Wood is an amazing material — it’s strong, malleable, and it literally grows on (or should I say, in?) trees. Depending on the type of tree, wood can be light and heavy, stiff and flexible, soft and hard. It can be carved, steamed, pressed and shaped in ways limited only by the technical prowess and imagination of its shaper. Humans have used it as a building material since the advent of tools, and contemporary designers often choose it in place of more modern substances like metal and plastic. Here are nine of the craziest things made of wood.
22 left, 42 right, 13 left. Most of us had our first experience with combination locks in high school with lockers. Those locks were made from metal — the better to keep out unwanted visitors. Matthias Wandel took another tack and built his lock using wood. You wouldn’t want to use his lock to protect your valuables, but it’s great for understanding how a combo lock actually works.
Compared to a bicycle, a motorcycle requires an added touch of genius to pull off in wooden form. This wooden motorcycle is a replica of an 1895 design by famed automotive engineer and industrialist Gottlieb Daimler.
This Hungarian-made bike is built with mostly wooden parts, even the wheels. I can’t imagine it’s very efficient mileage-wise, but it is mostly biodegradable. Plus, this wooden hog looks a lot more functional and rocks plenty of steampunk appeal.
You wouldn’t take this calculator with you to a math test, but it does a fair job of adding up numbers — if you don’t mind entering your calculations in binary. This calculator uses marbles and switches to add the numbers together.