Marine Helicopter CH-53 (with a little imagination)

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Project by maplerock posted 412 days ago 688 views 0 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


675 posts in 2352 days

#1 posted 412 days ago

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 666 days

#2 posted 412 days ago

Fine job! God bless em!!

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

View Hawaiilad's profile


1910 posts in 1646 days

#3 posted 412 days ago

Great job Jerry….and a great story as well

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View a1Jim's profile


112008 posts in 2202 days

#4 posted 411 days ago

super project

-- Custom furniture

View hunter71's profile


1983 posts in 1811 days

#5 posted 411 days ago

Semper Fi man.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Woodbridge's profile (online now)


2639 posts in 1043 days

#6 posted 411 days ago

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

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View AlBCuttnWud's profile


503 posts in 1315 days

#7 posted 410 days ago

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, Patuxent River, MD

View Boxguy's profile


1440 posts in 892 days

#8 posted 408 days ago

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


45 posts in 1263 days

#9 posted 406 days ago

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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