The Creativity Challenge

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 07-08-2011 02:33 PM 1042 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3037 days

07-08-2011 02:33 PM

Last night at the woodworking club I and several others received a bundle of wood. Each bundle was roughly the same with approximately 6 bf of ash, 2 bf of walnut, 1 bf of cedar and 1/2 bf of bubinga. Our challenge is to make something original and creative using this wood and only this wood. We can incorporate hardware, clock movements, glass, etc. but we can only use the wood provided.

I’m genuinely intrigued and excited about this exercise. This is “my kind of thing”. The ash is pretty gnarly wood with some twisted grain and knots. I know I want to find a way to feature some of that character. There is only enough bubinga to use as accents. In my opinion, the wood that does not fit in with the rest is the cedar. I don’t have to use the cedar and I may not.

I think I will experiment with some design ideas using cheap wood first before working with the assigned wood.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

10 replies so far

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 2916 days

#1 posted 07-08-2011 02:56 PM

Fascinating problem. I will look forward with considerable interest to seeing your solution. After all, it’s essentially a design problem, I believe. First, what item is “most appropriate” to the materials available? and second, the actual design of the specific item. Only then does craftsmanship as a woodworker become an issue. Just my two cents, and I’m sure you will come up with something exemplary.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3106 days

#2 posted 07-08-2011 02:58 PM

Can’t wait to see “IT”, Rich. How long do you have?

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3037 days

#3 posted 07-08-2011 03:30 PM

We have lots of time. The entire group will get together to discuss the assignment, our progress and exchange ideas at least a couple of times. This is not a contest, but everyone wants to do the best they can do.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2829 days

#4 posted 07-08-2011 03:43 PM

Rich, it sounds like quite a challenge but i know that you are up to and I hope that you do well with the challenge. Please keep us up to date with it.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Woodwrecker's profile


4137 posts in 3538 days

#5 posted 07-08-2011 04:46 PM

Can’t wait to see what you come up with buddy!
Good luck!

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1519 posts in 4087 days

#6 posted 07-08-2011 08:49 PM

For the cedar, I’ve been falling back to boring ol’ veneered plywood for the backs of things. I think there are always places where you need wood for something, but it really won’t be seen. Backs, internal braces, floating tenons, lots of uses for wood that you don’t want visible but still want to incorporate into the project.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2514 days

#7 posted 07-08-2011 09:30 PM

Sounds interesting. Sounds like, rather than what Roger’s saying about picking the best wood for the project though, you have to pick the best project for the wood!

6bf is not a lot.. and 9 1/2 altogether isn’t much either.

For what it’s worth, I’d probably make decorative joinery with the bubigna, (use it for decorative inserts, butterflies, dowels, etc) and focus on how the heck to use the other three woods… Maybe a bench? a lamp? an end table? Whatever it is, it’ll be interesting.

View peteg's profile


4269 posts in 2785 days

#8 posted 07-09-2011 12:58 AM

You gotta keep us posted on this one Rich, I love these types of challenge, good luck :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View jumbojack's profile


1674 posts in 2586 days

#9 posted 07-09-2011 01:15 AM

would love to see a daily real time blog on this. from conception to completion. kinda like the one GaryK did. Man i could hardly wait to get home from work to see what Gary did.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3037 days

#10 posted 07-09-2011 08:57 PM

This will not be an everyday project for me so a daily real time blog would be of minimal value.

My first step will be to make up a scaled down version of my idea with either cheap oak or pine. That will allow me to look at a 3D image and decide if I like it and what changes I may need to make.

I’m actually thinking about 3 different ideas but one, a very unique plant stand, is at the top of the list. I may have my scaled model in a few days and I will share it and seek reaction.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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