WALNUT CUBE PROJECT
One of the more interesting things about working for Marty is the occasional project that he drops off. An early example of this started on the day that he brought a chunk of a walnut tree root into the shop. The piece measured about 16” on each side. His question was “Do you think that you can make this pieces balance on one corner, and spin like a globe?” Well, I am not going to say no, so I said “Sure.” After he left, I looked at the cube for a while, and set it to the side where it would stay until I figured out exactly how to go about this project.
After a few weeks, a solution popped into my head and I got busy. The first thing that needed doing was to clean up the saw marks on all six sides. Once this was completed, I thoroughly taped up five of the sides and carefully poured clear epoxy down in the cube to start filling any gaps that could cause the cube to fall apart sometime down the road. After one side was poured and cured, I rotated the cube to another side, removed that tape and poured more epoxy. This went on for all six sides, and used approximately 1.5 gallons of epoxy.
After the cube was full, it was time to figure out how to cut off the corner that would become the bottom and rotational axis. I created a jig to hold the piece in place and carefully cut off a “pyramid” about 3” tall to create a flat surface which would attach to the rotating piece of the base. The base consists of a small section of a walnut tree about 24” in diameter.
Using the CNC router table, I created a stacked series of cylindrical pockets to accommodate the rotating piece which was attached to the cube, along with the Lazy Susan Hardware that allowed the piece to spin. Once it was determined that all of the pieces would work together, the cube was finished with an epoxy finish to allow the beauty of the grain to show through, as well as to provide a durable surface for folks to touch and spin the piece. The cube now resides at Mari Vineyards in traverse City, Michigan.