Thumbs are odd things. We could not get along without them. Yet they form such an ambiguous part of our speech. When we are particularly inept, we say, “I am all thumbs.” Or if something is particularly pleasing we give it “thumbs up.” This rustic, boxelder “thumb” belongs in the thumbs up category. Screw it onto the wall and you have a unique place to hang your hat, a cane, an umbrella, or many other things.
Many trees have a habit of growing limbs like these, so keep your eyes open for likely possibilities. You can flatten one side with the jointer, peal the bark or leave it on, shape it with a draw knife and spoke shave, and smooth it all with a cabinet scraper. You soon will have many thumbs up on your wall.
Ellis Hein, author of The Woodturner’s Project Book