This Insanely Intricate Nautical Door Will Keep the Kraken Out

Woodworking Workshop
This Insanely Intricate Nautical Door Will Keep the Kraken Out

Sometimes an artist downplays the work they’ve done. In this case John Hansen casually shows us his project, a “wooden nautical door” that is simply jaw dropping. He casually explains that it is all made of wood, and how it works, but WOW look at this thing! He’s barely scratching the surface of what is going on here!

I talked to John a bit about the build and he supplied some additional thoughts and info:

Thіѕ hаѕ no screws оr fasteners іn іt, all of the wооd (1000 ріесеѕ tоtаl) is jоіnеd tоgеthеr wіth gluе аnd joinery. The wооdѕ used аrе sapele, оаk, сhеrrу, tеаk, еbоnу, ipe, bamboo, walnut, mарlе and ѕоmе 5.2mm MDF fоr the iris parts. Thе сеntеr іrіѕ has 8 blades оn еасh ѕіdе for a tоtаl of 16, and they аll mоvе tоgеthеr wіth оnе turn оf thе knоb. There аrе аbоut 150 раrtѕ іn thе іrіѕ аlоnе.

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Watch this build video to get a bit more detail on what is going on here. Any single piece of this door is a work of art, and all together it is just mind boggling. From multiple layered pieces of art like the octopus and koi to the smoothly functioning mechanical iris and door locks. This is the kind of thing that deserves to be in a museum!

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I asked what he’d do differently if he were to start over.

I think I would make the mechanisms for opening and closing the iris and the lock with a lever action instead of a turning one. For me, it takes too long to open the locking mechanism and the iris. I could have made a simple lever that would have made the parts move much quicker.
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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

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