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

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Project by muleskinner posted 524 days ago 2706 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


1131 posts in 1394 days

#1 posted 524 days ago

Oustanding rustic apperance !

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

View Dallas's profile


2869 posts in 1118 days

#2 posted 524 days ago

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 1428 days

#3 posted 524 days ago

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

View CampD's profile


1201 posts in 2117 days

#4 posted 524 days ago

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

-- Doug...

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 894 days

#5 posted 524 days ago

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


15622 posts in 1498 days

#6 posted 524 days ago

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 742 days

#7 posted 524 days ago

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


570 posts in 643 days

#8 posted 524 days ago

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 1464 days

#9 posted 524 days ago

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

Don W

14864 posts in 1199 days

#10 posted 524 days ago

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 819 days

#11 posted 524 days ago

Did you take on this project of your own accord ?

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

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


1252 posts in 1040 days

#12 posted 524 days ago

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

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

View gfadvm's profile


10736 posts in 1321 days

#13 posted 524 days ago

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 527 days

#14 posted 524 days ago

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 1460 days

#15 posted 524 days ago

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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