The "Mobius Cutting Board" - a homage oblique

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Project by vipond33 posted 05-02-2012 11:51 PM 7348 views 23 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The "Mobius Cutting Board" - a homage oblique
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Warning! Please put on your $400 sunglasses before viewing this post. Otherwise you might be blinded! or deleted! – but most likely not offended.

It all began when we were cruising the project pages quite recently, sweetcheeks and I, with me showing her your many, many wonders in wood. Eventually we decided to navigate over to SPalm’s page (for she likes his stuff).

Flipping the pages she stopped and pointed to one, the Mobius Cutting Board, and somehow without reading the title said “Dad, why is his box on a stand?”
“Why that’s because it’s not a….....uh, that’s because he wants to show it off better” I said, and we gazed and marveled for a little longer and moved on.

Project by SPalm posted 666 days ago 3130 views 48 times favorited 36 comments
The idea was born. For with that board Steve had rendered in 2D what was 3D or maybe even 5 or 6 dizzying dimensions and I wanted to turn it back; make a box that looked just the same.

But not so fast, not so simple for my dull brain. I started out by making a diamond shaped top and sides, for that’s what I could see, but the assembly geometry and veneer dimensions defeated me – me with my degree in philosophy and failing grades in math.
How was I going to make this make this ”without a lot of fancy measuring and cutting”? Couldn’t be done I thought. Fast forward to a dream last night and it hit me upside the head. A 2D object looks the same from any position (like the photo above) while a 3D cube is ever shifting. But from one perfect unvarying point they will merge into one and look identical. But only one point.

The Zen dream would have it this way: You are walking through a Japanese garden, making your way by stepping on stones placed in the manicured dirt. The next stone in front of you is somehow awkwardly placed and as you reach out your hand to steady yourself on a perfect post, you lift your gaze and in the middle distance discover a small opening cut into the bushes and through it see – a perfect flower, visible from nowhere else in the garden. “Ah, grasshopper, this is the ur flower, the picture in your mind, existing only for you, only for this moment”.

From there it was easy. I made a square box, scaled the photo and veneered it. It’s quite remarkable, perspective that is, and how your eye and brain play tricks. For the broad bands of veneer on my box are 1 3/4” wide while the parallelograms are only 1 1/8”. In SPalm’s board, all are the same.

Using photography I then turned it back into two dimensions and the ur moment. With the camera on a tripod carefully adjusted for that single point of view and adding 2500! watts of light from six directions to eliminate shadows and depth of field, it returned to its maker, 666 days later. (Scary number, this is where some of you pathetic non-believers go poof and are deleted).

It was some real bright in that room (I worked with my shades on) and when I was done I thought, sheesh, idiot, are you crazy? What a lot of work just to pull someones leg!
But then I remembered Russell Crowe (as John Nash) saying to a friend in the film “A Beautiful Mind” “There’s no point in being nuts if you can’t have a little fun”.

5” x 5” x 5” About 4 hrs.
Same woods, shellac and wax.
Build on LJ’s.

my homage of the source

the starter and finisher

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

28 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3019 days

#1 posted 05-03-2012 12:04 AM

Nice job. I got lost about halfway through your explanation…..LOL

Its a great piece.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3414 days

#2 posted 05-03-2012 12:07 AM

That is really wild lookin. Very kool. Your sales rep looks like she’s havin a gr8 time

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

View cwdance1's profile


1160 posts in 3869 days

#3 posted 05-03-2012 12:24 AM

That is by far the coolest looking design that I have seen.


View gbear's profile


528 posts in 4710 days

#4 posted 05-03-2012 12:25 AM

I’m so confused!

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View Spoontaneous's profile


1338 posts in 3940 days

#5 posted 05-03-2012 12:32 AM

Yeah… from now on, just show me the pretty pictures… my head hurts.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3108 days

#6 posted 05-03-2012 12:39 AM

Tsk, tsk, you didn’t put your sunglasses on now did you? You’re lucky you didn’t go poof.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2916 days

#7 posted 05-03-2012 12:54 AM

This is awesome, my daughter is not sure if it’s a box or a board. All I know is she wants me to make whatever it is. Nice job.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 3291 days

#8 posted 05-03-2012 12:55 AM

As you can see , I have my sunglasses on . I come prepared . If this was one of your exquisite games, then I know I would go crazy before mastering it ! It would probably have secret compatments with a hundred playing pieces and lasers to blind me if I made a wrong move. As it stands , this looks quite simple and so easy to make…...( not ! ) : D whew !

View patron's profile


13694 posts in 3951 days

#9 posted 05-03-2012 12:58 AM

great build you two

it looks fantastic
without shades
even from the gallows
over here

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3689 days

#10 posted 05-03-2012 01:11 AM

You’re just having waaaaay toooo much fun . . . wait fir meeeee!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View shipwright's profile


8453 posts in 3408 days

#11 posted 05-03-2012 01:16 AM

Great one Gene.

As coincidence would have it I was perusing isometric illusions on da google a few days ago and was looking at this page in particular. Check out the “Crazy Crate” a short scroll down. I thought “I gotta make one of these” but then procrastination (something I plan to get good at some day) got the better of me.

I love your piece. and good vision to figure it out.

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

View balidoug's profile


498 posts in 3089 days

#12 posted 05-03-2012 02:12 AM

Wow, how did your get the horizontal and vertical boards to interlace like that? Some kind of newfangled joinery?

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3108 days

#13 posted 05-03-2012 02:23 AM

Yes but the boards were very, very thin. Two business cards worth? Maybe.
The joint is from the Butte region in the mid-west USA.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3433 days

#14 posted 05-03-2012 02:44 AM

Come on you two, Gene, between you & Paul (your link) you’re messing with our brains, you guys are crazy :: ))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 3108 days

#15 posted 05-03-2012 03:12 AM

Oops, maybe too obscure/ fancy pants for my own good. I think I lost a few of you. It’s a box.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

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