of the bunch. We came up with pretty big pile, about 140 bft.
When the seller was helping us load the wood into the pickup he told us about the wood. The trees came from accross the street and once were on the grounds of the Babtist Church. He said he was the minister of the church and the trees were blown down many years earlier by a tornado. When we were about done loading he told us the trees were special, .... special because Martin Luther King had once visited the church and prayed while under the trees. Story stuck to the wood and has followed it everywhere since. I made many items from that lumber, a shaker clock, a chair, dresser, boxes, cutting boards for the save the children event and now a gift for the Peggster.

If interested in seeing more items made from this cherry, take a look at my project gallery.



-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

13 comments so far

View Lakey's profile


97 posts in 3741 days

#1 posted 03-06-2008 03:00 AM

Wow – great, great story about the wood. Got a sliver you can send this way?

-- "No Board Left Behind"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3790 days

#2 posted 03-06-2008 04:49 AM

Very interesting and useful project, Dan.

I had not read the story before (I have been trying to get to the posts I have not reviewed but there simply isn’t enough time to get them done it seems). Thanks for posting it again. I actually feel that the story, when there is one, is just as important as the piece itself.


-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3957 days

#3 posted 03-06-2008 04:53 AM

Great job, Dan and great story. Make me itch just looking at it.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View MrWoody's profile


320 posts in 3743 days

#4 posted 03-06-2008 06:11 AM

Nice back scratcher. You obviously spent more time on yours than I did mine. Mind you I was supposed to be sanding another project, when I got the itch to make mine. ;^)
Oh ya neat story about your wood too.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3843 days

#5 posted 03-06-2008 08:17 AM

Pretty cool, Dan. I like the free-form shaping/sculpting.

-- Happy woodworking!

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4034 days

#6 posted 03-06-2008 10:34 AM

Dan this project is on par with the rest of your work – outstanding. It’s also a very functional piece, especially for someone with an itchy back.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3959 days

#7 posted 03-06-2008 09:09 PM

That’s one wicked lookin’ backscratcher Dan! Looks like something right out of Harry Potter! Nice one!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3843 days

#8 posted 03-06-2008 09:13 PM

That’s neat. I like anything with a “man-sized” grip. I like anything where the wood has a story, too.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14171 posts in 3951 days

#9 posted 03-07-2008 01:33 AM

Thanks for the nice comments. Never thought about the Harry Potter linkage, but now that I look at it, guess it hooks into that genre. The squiggle design is an offshoot of some mahogany spoon handles I made about 5 years ago. Sort of a sloppy rope spiral thingy.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Jimboe's profile


257 posts in 3718 days

#10 posted 03-11-2008 02:17 PM

Love the story dan . The back scratcher is awesome looking great imagination ..then again all your stuff looks awesome .

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3902 days

#11 posted 03-12-2008 08:26 PM

Right on, Dadoo! That does look very Potter-esque!

Seriously, I like the organic nature of the squiggly shape. Very cool!

-- Robb

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3563 days

#12 posted 08-24-2008 07:47 PM

Wow awesome scratcher i keep saying i’m going to make one. Really dig the wood story also, i love finding out the linage of the wood. Very nice touch..


-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3691 days

#13 posted 10-22-2008 06:57 AM

I really like the curves you put into this scratcher. Very nicely done.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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