Carter at workbench

When the proverbial gavel dropped at Roadster Homecoming Bracelet auction, it raised a jaw-dropping $6000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The original mold and carving used has forever been retired to ensure its winner has a bracelet that's exclusively her own and unquestionably unique.

The slate, or in this case workbench, is wiped clean and it's time to begin a new project.

Lets begin once again

This new carving will begin from an entirely seperate block of wax.

Roadster is taking shape

Experience from previous projects gives the hand confidence in making deep, deliberate cuts.

Progressing nicely

Wheelwells are positioned with painstaking care.

Devil is in the details

General shaping begins by identifying how major bodypanels like the hood and trunk drape.

A familiar roadster emerges

The fine flat file is exchanged for a chisel tool to shave away paper-thin layers. Subtle curve details begin to suggest there really is a roadster hidden within.

A steady hand and stern eye is crucial

Hundredths of a millimeter at a time, the shaved layers both smooth and shape the surfaces. Underside is cut away so that the wheelwells settle to the ground evenly.

Instantly recognizable to roadster enthusiasts

Wheelwells are hollowed. Rocker panel and door panel surfaces are fleshed out. Nose and headlamp surfaces are sharpened.

Unmistakeable wide-butt six

This shot best illustrates how the new model distinctly portrays the 6-cylinder roadsters with its flared rear fenders. The model carved for the 2006 Homecoming is on the right.

Work continues

An entirely new carving means there's opportunity to create a top-down version with factory rollhoops.

Nearly there

Interior is a few more strokes from being finished. Front grille, airdam and foglamps are completed.

Backside view

Dashboard and instrument pod fleshed out. Twin-V rollhoops and rear boot cover detail finished.

CAD wheels

Some wheels are designed in the computer and rapid-prototyped using some of the most sophisticated equipment in the industry. The resulting sharpness of detail at this scale is astounding.

Miniature alloys

The rapid-prototyped model is transformed into 14k white gold wheels through an investment casting process. The individual wheels are cut away from the casting sprues with a jeweler's coping saw. It's fine steel blade is roughly the thickness of dental floss. When a wheel is hardly larger than a letter on a dime, small sawing mistakes could become BIG problems. Well-honed experience at the workbench ensures that doesn't happen.

Miniature alloys

Wheels cut, trimmed, leveled, drilled, and sanded. Why yes, the front and rears will be staggered in width! Now to complete another 32 of these.

Roadster trio

The hand-carved roadster model is also cast and what emerges are 14 karat variations of yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.

E85

Some other roadsters created toward the end of 2006 are brought in...

Nearly there

2007's Homecoming project takes shape.

Wheely wheely precise

The insanely small wheels are fitted with white gold axles, centered in the wheel wells, and microwelded into place.

Underside links

Those free-rolling wheels and axles serve as hingepins for 14k gold links.

Pretty profile

With all the roadsters, wheels, and links assembled, the 2007 Homecoming Bracelet is finally finished.

Macro close-up shot

Line up! It's time for a group shot. High Resolution version.

Overall shot

The 2007 roadster bracelet is created with both styles of roadsters in combinations of yellow, rose, and white gold. High Resolution version.

Roadsters coming

Measures 6½ inches. This can be sized through adding additional roadsters for larger wrists.High Resolution version.

Roadsters going

Bracelet weighs approximately 50.9 grams. An estimated 70 workdays were used to employ an exhaustive list of techniques including: handcarving the models, CAD wheel design, rapid prototyping, investment casting, machining hubs & axle stays, metalworking, torch soldering, microwelding, and multistage finishing. High Resolution version.

Standard bracelet case

And what about a suitable bracelet case? Here's a nice case in the same style used for the previous year.

Standard bracelet innards

...but the utilitarian inside is total Dullsville. Yaaaaaawwwwnn.. oops, did I do that outloud?

Lets put some color in the joint

The inside gets gutted and furnished with soft non-scratching felt.

Now we are cookin

Some yellow-line stitching, some handcrafted yarnball folliage and some foam rubber buildings finishes a case worthy of the bracelet.

Close-up

Itty bitty roadsters convoying past an itty bitty Zentrum museum. larger version.

Click here to watch the final bracelet progress for the last Roadster Homecoming