A Tree of 511 Interconnected Pliers Carved from a Single Block of Wood by Ernest Warther

pliers-1
Photo by Paul & Margery Zeller

pliers-2
Photo by Paul & Margery Zeller

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Photo by SneakinDeacon

As the story goes, Ernest “Mooney” Warther was a boy growing up in Ohio when he encountered a man who taught him how to carve a pair of working pliers from a single piece of wood—using just 10 cuts. Whether it was that single epiphany, or the machinations of his incredibly inquisitive mind, Warther would quickly become one of this most notable wood carvers in America.

Warther’s most significant carving before he changed his focus almost exclusively to locomotives, was a tree created from 511 interconnected pliers using the same technique he learned as a child. The piece required some 31,000 cuts and each branch can fully articulate like a functional pair of pliers all the way down to the base of the trunk. Watch the video above to see Warther’s son David demonstrating the technique (seriously, it’s almost miraculous at the end, well worth a quick watch).

If you want to see more of Warther’s work, there’s an entire museum in Ohio where you can also view is wife Frieda’s meticulously organized collection of 100,000 buttons. (via Atlas Obscura)

Update: An earlier version of this post stated the person in the video above is Ernest, when in fact it’s his son, David. (thnx, Natalia!)

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