|Project by Roz||posted 09-18-2013 04:04 PM||2484 views||0 times favorited||18 comments|
My older brother Jim had the rare distinction of serving onboard the USS Missouri BB-63. During her refit periods areas of the Main Deck teak were replaced. As a result of that he was able to salvage some old pieces of Teak. His thought was that someday he’d find a good use for it. Today is that day. A dear friend of his is being promoted to Admiral and he asked me to help him make a presentation box to mark the occasion from that same USS Missouri Teak.
We talked about the items to be displayed and the need to limit the display case based on the small amount of teak that we had available to work with, as well as the desire to high light the qualities of the teak. We also wanted to do justice to the historic nautical significance of the pieces to be displayed. History tells us that the deck the planks would be laid against one another on their sides to form a 6 inch thick deck.
We started with planks about 3X6X 18. Having cut the planks onto smaller pieces we formed what basically 1×1 beams with a channel to hold the glass which resembled small picture frames around glass panels. This would allow the viewer to look into the display as well as enjoy the rich naval history that was represented inside. The corners were mitered and held together with water proof glue and a few tacks. The edges near the glass were chamfered to 45 degrees. The top also has a glass panel as well as a bar across the back with a triangle mitered into the center of the plank. This was a very good place for a star, the symbol of an Admiral’s rank. We added a block cut to 45 degrees to accept an etched brass plate. The hinges are high quality brass with a removable ball end shafts. The Ball is appropriate because a brass ball sit atop the flag pole on every Admirals gig, and is known as a Truck. The only proper finish for Teak is Teak oil so the case received three loving coats and polish up that gave it a nice luster while the oil brought out the unique qualities in the wood.
As I was working on this it occurred to me there is great symbolism in this project. The Teak box was designed to house two items. One item in the box is a working miniature 4” Sextant, like those used by mariners for centuries to navigate the world. The other item in the box is a small brass spy glass. This working 8 inch replica is similar to those used by ancient mariners to extend their sight across the oceans in search of what the future might hold.
The Missouri Teak we used to make this box is representative of the long and proud history of the United States Navy. We added a miniature brass cleat for a handle that represents seamanship and acts as a reminder of the skill and professionalism of the men and women of the United States Navy. The Truck and Star signify an Admirals rank, However, the star also represents the stars that each night sailors use to navigate the darkness to the dawn of a new day (when the electronics aren’t working).
Thanks for taking the time to review this project. It is a special one.
-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."