Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Longest wooden chain-world record set by Markley
Hickory Corners, MI, USA -- Markley Noel
has finished carving a 480 foot long wooden chain from a single
plank of maple which contains 1993, 4 inch by 1 1/2 inch links,
that are cut from a 25 foot by 2 foot plank of maple-setting
the new world record for the Longest
Photo: After nine years in the making,
Markley Noel has finished carving a 480 foot long wooden
chain from a single plank of maple at his shop in Hickory
The continuous chain of interlocked wooden
links was carved from a single slab of wood measuring 25 feet
long, about 25 inches wide and 2.5 inches thick. The 1,993
links are 4 inches long by about 1.5 inches wide and about
a half inch thick.
He compared his Longest
wooden chain to climbing Mount Everest or attempting
some other major feat. "I think everybody has the need to
really do something that's larger than they are," he said.
Plus, Noel added, the project in part is an attempt to be
recognized as an artist. "I want to be an eccentric artist
for a while," he said.
By carefully measuring and marking off about
15 rows -- or what he calls courses -- on the plank, Noel
was able to sketch out alternating horizontal and vertical
interlocking links. As he carefully carved out each link,
he created an interlocking pattern.
Noel said the links cannot be broken or
glued back together or they would violate the rules.
The retired builder started the project
in October 2001 when he cut down a silver maple tree from
his father's woodlot in Augusta. When he started the project,
Noel carefully cut three slabs of wood from his father's tree.
But he only used one of the slabs for his "Chain of Life."
Because the slab had to dry for a year, Noel wasn't
able to cut his first link from it until December 2002. During
the previous year, he applied a green wood stabilizer to the
slab to help minimize cracking as it dried.
He said it took him about six weeks to carve
the interlocking links from the top row of the plank, which
was set up on its side in his wood shop. Each link took about
an hour and a half to carve, using a variety of tools but
mainly a rotary carving tool.
"I found as I was working on it," he
said, "if I didn't remain focused on it, I would kind of start
to overcarve them or they'd get too small or have imperfections
in them. "What I do is it's almost like yoga, and I try to
think about nothing but what I'm doing right in front of me.
"I used it almost like therapy. And then as it
went on, it became an obsession."
Related world records:
Ball of Paper-world record set by Enrique Miramontes and Ricardo
sock monkey-world record set by Cherylle Douglas
Coin-like Medallion-world record set by Damas
bracelet (chain of beds)-world record set by Alayna Salter
hand written Bible-world record set by Sunil Joseph
string of prayer beads-world record set by Mustafa Kara
quilt-world record set by Daphne O’Connor
Kurta-world record set by Pakistani craftsmen
wheat paddock-the Coggan family sets world record
September 2, 2009