"Ike's Gamble" - A D-Day Tribute

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Project by NDVermin posted 06-06-2015 01:48 PM 4300 views 2 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“Ike’s Gamble”

-A D-Day Tribute-

Well my first project on Lumberjocks was also a WW2 firearm related piece which caused a bit of a stir, so I’m curious if this one will as well (although the other one featured the “bad guys” which may have added some fuel to the fire). On this 71st anniversary of D-Day I wanted to share a project which I long planned for and recently finished.

I’m definitely a bit of a WW2 history buff and after a visit to Normandy some four years ago I have been wanting to build a display to feature both the sand and soil I brought back from those famous battle sites as well as my own M1 Garand, a rifle made famous in WW2 and a significant factor in the Allied victory (just ask Gen. Patton).

Perhaps this is self-explanatory but I wanted the piece to both honor the men who planned and participated in this great invasion while telling some of the story and the plan. The name of it of course honors Dwight Eisenhower who as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force had the weight of the go/no go decision fall on his shoulders alone when his team was split due to potentially disastrous weather conditions. He took a gamble and sent them in, while also taking the time to write a press release stating the invasion had failed and assuming full responsibility (just in case it was needed).

The inside map displays the main attack zone for Operation Overlord with landing craft representing the nations assigned to particular beaches (US, British, and Canadian). Mirrored below is the unit patch of the main division (along with their often famous nicknames) assigned to assault each location, in addition to sand or soil I collected from each spot.

The rifle as stated is a Springfield M1 Garand which most of the Americans would have been carrying that day. This particular one was manufactured in January of 1942 so who knows, perhaps it was there? It is sporting a new stock (Until I can find a good WW2 one) which is why the wood itself looks so clean.

Some quick notes on the details (because this is the part I really enjoy):
- The shield on the front is a CNC carved representation of the patch of the office of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). This was Ike’s department. Doing some research on this I found out the flaming sword stands for the military might of the Allies cutting though the black background representing Nazi oppression/tyranny, with the wide blue being the blue skies of peace they were fighting towards (after the war the entire patch was changed to a blue background). The multi-color stripes represent the individual allied nations. I thought this was pretty interesting – someone put some thought into that design.
- The stripes on the top represent the invasion stripes which were painted on every Allied plane from D-Day on to avoid friendly fire incidents.
- The white star with circle represents the star often used on US armor and jeeps during that period.
- The M1 cartridges are real but have already been fired with bullets replaced and are NOT live, so no, they can’t be loaded and fired by anyone walking by! If you don’t know how to load a Garand it will pretty much take your thumb off for fun anyway. An unintentional safety feature, perhaps?
- The bayonet was the standard one issued for the Garand (it clips on the end of the barrel).
- Sadly the artwork on the top is not mine, I wish I had the skill, but it’s a lithograph by a talented artist named Bruce Walters. His website can be found here:

Sorry for the long write up. I hope at least a couple people found it interesting. If it isn’t obvious the project is mostly Walnut and Maple with a touch of Cherry because it carves better with my CNC.

I posted a somewhat lame attempt at a Youtube video showing some more closeups of the project:


-- Scott - and

27 comments so far

View CampD's profile


1818 posts in 4499 days

#1 posted 06-06-2015 02:12 PM

Fitting post on this anniversary of the “Day of all days”
My Farther was Navy and part of the armada, my Uncle, his brother was 82nd and indeed carried one.
Thanks for the post!

-- Doug...

View Beams37's profile


166 posts in 2203 days

#2 posted 06-06-2015 02:15 PM

What an awesome tribute!

-- FNG ... On a quest for knowledge.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3879 days

#3 posted 06-06-2015 02:33 PM

That is so creative and a wonderful tribute. You did a very nice job on this.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mdb5972's profile


22 posts in 2846 days

#4 posted 06-06-2015 03:29 PM

Nicely done.

View ksubenny's profile


74 posts in 2871 days

#5 posted 06-06-2015 04:37 PM

Excellent work and a wonderful tribute

View oldnovice's profile


7700 posts in 4380 days

#6 posted 06-06-2015 06:40 PM

A real tribute and exceptional project!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Richard's profile


1944 posts in 3703 days

#7 posted 06-06-2015 06:51 PM

Beautiful job on this and I don’t see how anyone could have a problem with it. Unless they were on the Other Side.

View Northwest29's profile


1707 posts in 3503 days

#8 posted 06-06-2015 06:54 PM

Very unusual and creative tribute to D-Day. Exceptionally well done and crafted. Thank you for sharing with us.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View NDVermin's profile


132 posts in 3583 days

#9 posted 06-06-2015 07:25 PM

Thanks for the kind words guys!

-- Scott - and

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2189 days

#10 posted 06-06-2015 07:37 PM

Thank you, my father was there. Good job.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4347 days

#11 posted 06-06-2015 07:58 PM

Very nicely designed tribute. I had some training with the Garand rifle during my hitch in Navy. You just had to be a little careful while inserting an ammo clip. A great rifle that could take a lot of abuse and surely much appreciated by our troops during WWII.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CFrye's profile


11179 posts in 2852 days

#12 posted 06-06-2015 09:35 PM

Very nice, project and history lesson, NDVermin. I was not aware of the meaning in the symbolism of the flaming sword. Thank you for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View robscastle's profile (online now)


7748 posts in 3217 days

#13 posted 06-06-2015 09:38 PM

Hello Scott,

For a “big hobyist” in woodworking you have done an amazing job.
Considering the effort you have gone to in the workshop and physically visiting the sites to collect sand, I wonder what the final cost of producing an item like this is.

Dont be making apoligies for the write up,its very well done and I would think those who are interested would read it more than once and then check back with the images.

Keep it safe and secure as collectors, Museums, Institutions, will be scrambling to get their hands on it.
No doubt then the costs in production would be more than recovered if it was to move.

I took a look at the utube video and it confirms that interest will be forthcoming on its purchase, lets see.

Hobyist indeed

I woud like to live near you!!

-- Regards Rob

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


786 posts in 4286 days

#14 posted 06-06-2015 09:46 PM


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View IAMike's profile


26 posts in 2500 days

#15 posted 06-07-2015 01:45 AM

Exceptional, amazing, just plain awesome. A very cool, thorough tribute to the Greatest Generation!

-- I'm thinking about starting a blog for my projects. It'll have to be called Woodworking By Dummies

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