Marco's Wooden Globe

Marco Aurelio Guimarães first told us about his marvelous wooden globe project in the letter below. (Click on the images at right for larger views.)

For a well-illustrated explanation of how the globe was designed and built, continue on to his excellent article, Making a Wooden Globe .

Dear Wood News ,

I'm a friend of Dilo Marcio Fernandino, whose article was just published in your online magazine. We both live in the same Brazilian city and we frequently talk to each other on the subject of woodworking — our common passion. However, there are two big differences between us. The first and the most important one is that I'm not so skilled or talented as Dilo (he does not agree with my own assessment). The second one is that we walk on different woodworking paths, since I also enjoy using power tools instead of hand tools exclusively. When I perform my works many tasks are made by hand, perhaps most of them. I'm basically a miniaturist and I appreciate creating processes, tools, jigs and gadgets, in order to achieve each respective result.

I'm a Highland Woodworking traditional customer at which excellent shop I have acquired some of my most important tools. After reading Dilo's (pronounced Dee-lou) article in Wood News and talking to him, I felt myself encouraged enough to submit for your consideration some photos (attached) from one of my works. As with Dilo, I've never sold any piece since I offer them as gifts to friends and family members. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not a professional woodworker at all.

In fact, I'm a 72-year-old retired engineer who now spends most of his time in fine woodworking and sculpting activities. The attached photos were taken during the whole working process and I have written — as Dilo has done — an explanation of each step, method, etc., from the start up to the last layer of varnish. Considering that said work was intended to be my wife's birthday gift, it is one of the few objects that still remains in our own possession.

Finally, I'd like to highlight some special building details not easily seen, as follows:

1. The globe sphere is made of hollow wood (imbuia, the Brazilian walnut) and is composed of 24 semi-calottes of spherical sectors for each hemisphere. These sectors (shaped like half watermelon slices) were glued tightly to one another but separated by a thin strip of gold in order to establish the equator line, the meridians and parallels.

2. All metal parts, such as columns, capitals, pedestals, inserts, figures, ornaments, etc., were sculpted by me and cast in gold.

3. I used around 24 different wood species (from many parts of the world, including Russia), all in solid wood and in their natural contrasting colors.

4. The continent masses, international boundaries, etc., are in their exact scale of 1:40,000,000.

5. Each country capital is geographically plotted by a real diamond gem.

6. The globe may be turned around its horizontal or vertical (North/South) axis making it possible to find any specific point by using the proper latitude and longitude marks (at each 5 degrees).

7. All the work components (excluding the marine compass embedded in the marble base) were made by myself using only woodworking tools.

In case you appreciate this suggestion for an article, please let me know and I will be pleased in sending you the correspondent full text.


Marco Aurelio R. Guimarães
Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

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