vespa made of hardwood

Hardwood is mainly used for flooring, panelling, fencing and outdoor decking, however, it has many other uses you might not have considered. People across the world have been using it for its traditional ways for hundreds of years, but in more recent years, people are starting to get creative. From wooden cars to bacon flavouring, Timber 2 U Direct, love discovering strange and interesting uses for wood. We thought we would take you through some of our favourites! 

A Practice Torpedo

Fleet Air Museum in Somerset is home to our first obscure use of hardwood. This item was caught in a fishing net off the south coast of the UK in 1972. When it was first recovered, it was covered in barnacles and other sea growths. A bomb disposal team were called to investigate but concluded it to be non-explosive and not dangerous. It was determined to be a practice torpedo from the 1940’s made of Oak.

Bacon Flavour 

Bacon – it’s loved by many and tastes great, but what gives it that perfect flavour? It’s hardwood! The smoky flavour of bacon comes from the wood chip smoking process. Woodchips are placed on heated coals, and they burn evenly to produce a consistent stream of smoke. This flavours the meat. Hardwood is the preferred wood to use as softwoods can release harmful toxin resins when burnt and you don’t want your bacon tasting of those (not to mention its highly toxic). Hickory and Applewood are two of the most popular choices for smoky bacon. 

Hardwood Vespa 

One carpenter in Portugal with a love for motorbikes decided to make a Vespa-style scooter entirely from wood. This Vespa is completely functional and took ages to build. The carpenter started with a frame before bending and laminating layers of wood together. The Vespa included hand grips, break handles and a saddle that were also all made of wood. He added springs for shock absorption however, this bike was not made to be ridden for long periods of time. 

Handbags

Handbags have been made of many things and the fashion industry is known for pushing the boundaries with this. Hardwood handbags are a fashion statement and there are many companies across the world that hand make them for customers. These wooden handbags do not have a low-price tag, with one company in Turkey selling them for around £300! 

Mirror Made of Wood 

No, this isn’t a wooden mirror frame, this is an actual wooden mirror. Wooden Mirror was an interactive sculpture built by Daniel Rozin in 2014. It consisted of non-reflective square wooden pixels. The pieces were able to reflect any object or person in front of it, as if by magic. Sadly, no magic was used here. The hundreds of blocks responded to input from concealed cameras that would tell them when to shift and rotate as people moved in front of it. The shades of the ‘reflection’ emerged using the combination of light, shadows, and wood grain that move when a viewer interacts with them. There is something a little off putting about a traditionally non-reflective surface being able to reflect our image back to us.

Hardwood Bath Tub 

This sounds like a very bad idea but trust us – it works! The idea of waterproof wood came from China at the end of the 17th century. Many families owned porcelain crockery, and this meant sinks needed to be made of wood instead of stone. The sinks did leak but they were soft enough to ensure the porcelain didn’t break. Over the years, companies have taken this concept to produce reliable waterproof wood that has been made into sinks, baths, basins, and shower trays. This twist on home interior is a talking point for any home and adds an instant unique value to your property! 

A Functional Phone

A student doing a PHD at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) built a fully functioning phone made of wood. The first prototype of the phone had an LCD display and could work with any SIM card and any GSM network. The body of the phone was made of laser cut wood that had flexures beneath the surface so you could press the buttons. This phone was estimated to have cost around $150 making it a lot cheaper than an iPhone; however, it was only able to make and receive phone calls. 

Supercar

Livio De Marchi, an Italian man from Venice, decided to make his daily life a little easier by building a wooden Ferrari. Venice is known for its waterways instead of roads and De Marchi was fed up with the waterways being full of yachts and water taxis. He decided to build his own floating Ferrari. This Ferrari was a close replica of the actual cars, complete with classic wheels and distinctive air vents. The car took 5 months to carve, and it weighed 200 pounds! He still managed to ride it through the Venice canals successfully. This wasn’t the first time De Marchi had floated down the Grand Canal in a crazy invention; he had previously floated down in Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, a wooden 1937 Jaguar and a Mercedes 300L gullwing. 

Hardwood Ideas

Have you got any weird and wonderful hardwood DIY projects you want to try yourself? Maybe you’ve got the next wooden fashion statement, or a revolutionary piece of wooden technology stored in your head? If you do, you’re going to need some supplies. Here at Timber 2 U Direct, the online trading arm of Brooks Bros LTD, we have a wide range of made to measure hardwood and softwood timber available to order online. We will even deliver your selection of timber directly to your doorstep from one of our many timber yards across the UK, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to fit it in the car. For more information on any of our products do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today or call us on 0115 993 1111.