Ship's Wheel and Telegraph

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Project by jbschutz posted 05-23-2014 01:46 PM 1568 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ship’s Wheel and Telegraph I volunteer at The Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, MN. The children’s education curator, gave me a ship’s wheel salvaged from a small harbor tug, ”The Caw”, and asked if I could make something that would allow the kids to play with it and imagine piloting a large ship. It took me a while, but finally I decided that the wheel alone was not enough…..they had to communicate with the engine room. So, I set about trying to make a ship’s telegraph to go with it.
I delivered it yesterday, and the staff was thrilled. They will put a “high seas” graphic on the wall so the youngsters can pilot the ship to safe harbor.
The telegraph has a segment of a coffee can in the center, each end is an turned oak disk, sporting a telegraph graphic l borrowed from an internet image source…..protected by a plexiglas disk. Inside the coffee can is a “squirrel cage” with a small bell inside, so that it jingles softly as the speed and direction changes are sent.
The pedestal is a hexagon, made of 1×4 pine and stands 42 inches tall. The platform is a 36×40 inch piece of 3/4 inch oak faced plywood. All the oak parts are stained Minwax “Manor Oak”, the pedestal is painted ivory, and everything is coated with a protective coat of poly spar varnish.
Next, I want to sit in the children’s are of the museum and watch them imagining…........?

-- jbschutz

8 comments so far

View Vince's profile


1267 posts in 4235 days

#1 posted 05-23-2014 02:15 PM

Nice work

-- Vince

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3098 days

#2 posted 05-23-2014 02:23 PM

Looks great—very nicely done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View JL7's profile


8773 posts in 3771 days

#3 posted 05-23-2014 02:34 PM

That is really clever John! What a great distraction for the kids. Well done.

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3759 days

#4 posted 05-23-2014 05:43 PM

Your ingenuity never fails to amaze me. From cow bell stands to maritime adventure. Great invocation of the seagoing spirit for the young’uns at the museum. I can see ‘em now spinning the wheel and shouting “Avast there!! Bring ‘er up into the wind!!” Nice work. It will bring joy to many, I’m certain.

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

View Mean_Dean's profile


7048 posts in 3953 days

#5 posted 05-24-2014 12:18 AM

Great looking wheel and telegraph! I’m sure the kids will have hours of fun imagining piloting at ship at sea!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3610 days

#6 posted 05-24-2014 12:45 AM

Full speed ahead…....Oh wait, that’s a different piece of machinery. Nicely done

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View kiefer's profile


5731 posts in 3473 days

#7 posted 05-24-2014 02:48 AM

Well done well done John !
Turning an old item like this into a inspirational display is awesome and a great gift to the young generation and creating interest in the past .


-- Kiefer

View Boxguy's profile


2879 posts in 3073 days

#8 posted 05-24-2014 04:30 AM

John, my three-year-old grandson would love this. Great job. What a nice design.

-- Big Al in IN

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