While the best (and easiest) ways to keep memories are through writings, photos, and videos, they aren’t quite as creative as what woodworker and filmmaker Frank Howarth has come up with.
Taking an ordinary wooden sphere, he engraves a terrain map of Newberry Crater —located in Central Oregon’s Deschutes Forest — onto the wood before encasing the whole thing in resin:
Howarth first imports a 3D model of the location into Fusion 360, where he fits the model into a 3.5-diameter sphere and sets the cam paths. Once finished, he uses a tapered bit with a small point to intricately cut the model into the wood.
After making a small enclosure on top for the resin, he can finally start pouring. A small problem rears its ugly head during the pouting process: the grooves on the inner part of the enclosure cause the resin to leak out. To remedy this, Howarth pops the whole thing into a pressure pod to stop as much resin from leaking out as possible. Once finished, he adds more resin to offset the leaks.
He takes the wood out of the pod and leaves it for an entire month before getting back to it. When he does, he cuts off the excess resin, pops the wood on a lathe, and starts cutting out the sphere.
With the wood half-finished, he changes the jaws of his lathe and starts cutting the resin.
Now that both sides are cut down to size, he can finally start rounding out the actual sphere. He keeps the carving blade almost horizontal when cutting the resin but angles it a bit lower when working on the wood.
Howarth takes the almost completely round sphere to a saw where he cuts of the bottom portion. He then takes it back to the lathe where he turns both wood and resin at the same time.
With the sphere complete, he takes his sander and starts sanding the sphere with 220-grit sandpaper before making his way to 600-grit sandpaper.
To cap things off, he adds some Yorkshire grit which polishes the sphere as well as adds a bit of finish to it.
There are a few bubbles in the resin which result from not drying the wood enough before casting, but for the most part, the sphere looks pretty cool. Apart from fixing the resin container and drying the wood more thoroughly, Howarth exclaims he would try a more prominent landmark like a mountain next time, as casting a crater doesn’t leave a whole lot of distinguishable features in the wood.