Redwood & Mulberry Hanger

In addition to putting reclaimed lumber to good use, this reader-submitted project includes a handy tip for routing a profile on a uniquely-shaped piece of wood.

I made this last week. It’s about 18-1/2″ long. The back is redwood. The hooks are made from mulberry the city cleared from over the street and tossed in the woods here in my neighborhood. Satin poly finish on the redwood and spray laquer on the mulberry. Interestingly, the logs sitting on the concrete floor in my garage tried sprouting new stems and leaves for 5 months. Three years on it seems to have stopped.

Routing the profile on the dog-ear corners gave me cause to ponder. At only 5/16″ thick, I didn’t have a place for the guide bearing to ride and still get the profile I wanted from the bit I have. But on the router table, how would I keep the piece steady with only an inch or so against the fence? In the end I cut some scrap MDF at 45 degrees and used that as a push block against the fence and just held the two together and slid it past the bit. It worked so well I’m keeping the MDF stored under the router table.

- Dean Morrell

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Yellowstone Hotel Shares Marquetry on Grand Scale

1930s cartography, with woodworking panache!

1930s cartography, with woodworking panache!

If Yellowstone National Park is on your short list of future vacation destinations, be sure to stop and see Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel on the park’s northwest corner. It’s a wonderful vintage building in its own right, but the hotel also contains a remarkable example of marquetry you won’t want to miss! I stumbled on it almost by accident while staying there for a night last summer.

On the wall of the hotel’s lounge, just off the main lobby, there’s a huge map of the United States made almost entirely of wood. Designed and assembled in 1937 by Robert C. Reamer and W. H. Fay, the map measures 17 ft. 10 in. wide by 10 ft. 4 in. tall. It contains 15 types of wood from nine countries: zebrawood (Africa), lacewood and Oriental (sic) wood (Australia), Brazilian rosewood, satinwood (Central America), East Indian rosewood, gray and white harewood (England), English oak, Honduras mahogany, teak (India), as well as slash and straight-grained walnut, maple and burl redwood from the United States.

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