Watch an Expert Woodworker Carve Perfect Fibonacci Spirals with a Hand Chisel

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Woodworking is a prime example of how math is used in real-life scenarios, proving that these skills are useful long beyond test-taking in school. Woodworkers often have to learn all sorts of formulas and calculations to get the proportions of their creations just right – but the Fibonacci sequence – a series of numbers in which each one is the sum of the two numbers before it – isn’t seen quite as often as others. When you make a square with these widths (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and so on…) you get a beautiful spiral.

fibonacci sequence

In this short but immensely satisfying video, expert woodworker Paul Sellers shows us what it takes to create perfect Fibonacci spirals with a razor-sharp hand chisel.

Though Fibonacci developed his numerical sequence to provide a formula that’s used throughout many mathematical considerations, and mathematicians may enjoy its reality in their work, it also occurs naturally in elements of nature too. The nautilus shell is an example and so too the natural numbering system appears in the arrangement of plant leaves, pinecones, pineapple cones, rose petal arrangements and so much more. The scroll in the violin range of instruments relies on the same system. Though technically not a Fibonacci sequence, I thought you would enjoy what we put together here where we combine the art of woodworking with the art of video craft. Enjoy and share!

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Birth of a Wooden House: Watch a Log Cabin Get Built from Scratch

log cabin

Few of us have any concept of what it’s like to take on the responsibility of cutting down trees and using manual tools to painstakingly craft the timber into a completely handmade log cabin that’ll last for centuries to come.  The work – and skill – involved in the process is really kind of mind-boggling, but thankfully there are still craftspeople today who maintain the knowledge and practice of these techniques. This video posted on YouTube provides an overview, nearly start-to-finish, of a log cabin being built from scratch.

“I built my house from trees I felled with an axe and two man crosscut saw in my own forest,” says Jacob, a carpenter, craftsman and founder of John Neeman Tools. “In the building process I used mostly traditional carpenters hand tools – axes, hand saws, timber framing chisels and sticks, old Stanley planes, augers, draw knives and mostly human energy… in the walls, timber frame and roof construction there I used only wood joints and wooden pegs to hold the main construction together – no nails, screws or steel plates.”

“To preserve the wood from spoiling, frame posts, sills, top beams and final cladding boards are treated with fire and pine tar mixed with Tung oil. This wood preservation technique was adapted from the Japanese traditional wood preservation technique Shou Sugi Ban.”

“I have fulfilled my vision to build natural, ecological house with high thermal efficiency, low energy consumption, sustainable, using local materials such as – wood, stone, old and new clay bricks, moss, linen fibre, clay, water, lime, wheat flour, salt and wood shavings.”