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Driftwood Generator

A small pool to create driftwood
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The product is simple, to mimic nature's art. A small pool of water with a tide generator gently tosses wood into a pile of rocks and sand. Within a few days, the wood gets naturally rounded and sanded down.

Experimentation on different shapes and types of wood yield different results. Other bouyant materials can be used as well.

Some benefits:

Not having to go to the beach to find the right driftwood for your project.

Leaving the beach intact, no need to get driftwood there.

Using shaped wood to manipulate the shape of your driftwood.

The sound of the beach in your backyard(although, not nearly as loud).

Micro R/C surfing. Well, maybe that's a stretch.

destructionism, Aug 11 2004

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       Maybe a vibratory tumbler as used for deburring metal would work. Certainly wouldn't be as interesting to look at though.
half, Aug 11 2004
  

       Use a washing machine, or a cement mixer.
angel, Aug 11 2004
  

       I really like this one. Although, to work properly, I don't think it should //gently toss// anything. Who knows how many years driftwood has spent on the high seas? Driftwood, by definition, must spend a lot of time drifting. Sometimes - by an accident of tides and suchlike - it gets deposited on a shore. Who knows how long that process takes? I'm guessing years, if not decades.   

       So to speed the process up you'd probably need something more like a seawater grit blender. Almost like a tankfull of pirhanas, but without the organic bits. I'd like a little tank in which I could dip a stone or a newly plucked branch, watch the water roil and bubble for about five minutes, and then pull out an almost-genuinely water-seasoned artefact.   

       Of course, it would have to have lots of stickers around it saying "this is not a Jacuuzzi". Because that's a party you don't want to have...
lostdog, Aug 11 2004
  

       This is one of the more useless and impractical ideas I have seen here. I love it. ++
sartep, Aug 12 2004
  

       You could rent it out for log driving practice.   

       [lostdog] If I'm not mistaken, once wood has been in water long enough, it eventually gets waterlogged and sinks. Time span I have no idea about. I'll keep trying to find out about how long driftwood takes to create.
destructionism, Aug 12 2004
  

       But .. isn't the most important aspect of a found item work the serendipity factor? This encourages some serious fudging via the manipulation. Also, you've removed the introspective, get-in-touch-with-nature ambling inherent it this type thing. I suppose you get the experimentation in return. I'm neutral.
bpilot, Aug 12 2004
  

       [bpilot] One of the greater things in life is to comb the beach, finding all sorts of cool stuff. Driftwood is, by nature, a completely random creation, no two pieces are the same. Inherent with driftwood are the questions of where it might have came from, and how old it really is. Something I've noticed lately though, is that driftwood isn't quite as common though. I think it could be blamed on everyone gathering all the pieces up for keepsakes. With a driftwood generator, you might not get the natural factor, but still have similar results. People from all areas can make their own driftwood, not just those privy to a beach or lake area. This would allow people to walk down the beach, find a great piece of driftwood, admire it, and leave it there for others to enjoy as well.
destructionism, Aug 13 2004
  

       Hmm.. fair enough; the last point outweighs my other objections. [+]
bpilot, Aug 13 2004
  

       Yep, this is in the "useless but beautiful" category.
django, Aug 13 2004
  

       Alot of what makes driftwood look and feel the way it does is because it is extremely porous. It get that way by water moving THROUGH it, washing the wood apart. The longer it does this, the more porous the wood becomes till it falls apart. It is an extremely slow process (steaming through the wood might work). I don't think your idea will create driftwood. I do however think it would make really cool carvings if you turned up the speed of the water and added sharper stuff to grind on. So good fishing! Here's a croissant for you
Around TUIT, Aug 14 2004
  

       Thinking about what you said, maybe I should put a heating element in the water? Freshwater and ocean driftwood both exsist, and for the life of me I can't tell any differences other than one is salty. I suppose salt content wouldn't really matter.   

       One last thought. I was at a river not too long ago and happened to find driftwood inside a rock crevass, large enough to let water wash in and out of it, but too small to allow the wood to get in and out. The river at the time was flooded, and had been for a week. Oddly enough, the driftwood was perfectly created, quite smooth and rounded. It makes me think either this was the effect of the high waters, or it had been in there since the last time the water had gotten that high, about 12 years ago.
destructionism, Aug 14 2004
  

       Salt is the pump that moves water through the cells in the body.   

       A wave electricity (salt water, the sun ) smacking the wood around might speed things up.   

       That log you found sounds cool. Maybe sand & salt water blasting? Just hold the wood in place and crave your own driftwood sculpture? Cool!
Around TUIT, Aug 14 2004
  
      
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