|Project by brianinpa||posted 03-22-2008 06:18 PM||1476 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
This has been a project in my mind for the last 9 ½ years. These floor lamps started life as 5” shells fired from a US Navy Destroyer and in 1998 I was given the assignment of making a set of ceremonial bullets.
These bullets are used during several different Naval ceremonies: Change of Command, retirement, or in this case a Chief Petty Officer Pinning Ceremony. The thought was that all Chief Petty Officers assigned to Commander Naval Air Systems Commands would walk through these bullets on the day they were advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and every year, that year’s group of Chief selectees would add something new to the ceremonial bullets. It could be ropes, stands, or anything else that was determined to be appropriate. Since my group was the first to start this tradition, we had to make the bullets, and because I was the person in the group with the most wood working skills, the turning of the bullets rested on my shoulders.
Most ceremonial bullets are a set of 6 or 8: I had enough lumber and shells for a set of 12: far too many for the purposes we had. Two of the spares became mine with the intention that some day I would make 2 floor lamps. These are the product of that plan, it only took 9 ½ years for me to complete. The projectiles started as a 8” X 8” blocks of ash that had to be turned down to fit in the 5” shell casing. It was a lot of work, but in the end, it was very rewarding. The only drawback to these lamps is that because of them, I can’t make anything without using a lathe to turn at least one piece of the project.
-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.