Wall hanging piece entitled "Parallel Worlds?"
 Starting Date: October 2010
 Completion Date: October 2010
 Inspiration: Chris H. Becksvoort
 Size: 26.5" X 19.5"
 Wood Species: Cherry, Jatoba and Yellow Birch
 Finish: Polymerized Tung Oil Sealer and Polymerized Tung Oil
 Materials Source: Lee Valley  56Z46 and  56Z45
 Additional References: Chris H. Becksvoort, "4 Ways to Make Panel Pop", Fine WoodWorking magazine, Volume 211, August 2010, p.48-53

I was intrigued after reading this Fine WoodWorking article and had yet to put my Router Circle Jig through a real challenge. I could not resist the temptation to play in the woodshop...

I carefully selected 3 cherry boards for color and grain match. I glued the 3 boards together to make a wider board and did not give a second thought to what I was wanting to achieve with this, other than testing my new Jig. I then hand Planed the wide board flat with a #6 Fore Plane and made it 0.65" thick. Since I wanted to dig openings at the intersections of the top and bottom router passes, I selected a Core Box Bit of 0.75" dia. to cut the concentric circles.

As so often happens when applying tools to a piece of wood, I became invested in the process and started to see surprising and unexpected things in the emerging shape. I rapidly realized that this could be a decorative piece on its own. The first few router passes that go beyond the plane established by the bottom of the cuts on the other side is a magical moment. From a decorative piece, I am now thinking "Art".

That was when the vision for "Parallel Worlds?" came to me.
What this piece represents: The half sphere on the bottom left represents the visible side of a "A multi colored World, full of diversity." and the concentric circles around it represents the infinite vastness of the universe. That infinite vastness surely begs the question: "Couldn't there be another world elsewhere just like this one? A Parallel World?"  You then start thinking about how this piece would look if seen from the other side. You then see the possibility for the existence of that other world hidden behind the bottom right side circle. But then, you also notice there is a concentric rib missing on the front side. That missing rib does not appear to be missing (it is not!) on the other side. This certainly means that the interpretation of what you see, and believe, is based on your vantage point and is therefore unique. So, could there be a Parallel World out there?


  • The thickness of the wood and the size of the Router bit must be selected based on the design you want to achieve.
  • Make shallow cutting passes with the router to minimize tearout and final sanding time.
  • Make the size of the workpiece at least two inches larger than you are planning for the final size. Trimming to final size is the last step.
  • Avoid having knots in the wood panel to further minimize final sanding time.
  • The routing and subsequent hand sanding operations will create a mountain of chips and dust. Dust Protection is a must for this project.
  • Use a short length of round heavy gauge electrical extension cord to support the sandpaper and conform to the valley between the ribs while sanding. Be careful to not change the shape/width of the ribs.

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