[Olivier Gomis] did not have access to the fires of Mount Doom to forge a large replica of the One Ring, so he had to settle for patience, maple, and a wood lathe. It does have the added convenience of not needing to fire to expose its true nature, just angry pixies from a wall socket.
[Olivier] made the ring in separate inner and outer sections from 72 blocks of maple. The blocks were glued together in 12-sided rings, and stacked in layers to achieve the desired width. The surfaces were cut smooth and thinned out on a wood lathe, and an internal channel was created for LED strips. The Black Speech was cut through the walls of both the inner and outer surfaces using a manual router. Using the ring itself as a former, he made a wooden base for the router to allow it to slide across the surface without wobbling.
The inside wall was cut into sections and glued into a recess in the external portion. The inscriptions were covered with a maple veneer, which still allows it to be visible when the internal LEDs are switched on. The wiring runs from the base of the stand through an S-shaped stem that was made from layers of veneer clamped in a former. A total of 53 hours of painstaking effort went into this work of art, but the end product would make any hardcore Lord of the Rings fan envious.
The variety of ways that people find to show the passage of time never ceases to amaze us. Just when you think you’ve seen them all, someone comes up with something new and unusual, like the concentric rings of this automated perpetual calendar.
What we really like about the design that [tomatoskins] came up with is both its simplicity and its mystery. By hiding the mechanism, which is just a 3D-printed internal ring gear attached to the back of each ring, it invites people in to check it out closely and discover more. Doing so reveals that each ring is hanging from a pinion gear on a small stepper motor, which rotates it to the right point once a day or once a month. Most of the clock is made from wood, with the rings themselves made using the same technique that woodturners use to create blanks for turning bowls — or a Death Star. We love the look the method yields, although it could be even cooler with contrasting colors and grains for each segment. And there’s nothing stopping someone from reproducing this with laser-cut parts, or adding rings to display the time too.
Another nice tip in this write up is the trick [tomatoskins] used to label the rings, by transferring laser-printed characters from paper to wood using nothing but water-based polyurethane wood finish. That’s one to file away for another day.
Burning Man is so many different things to so many people, that it defies neat description. For those who attend, it always seems to be a life-changing experience, for good or for ill. The story of one man’s Burning Man exhibition is a lesson in true craftsmanship and mind-boggling engineering, as well as how some events can bring out the worst in people.
For [Malcolm Tibbets], aka [the tahoeturner], Burning Man 2017 was a new experience. Having visited last year’s desert saturnalia to see his son [Andy]’s exhibition, the studio artist decided to undertake a massive display in his medium of choice — segmented woodturning. Not content to display a bamboo Death Star, [Malcolm] went big– really big. He cut and glued 31,000 pieces of redwood into rings of various shapes and sizes and built sculptures of amazing complexity, including endless tubes that knot and loop around and back into each other. Many of the sculpture were suspended from a huge steel tripod fabricated by [Andy], forming an interactive mobile and kinetic sculpture.
Alas, Burning Man isn’t all mellowness in the desert. People tried to climb the tripod, and overnight someone destroyed some of the bigger elements of the installation. [Malcolm] made a follow-up video about the vandalism, but you’ll want to watch the build video below first to truly appreciate the scale of the piece and the loss. Here’s hoping that [Malcolm]’s next display is treated with a little more respect, like this interactive oasis from BM 2016 apparently was.