"88 Space Race"

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Project by Triumph1 posted 03-12-2019 06:25 PM 753 views 2 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just can’t get enough of these beautiful vintage works of art! The next hood ornament that caught my eye is from a 1958 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. I wanted to do a sculpture that really made it come alive. The name came from the fact that the actual Space Race was going on when this car was manufactured.

The main portions of the body are made from Black Walnut and a crazy spalted, quilted, birdseye maple. The two woodS are separated with a three piece stack of a black veneer and a maple veneer. The base pieces are curly maple and Wenge. The black walnut was carved to perfectly match the curvature of the hood ornament. There is not a flat portion to it except for the bottom. Lots of carving with Foredom/burr bits and then final shaping was done with rasps. It starts as a point at the front and opens to a flat portion towards the back end. This shape represents high speed to me.

There was a cavity under the nose of the hood ornament that I thought looked better filled. I carved a piece of Shedua to perfectly fit in the cavity and share the same curve as the nose.

The rocket blast was turned out of a piece of hard maple. I carved the end to fit into a slot on the back of the hood ornament. I made sure that when I attached it the grain was running in a way that accented the whole piece.

“88 Space Race” was finished with five soakings of Danish Oil and two waxings.

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

18 comments so far

View majuvla's profile


14197 posts in 3201 days

#1 posted 03-12-2019 07:03 PM

So unique shape and project.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View pottz's profile


4765 posts in 1318 days

#2 posted 03-12-2019 07:07 PM

thats a true art piece,any lover of olds would love that.nice work.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View SPalm's profile


5332 posts in 4215 days

#3 posted 03-12-2019 08:26 PM

Wow. Absolutely beautiful.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View WayneC's profile


14349 posts in 4431 days

#4 posted 03-12-2019 08:57 PM

What a cool piece of art.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View savannah505's profile


1832 posts in 3920 days

#5 posted 03-12-2019 08:59 PM

Pretty cool Jeff, looks like it’s about to blast off in 3..2…1..ignition…...

-- Dan Wiggins

View gbear's profile


521 posts in 4433 days

#6 posted 03-12-2019 09:44 PM

I love this…what a beautiful piece of art and history!!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View shipwright's profile


8273 posts in 3131 days

#7 posted 03-12-2019 11:45 PM

Another work of automotive art brought back to life as only you can Jeff.
This one’s for you.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View bushmaster's profile


3601 posts in 2616 days

#8 posted 03-13-2019 01:14 AM

stunning. beautiful

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View oldrivers's profile


1644 posts in 1900 days

#9 posted 03-13-2019 02:40 AM

Absolutely a beautiful work of art.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Jacksdad's profile


230 posts in 758 days

#10 posted 03-13-2019 03:55 AM

Was this at the Milwaukee woodworking show

View Triumph1's profile


929 posts in 3413 days

#11 posted 03-13-2019 11:45 AM

I really want to thank all you guys for all the great comments and following my pieces for what turns out to be …many, many years! I am very thankful for that. I can’t wait to show you the large piece I am currently working on. I probably have at least 100+ more hours to put into it…but I will share it with all of you as soon as it is done!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View Triumph1's profile


929 posts in 3413 days

#12 posted 03-13-2019 11:46 AM

Was this at the Milwaukee woodworking show

- Jacksdad

Hi Jeff (great name by the way :) )

Yes, I brought it up there Saturday morning. Very happy to say it won the Educators Choice Award!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 3765 days

#13 posted 03-13-2019 12:36 PM

One of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen on Lumberjocks period. Just begs to be touched. You get the sense of outer space and speed from it…not sure why but it does that for me. Just awesome work. Thanks for sharing with us.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View eztrigger's profile


159 posts in 2261 days

#14 posted 03-13-2019 01:08 PM

That thing really does look like it’s in motion. i’m not usually into the abstract pieces, but this one really drew me in. thanks for sharing.

-- "Some get spiritual 'cause they see the light, and some 'cause they feel the heat." --Ray Wiley Hubbard

View olderkirk's profile


10 posts in 195 days

#15 posted 03-13-2019 01:10 PM

Just as a cross reference, “Rocket 88” by Ike Turner is one of the songs most often mentioned as the “original” rock and roll song. Your gorgeous sculpture remains me of that song, but even more of Steppenwolf’s “fire both of your guns at once and explode into space.” Great work, thanks for sharing—Olderkirk

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