Excavators are to destroy things. But, even such a destructive machine can be the inspiration of art, as is evident in the wooden excavator. Rob Fischer’s Woodchuck & Co. Art studio recently completed the wooden excavator after the patient effort of 3000 man-hours. The wooden excavator is actually a 1/16 model of a Caterpillar 5230B front shovel, composed neatly of 4000 hardwood parts. The original Caterpillar model is 33.8 ft long, 24.6 feet wide, 24 feet tall, and it weighs above 720,000 pounds. The wooden excavator, on the other hand, has dimensions of 1.5ft x 2.1ft x 1.5ft.
The hardwood excavator is a giant toy, strong and heavy and semi-functional. Its semi-functionality of course does not imply that the wooden excavator can move blocks of wood from one place to another, yet it does mean that some excavator movements have been imparted to the wooden excavator. The tracks roll well, the cylinders are completely extendable and the jaws too open. The only difference is that the components are made of hardwood and not steel. What is most interesting is that the excavator also has a touch of mystery. There actually is a secret storage compartment, which the maker describes as “Someplace to keep the key”. Quite an important utility this seems to be, given the importance of keys in our lives.
Of course, it does not “work”, does not imply that it is a cheap deal. This wooden excavator has been made available as a collector’s item at 39,500 USD on Etsy. This excavator is truly an interesting of art, an attempt to take the steel out of the destructiveness of an excavator.