It's made of wood and it was a project.

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Project by muleskinner posted 03-20-2013 at 09:02 AM 2711 views 3 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is “my finished project that is made of wood” that I completed this past weekend so I thought I’d add it to my portfolio. By my records this is the 34th year in a row that I’ve built one of these. That’s not counting more than a half dozen my father recruited me to assist in when I was a lad.

You’d think with all that experience I would have construction dialed in but each year’s model seems a little more difficult than the previous one. I’m thinking of taking on an apprentice very soon.

My wife claims she really likes them but somehow, by the time spring rolls around, she’s managed to destroy the previous build.

Construction is pretty straight forward. I just cross cut my rough stock into the desired length. I’ve seen some guys mark out the length but I’ve found I have pretty consistent repeatability just by eyeballing it. After I’ve got the length I want I ‘rip’ the larger diameter pieces along the grain. I use a wedge shaped tool with a wooden handle. It leaves a nice natural texture to the wood that doesn’t require any further machining.

The wood I used this year is mostly doug fir and alder with hemlock and maple accents. I prefer a weathered look so I don’t apply any finish.

Thanks for looking.

-- Visualize whirled peas

29 comments so far

View Jimbo4's profile


1133 posts in 1400 days

#1 posted 03-20-2013 at 09:10 AM

Oustanding rustic apperance !

-- BELT SANDER: Used for making rectangular gouges in wood.

View Dallas's profile


2882 posts in 1124 days

#2 posted 03-20-2013 at 09:10 AM

I gave up on those kind of project many years ago, but somehow I still keep getting roped into helping with them.

Looks good and should provide a nice warm feeling!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Hawk9's profile


56 posts in 1434 days

#3 posted 03-20-2013 at 09:23 AM

Wow!!! You need to send that first pic to a jig-saw puzzle company. What a shot!!!

View CampD's profile


1201 posts in 2123 days

#4 posted 03-20-2013 at 09:28 AM

Mine is empty :(
But yours looks great, nice symmetry.

-- Doug...

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 900 days

#5 posted 03-20-2013 at 09:37 AM

Wow, weird, I did the same project but I didn’t get any pics of the build.
I second Hawk9 when he says that would make a GREAT jig-saw puzzle picture!

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


15657 posts in 1504 days

#6 posted 03-20-2013 at 09:45 AM

I love to sit by a fire so that’s a pleasant sight. The place we moved to doesn’t doesn’t have a live fireplace. It got gas logs.

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 Sandblastguy's profile


42 posts in 748 days

#7 posted 03-20-2013 at 10:08 AM

It always feels good to get the first heat out of your wood. (three heats to a wood pile – 1 piling 2 burning 3 taking out the ashes)

-- Sandblastguy Orangeville On. Creating Art From Nature

View woodcox's profile (online now)


576 posts in 649 days

#8 posted 03-20-2013 at 11:59 AM

Outstanding use of the old gravitational joinery technique. 34th year, no doubtingly a master in our midst.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Sodabowski's profile


2002 posts in 1470 days

#9 posted 03-20-2013 at 02:53 PM

Just what woodcox said. Who needs a finish when you have such great natural edge?

Oh and yes, as the guys above said, that first picture definitely screams “jigsaw puzzle”!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

14913 posts in 1204 days

#10 posted 03-20-2013 at 03:02 PM

I’m not to far behind you on similar yearly projects. I’ve noticed in recent years the enthusiasm gets less prominent. But, it now heats my shop as well.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View MonteCristo's profile


2095 posts in 825 days

#11 posted 03-20-2013 at 03:54 PM

Did you take on this project of your own accord ?

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


1255 posts in 1046 days

#12 posted 03-20-2013 at 04:44 PM

Interesting color variations mixed with random grain patterns. (Laughing)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View gfadvm's profile (online now)


10763 posts in 1327 days

#13 posted 03-20-2013 at 06:13 PM

I too create these often. Have heated with wood since 1976. My dad and I bought a hydraulic splitter in 1976 and I used it all afternoon today! I burn way too much wood (and some tough stuff) to split with wedges and a maul. I get a lot of huge diameter logs given to me cause others have no way of splitting them. Love my splitter!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Acelectric's profile


30 posts in 533 days

#14 posted 03-20-2013 at 06:35 PM

I too must take on a project such as this. Your use of different geometric shapes to create a uniform, but intriguing surface is superb. I find myself silently staring at the multitude of circles, triangles and half moons, fascinated by their skillful placement.

Oh and +1 to the jigsaw puzzle!

-- Thank goodness I don’t do this for a living, because I would surely starve.

View grosa's profile


895 posts in 1466 days

#15 posted 03-20-2013 at 07:00 PM

That’s a cool project and I really like your description of it. It looks like allot of back braking work but, it’s defiantly worth it. Great job.

-- Have a great day.

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