For this project, I knew I wanted to create some kind of wooden wall décor. My goal was to create something that was more aesthetic than functional, something I would be proud to display in my home. I was inspired by a painting in my dad's living room, which was a breathtaking panorama of Colorado's mountain range. It always struck me as capturing what's special about Colorado, so I chose to make my own version of that mountain range landscape. 
I knew I could utilize the natural color of different types of wood to give my mountains visual interest without needing paint. Unfortunately, some woods are quite expensive because of their color and rarity. I was only able to purchase 2' x 4" boards of Walnut, Cherry, Maple, and White Oak. To make sure I didn't waste any wood, I 3D modeled my mountains to get exact measurements of the strips I needed to cut. It took me several tries to resize the mountains correctly, with my original intention being to hide the edges of the mountains behind a rectangular frame.
The peaks of the mountains were originally going to be made out of White Oak, with Cherry, Walnut, and Maple making the bodies of the mountains. When I did the calculations I realized I needed more White Oak than I had, so I opted to go with Pine for the snowy peaks instead. The graphics below helped me figure out how many different lengths of 1" wide strips I needed to cut.
One thing I forgot in my calculations was to account for the thickness of the saw blade. Each cut took off ~1/16th" of material, meaning I had to use more Maple than I had planned to make up for what was lost. 
After all my strips were cut out, I laid them on the floor in my desired configuration. Despite all my calculations, I was somehow 2 pieces shy of my original goal. This meant I had to do some rearranging to make the peaks even. I also sacrificed the frame idea in favor of keeping a border just at the bottom, which saved me the trouble of having to come up with a background design for this piece too. 
After I had settled on my final design, I separated the blocks into parallel sections, which I held together with tape before gluing and clamping them. Separating the parts into so many stages meant it took hours to glue these together, but it was worth it for the sake of ensuring that the pieces fit well together at every stage. 
I also designed the peaks of the 3 mountains to be consecutively smaller, which adds a small illusion of depth to the panorama.
After I had glued all the mountains together, I faced my most difficult challenge: cutting off the protruding end sections. To keep my piece lined up as I was passing it through the sawblade, I had to create a jig with a notch cut out for the biggest mountain. Attached to that jig was a long piece of leftover pine, which I pressed against the backboard to keep the piece aligned through the whole cut. This was definitely the most stressful portion of the project, and it took 2 people to keep everything aligned. Luckily, the cut was perfect, and only took one try! 
After that, I sanded the piece thoroughly, going from 80 grit up to 120 then 220. I then spritzed the piece with water, causing the grain to raise as if I had finished it with oil. Finally, I went back over the piece with 220 grit sandpaper, revealing the difference in texture between the hardwood making the rocky mountains versus the softer pine of the snowy peaks. The piece was finished with Linseed Oil, and afterwards, I added a border strip at the bottom, stained to a "Dark Walnut" color. 
I am extremely happy with how these mountains came out! I think that the different types of wood really makes this piece pop with color. It looks perfect on my mantle, and it accomplished the exact goal I had for it. Every time when I walk by it, I smile with satisfaction knowing that I made art that looks like professional décor!
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