Marine Helicopter CH-53 (with a little imagination)

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Project by maplerock posted 07-05-2013 12:31 AM 1476 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My talent does not match my imagination. My oldest son is a pilot in the Marine Corps. When he was deployed to Afghanistan I started thinking about carving or making a model of his aircraft, the CH-53. It is a HUGE helicopter. 99 feet long, and capable of lifting a tank, an F-18, or taking dozens of troops into and out of battle.

I decided to take a folk artsy approach, since that better matches my skill level. :-) I used construction grade pine and glued up some 2×8’s. I did study his helo and tried to incorporate at least some aspects that might make it recognizable. I really like the outcome.

A great story though… when he came home for Christmas he brought me a big present. I unwrapped it, and lo and behold it was a two foot long scale model of his helicopter made of wood! These handcrafted models are made in the Phillipines and are amazingly accurate. It was superb. I ran to the Christmas tree and handed him a big wrapped present. When he opened it he saw a 20” beast of a CH-52. Very heavy and very inaccurate. We both had a big laugh as it is obvious that great minds think alike!

I bought the decals that I put on it. I must admit that all things considered, and as primitive and bulky as it is, it is probably my favorite all time project.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

9 comments so far

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3926 days

#1 posted 07-05-2013 12:59 AM

Great job, I love it. Thank your son for his service. For without men and women like him standing in the gap for us none of us would be here. God Bless AMERICA

-- Ray

View Mike's profile


139 posts in 2240 days

#2 posted 07-05-2013 02:37 AM

Fine job! God bless em!!

-- A person of integrity never speaks of it...he walks in it...

View Hawaiilad's profile


3294 posts in 3219 days

#3 posted 07-05-2013 04:55 AM

Great job Jerry….and a great story as well

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3776 days

#4 posted 07-05-2013 03:02 PM

super project

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View hunter71's profile


3302 posts in 3385 days

#5 posted 07-06-2013 12:30 AM

Semper Fi man.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Woodbridge's profile


3591 posts in 2617 days

#6 posted 07-06-2013 01:02 AM

A great project and a wonderful story to go with it!

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View AlBCuttnWud's profile


697 posts in 2889 days

#7 posted 07-06-2013 01:55 PM

It looks great. I am Navy but was fortunate to work with Marines in Hawaii….the last of the H-53Ds. Honestly, I prefer your project over what any sweatshop overseas produces.

If you have a chance, take a look at my projects….I have a whirly gig H-53 and a tail rotor blade plaque. It may give you some ideas for future projects for your son.

I know you are proud of your son and I am so grateful for his service. Fly safe Marine!

-- -Al, Chesapeake, VA

View Boxguy's profile


2758 posts in 2466 days

#8 posted 07-09-2013 05:02 AM

Jerry, what fun. All of your projects have a great sentimental story attached. They are stories that woodworking fathers the world over can identify with. We have all been there…or would like to be. Thanks for sharing your work and the stories that go with them. Your projects are wonderful and the stories touch hearts.

-- Big Al in IN

View JeanValjean's profile


58 posts in 2837 days

#9 posted 07-11-2013 03:31 AM

Semper Fi to you and your son and may God protect your son and keep him safe!!
I am a former CH-53 A/D guy myself from back in the early 80’s…
Love your interpretation…got any patterns or measurements???

-- Semper Fi

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