Star on cross

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Project by Crooozin posted 10-18-2018 06:40 PM 1031 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Final piece.

The star: padouk, purpleheart, and black walnut.
The background and cross: purpleheart, “african mohagany,” and end-cut cherry.
The border: “african mohagany”

The entire structure is halfway-buried in epoxy. It’s hard to tell in the pictures but what that does is gives an additional illusion of the star extending outward from the cross. (The epoxy also helps keep everything together, there are no fasteners.)

The idea: A few years ago, I was pronounced clinically dead on the table in an ER operating room after a motorcycle accident. I guess there were other plans! I sometimes wish I knew what the plan was, but that’s a topic for a different time and place. So the piece is personal.

The star signifies birth; the cross of course signifies death, but has implications in other ways (the cross we sometimes bear, unknowingly giving up things we hold dear). Because the star is actually cut in half in the x-y plane by the epoxy, it also signifies a re-birth in the middle of my life. The endgrain cherry makes an interesting “glow” at the end of the shorter star points, and is a nod to my burgeoning interest in gazing at the heavens. The grain directions of the mahogany were set up that way for the same reason, but also to contrast the longer points made of walnut; I also liked the idea of a “supernova.” I chose a darker wood for the main points to describe how birth (and rebirth) is the beginning of our journey, for which the path is often not known/obscured; the brighter padouk and purpleheart describe how hindsight is always 20/20, and life is beautiful if I take the time to look.

I’m an engineer during the day, so I had calculated all of the necessary angles beforehand given my desired final size using my handy-dandy slide rule.

The entire thing was done on my 1956 DeWalt RAS, inherited from its original owner. There is not a single cut that would have been easier on my table saw (which mostly just collects dust from the RAS)- the 3D star points in particular are well-suited to the RAS. Setup was a snap, and I didn’t use a single jig other than some end stops and clamps. I’m definitely in the “FOR” camp when it comes to a well-aligned, well-maintained RAS vs. a table saw- except for long rips, which I think the table is better suited. The torque placed on the arm during a rip on the RAS has always messed with the alignments a little more than I care for, especially when something goes wrong.

I did end up having to replace the bottom middle inner padouk piece which abuts the bottom walnut point, which got dinged when I dropped that chisel on it accidentally; the damage is visible in the picture.

The 4th picture shows the beginning of a mockup using oak, and shows the 3 dimensional structure of the points.

I am going to make a similar 3D star structure for a rose compass that will go above a dining room table light, with the top point pointing to true north; only that one is going to be bigger (with different angles for the small vs. large points, like a rose compass is supposed to be)- and a matching 12-point clock. Both of these will have single pieces for the star points, instead of 2.

4 comments so far

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4488 days

#1 posted 10-18-2018 08:14 PM

Very Nice Project & Well Done!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View AnthonyS's profile


8 posts in 1313 days

#2 posted 10-18-2018 11:59 PM

Wow super nice..Its obvious He is not done with you

View Ivan's profile


17282 posts in 4323 days

#3 posted 10-19-2018 04:03 AM

So beautiful and complex work.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

10050 posts in 3784 days

#4 posted 10-19-2018 01:19 PM

Awesome project and story behind it….

Glad you were spared to share it with us.

God has blessed you.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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