YOU DAMN SURE WON’T FIND THIS SWEDISH WOODWORK AT IKEA
You Damn Sure Won’t Find This Swedish Woodwork At IKEA
Okay, Sweden, just knock it off. The rest of the world knows how much cooler you are than everywhere else, how cool your choppers are— you don’t need to keep rubbing it in with killer craftsmanship like this all-wood Knucklehead complete with moving parts. It’s bad enough you get Viking history, saunas, and all the genetically perfect fantasy warrior women. Now we’ve got to see this from you too? As grateful as my adolescence is for that last one, The Knucklewood here is just plain spiking the ball after the touchdown.
Peter Atteson started the project in Sweden in February 2015. Buddha (a good friend of his) and Peter watched some Youtube clips of miniature motors and Buddha asked, “Why don’t you make a Knucklehead engine of wood?” But at the time Peter wasn’t interested. This wood not last long (see what I did there?).
Some days later, while lying around bored on the sofa with nothing to do for his real bikes, Peter told his wife about Buddha’s idea. She responded, “Why not? Just do it!” The missus had spoken. No more log impression on the couch. Time to get to it.
In my house, that means do project, return to couch, await next round of nagging, rinse, repeat. Apparently, the Nordic definition of “get to it” is start project, get inspired, take project to next level, then another level, return to couch, etc. Peter intended to create just the motor, but as time went by things grew a little more complicated…
Fifteen months and a thousand hours later, Peter had an entire half-scale knucklehead chopper in his home workshop, entirely made of wood. The bike
is carved out of 95 percent lime wood and 5 percent birch. It’s finely oiled with linseed oil and sanded with 1,200-grit wet sandpaper.
There are a number of moving parts, such as the rolling chain, working brake and clutch, movable Anderson footpegs, petcock, throttle, kicker pedal and arm, shifter stick, removable spark plugs, choke lever, light switch, oil stick, ignition key, a fully functional springer front end, and, of course, rolling wheels. With that level of craftsmanship, I can see why that Kris Kringle dude recruits all of his helpers as close to the North Pole as possible. Northerners don’t screw around when it comes to building cool shit. You gotta move to keep warm.
Peter intends to take The Knucklewood to various bike shows, and if he gets the right offer, he might sell it. Who could blame him if he didn’t though? SC