Threw a Log on a Mill with No Plan

My entire goal for this project was to convince a machinist at CU to allow me to mount a log to a machine mill with no plan at all and just see what happens. Fortunately I was able to convince Mark, the head machinist at the shop in the ITLL to let me do this. He was hesitant because saw dust can get caught up deep inside of the components of a mill due to how fine it is, but his interest in what was going to happen overpowered the potential issues. IMG_1090IMG_1090


The first step was to debark the log and sand off the outer layer of wood that has been damaged by the outside environment. Once the piece was ready, I cut two flats in order to mount onto the vice of a mill. Midway through my machining process, I decided that this log’s destiny was to be a chandelier. So I hollowed out the inside in order to insert a light bulb, and left some stable supports on the side with gaps between them to allow light to travel through.



My next step is to attach a variety of stones I found down at boulder creek to the frame of the soon to be chandelier. As you see in the image above, the process is underway. I am not totally sure what my next steps are, but I’ll think of something!


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • I love your project’s concept, and I think it is the epitome of originality: just throwing a log on a lathe with no plan and milling it down through stream of consciousness is a fantastic concept. The whole project, from finding a log to convincing the head machinist to let you put it on the lathe is fantastic. I love the originality and creativity and I can’t wait to see where you go with the chandelier.

  • I love that you used all natural materials and it is an interesting idea to start creating without a plan. Did the final product turn out the way you envisioned it? I enjoy the the texture difference between the wood and rock. My only concern is that it might be a very heavy chandelier. I can’t wait to see the final product!

  • Love the idea. Sometimes art happens along the process. I like how free the project is and am looking forward to seeing the final product. Nice work talking your way into using the mill with no drawings too!

  • Sounds like you designed a process rather than a product. Good, fine, but don’t stop there!


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