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Woodworking power tools: let the sunshine in!

Artist Adam Detre works with wood and light. In his latest sculpture, he combined both aspects.

Sculptor Adam Detre stands in the woods on the shore of a lake in front of his new work of art: a huge ring made of wood with patterns artfully carved into it. In his right hand, Adam is holding a Bosch Professional straight grinder. He inspects his sculpture and touches it carefully with his left hand. In the background, the sun rises over the lake, its rays shining through the ring.

He is at home in nature: for the past three years, English sculptor Adam Detre and his family have been living in a forest near the small Finnish town of Fiskars. What has fascinated the artist ever since moving to the far north of Europe is the finality of summer and winter, the oscillation between pitch-black afternoons and daylight nights. He has dedicated his latest sculpture to the latter. It was created using cordless power tools from Bosch.

A special day

Adam Detre walks toward an old wooden sauna near a lake. He looks back and smiles at the camera.

It’s still early in the morning, but Adam Detre no longer feels like sleeping. Today is a special day: Midsummer’s Eve, “Juhannusaatto,” is here, and in Finland this means starting to celebrate the longest day of the year. With his coffee mug in hand, he steps out the door of his house. To the left, behind the woodpile in the garden, a small family of deer eyes him curiously. Adam walks through the conifer-scented forest towards the nearby lake. “Midsummer is important in Finland. It marks the peak of summer, when everything feels alive. It doesn’t really get totally dark all night,” Adam says. On this day, people typically gather with friends in front of a bonfire to celebrate the light and warmth of summer together.

However, Adam is excited today for another reason. Right on the lakeshore, within sight of the small wooden village sauna, stands his new sculpture — Sun Lens. In the evening, he will show it to some friends for the first time. “I’m a little nervous,” the 40-year-old admits, “I’ve been working on this piece for a long time. So, naturally, I also want people to like it.”

“I want people to gaze through the ‘Sun Lens’ and feel hopeful and positive again after the dark Finnish winter, to welcome the sun into their lives.”
Adam Detre, sculptor
Adam's Midsummer: a Sculpture for the Longest Day of the Year
YouTube

Focusing the power of light

Adam almost exclusively uses wood for his sculptures: “Wood is sturdy and at the same time soft enough to be formed into any shape. You can carve it roughly or delicately and then polish it to a fine finish. I enjoy looking for patterns or movement in nature and then recreating them.” His style: abstract, minimalist, with natural forms that accentuate light and shadow.

Light — more precisely, that of the midsummer sun — is also the main focus of his new work: “That huge ball of flame up in the sky gives us life. It lights our way and provides us with warmth. To me, there’s a truly magical quality about it. I always wanted to create a sculpture that focuses the power of sunlight in a unique place at a specific time.”

That’s why Adam created the Sun Lens. “It faces 37 degrees northeast. That’s precisely where the sun rises above the trees after Midsummer’s Eve,” he explains. “I want people to gaze through the Sun Lens” and feel hopeful and positive again after the dark Finnish winter, to welcome the sun into their lives and recharge their emotional batteries.”

72 trapezoids

were sawed by Adam from huge blocks of wood for this work of art using the Bosch GCM 18V-305 GDC Professional Biturbo Brushless 18v cordless miter saw. It used less than two battery charges.

A lot of mathematics

Charging the batteries — that’s one thing Adam didn’t need to do that often while working on the Sun Lens because he used the powerful 18-volt Biturbo Brushless cordless tools from the Bosch Professional Series. He started off by making lots of sketches and models in his small workshop shed: “I had to calculate how to create a polygon from straight pieces of wood. For this, I sawed the beams into individual trapezoids. To achieve the desired diameter of about two meters, I had to make a total of 72 trapezoids — 24 per layer — with a miter angle of 7.5 degrees (total angle of 15 degrees) to get to 360 degrees.”

Adam opted for a wood width of 15 cm to ensure that the final ring would be sufficiently sturdy. He decided to make three identical polygons and then glue them together in layers. “Laminating the 3 layers makes the final product very robust. I made the rings in three equal sections so that they were light enough for two people to easily carry and install at the exhibition site. Often the challenge is not what I will make, but how.”

Wood artist Adam Detre stands surrounded by trees behind a Bosch GCM 18V-305 GDC Professional cordless crosscut and miter saw, carefully aligning a long piece of wood.

Perfect precision — breathtaking power

To create the three polygons, Adam had to saw a total of 72 identical trapezoids — 24 polygons for each layer. For this type of work, he always relies on the Bosch GCM 18V-305 GDC Professional cordless miter saw. “The power of this saw is truly breathtaking — it enables me to make consistent, replicable cuts very quickly and efficiently. I was able to cut out all 72 trapezoids with less than two battery charges.”

No wonder: The Biturbo saw is optimized for maximum performance with ProCore 18V batteries. The power class thus achieved was previously only possible with 2000-watt corded tools offering the highest cutting performance in its class with up to 70 percent more cuts per battery charge.

Adam is particularly pleased that even the larger machines such as the GCM 18V-305 GDC Professional miter saw now run on battery power: “My workshop is small. Long wooden beams like the ones I used for this project do not fit in there. It also gets hot and stuffy inside in the summer, so I can choose to work outside, in front of the shed instead. The saw is quite mobile despite its size. This tool offers me the highest level of power, precision, and flexibility in all respects.”

This tool offers me the highest level of power, precision, and flexibility in all respects.

Adam Detre comments on the GCM 18V-305 GDC Professional cordless miter saw from Bosch

A well-rounded finishing touch

Wood artist Adam Detre grinds a piece of wood out in the forest with a GGS 18V-10 SLC Professional straight grinder from Bosch. Flying sawdust can be seen.

After the sawing and laminating was complete, only the finishing touches were left to complete. Adam always uses the GGS 18V-10 SLC Professional straight grinder from Bosch for power carving. “I love this tool. It has started to feel like an old friend.” Adam says with passion. “Normally, it’s used for hard materials like metal. That’s why the tool has a lot of power — and I benefit from that. I usually work for many hours at a time carving and refining my wooden sculptures. That’s why I need a powerful and ergonomic tool.” Adam polished the surfaces of the polynomial into a mirror-smooth, harmonious waveform that blends seamlessly into the dense forest by the lake — while still catching the eye.

Everything shines

In the meantime, it has become evening before the longest day of the year. At the fire pit next to the old wooden sauna, within sight of the Sun Lens, Adam has prepared a barbecue. His friends have arrived and are chatting with one other; spirits are high. Together they will hold out until the early morning to be the first to see the rays of the rising sun shining through the wooden sculpture. Adam’s tension was unfounded: Everyone is absolutely taken by his work of art. And that is why he is already beaming like the sun in the sky.

Adam Detre is sitting around a campfire in the woods with his friends, talking.

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