The Wooden Chain

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?”

When I was much younger I read a short story in which a character spent much of his free time carving a wooden chain out of a long branch. Ever since I read that, the idea stuck in my imagination. There’s something really cool about taking a continuous unit like a tree branch and producing discreet but connected segments. I saw a couple links someone made this summer and decided to try it.

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I sawed out the corners of the piece of wood I was using and sawed the space between links on each side.

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Then I spaced the links a little and started to make the first hole in the middle of a given link, between the two links it connects to. Once I carved the basic shape of the inside of a link in the middle, I sawed between the links in every way that I can.

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Once I’m done sawing, the links are connected only by a small piece between their two ends. I’ve had some trouble making enough space for me to carve that out with smaller tools, while keeping the chain structurally intact.

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Then I cleaned the links up a little so that that they move smoothly.


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