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One of the best things about this job is that every week, mysterious boxes arrive and we get to open them. Inside we usually discover some of the newest and coolest tools about to hit the market; then we get to run into the shop and play with them, and write about them for you. But a box that arrived last week from John Economaki at Bridge City held something even better (at least to my childlike mind) , “Squiggle Wood.”  

This 6″ piece of 3/8″-thick beech (I think it’s beech) has a series of 88 evenly spaced alternating kerfs (44 on each side), that allows it to bend in both directions, and side to side (to a point). I don’t know that it has an intended use, but it’s ideal for rapping people on the head when they’re late with stories. And really, like my old Slinky, it’s just entertaining (both the Squiggle Wood and thwacking my fellow editors).

John cut this little piece of fun on the new Jointmaker Pro, a precision machine that uses an upside-down Japanese handsaw blade to make unparalleled glass-smooth cuts for joinery dovetails and more. Plus, it’s virtually dust-free and whisper quiet. We wrote about it in earlier blog posts, which you can read here. Even more fun, however, is to visit YouTube and watch the videos John posted of Squiggle Wood in action (no really, it’s in action).

I’ve been trying to come up with uses for Squiggle Wood, in addition to the aforementioned sap. A bit longer piece could make a nice bracelet. Or it could be the veneer substrate for a round dollhouse tabletop. Or…what do you think? The person who posts the best idea below (by Oct. 15) will win this piece of Squiggle Wood. My fellow editors will be happy to see it go.

, Megan Fitzpatrick

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Showing 6 comments
  • Narayan

    Affix a suction cup to one end.

    Affix a picture of Chris’ head on the other.

    And there you have it: the ultimate woodworker’s car accessory: The Chris Schwarz Squiggle Wood Bobble Head!

    (I get royalties, right?).

  • ving

    There must be a way to ‘animate’ it . . . a very long, V-shaped piece so cut and covered with a cloth ‘sock’ would make a very convincing ‘snake’ toy . . if it could be made to wiggle . . . cat toys . . . pieces in a sort of pinball game, that would bounce the ball in unpredictable directions .

  • Aaron Mashburn

    How about using it to hold business cards?

  • David

    Great way to cut kerfing for musical instruments.

  • Dave

    Very cool. I could see possibly making radical tambour doors with "roller coaster action" using this technique. 🙂

  • Woodiespassion

    Wow looks interesting – perhaps it will replace the old newspaper as most popular wacking devise? lol

    Yeh I agree – it has huge possibilities of curved veneering especially if it bends in two dimensions!

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