Added to museum: 11/24/09
Artist in wood, Sunia Reznik. (Click on photo to veiw a larger image.) All photos by Mike Reznik.
Sunia Reznik was born in Romania in 1932. In 1940, the area of Romania where he lived was occupied by Russia and later became Moldova, one of the 15 republics of the former USSR. From the time he was a child he always had in interest in building radios, speakers, amplifiers and, of course, woodworking. He spent his career as an electrician but taught himself carpentry and mechanics. He enjoys working on projects in both wood and metal and is also an accomplished musician, although he has never taken a music lesson.
The Wells Fargo stagecoach project illustrates not only Mr. Reznik's woodworking skills, but he also produced all the leather harness details as well as the metal parts like railings and door handles. The coach is made from padauk and hard maple. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)
Sunia came to United States in 1975, and in 1994 he retired from the city of Philadelphia Water Department. He is now 76 years old (2009) and in his retirement he has been working on a collection of vehicles made from wood. His subjects include everything from trains to heavy equipment to vintage coaches. His son provided some details on how he built one of the more complicated wooden projects; a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
He started his Harley project after receiving a Franklin Mint model for his birthday. It is a Harley Heritage Softail, and it is built in 1/3 scale compared to the real motorcycle. It took him approximately one year to complete working pretty much 8-hour days. It is 38" long, 23" tall and 10" wide. The woods used are black walnut and hard maple. It is a working model in the sense that it has a moving hydraulic suspension, ball bearing wheels with angled spokes, working headlights that are activated by a switch on the handlebars, working turn signals also activated by a handlebar-mounted switch and brake lights that are activated by the hand break lever and/or by depressing the foot brake pedal. The throttle turns and operates just like on a real Harley, and when turned on produces a Harley engine sound through a speaker and an electronic module built into the saddle bags. He has also created a second Harley model in a slightly different scale that features a sidecar.
This fire engine was dedicated to the firemen who died as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attack. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)
After the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center he decided to make a fire engine to commemorate the fallen firemen. In this project he used padauk (or padouk), white maple, cherry and walnut. The model is 28" long and 7 ½" wide. The ladder extends to 35". This project took approximately two months to complete.
The road grader is made from walnut and maple. It measures 27" long, 12" wide and 11" high. It took about four months to complete. As in all of his models, all the hydraulics, operator’s controls and engine details were crafted with the attention to minute details. He has also built many other projects over the past 15 years, some of which can be seen in the photo section at the end of this page.
Sunia Reznik works with the lathe in his home shop. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)
In his projects, Sunia uses a milling machine, metal cutting lathe, table saw, router, drill press, sander, oscillating sander, planer and various other wood and metal hand tools. A few of his models were shown by invitation at the Fort Washington, Pennsylvania Expo woodworkers show, the Penn State Industries Woodworkers Supply showroom and the Woodworkers Haven show in PA. His work was also featured in an article published in WOOD magazine (issue #124, June of 2000, page 104).
It can be somewhat overwhelming to walk into his house and see the volume of his work. It can take days to properly photograph what he has created since he retired in 1994. Mr. Resnik is a very humble craftsman, but his son Mike and the rest of his family are very proud of his work. They sent in the photos and his story and hope his creations will inspire others to build their dreams.
Click on the image at the left or CLICK HERE to view a YouTube video of Mr. Reznik's Harley Davidson motorcycle with side car. Shifter, lights, horn—they all work!
(Click on any photo to view a larger image.)
|The Harley Davidson Softail Classic is from the era of the 80 cubic inch motor. It is complete down to the carved fringe in the concho on the saddle and the leather saddlebags. Hidden inside the saddlebags is a sound system that plays the sound of a Harley motor when the throttle grip is twisted. The marker lights and brake lights work too.|
|The sidecar version captures another classic Harley Davison iconic shape, while adding an additional challenge in the building.|
|Dedicated to the firefighters who lost their lives in New York City on September 11, 2001, this model fire truck is made from 4 kinds of woods featuring many contrasting colors and grains.|
|These close-ups show some of the details of the instruments and controls on the side of the engine.|
|This Wells Fargo stagecoach includes not only Mr. Reznik's skill in woodworking, he also made the harnesses for the horse team from leather. Note also the detailed "cargo" on the roof and details like the rolled-up window shades.|
|This 27" long road grader is made from walnut and maple.|
|A steam traction engine features both raw wood and a few key painted parts, adding a little color to the project.|
|this horse-drawn, steam driven pumper is what the early city fire departments used. A lantern sits by the rear wheel.|
|Everybody's favorite SUV, the Hummer, was originally designed for military use.|
|This vintage 2-2-2 steam locomotive, tender and coach
contain many parts. This engine is designed along the lines of the English
John Stephenson-built Adler, which was the first locomotive put
into commercial service in Germany in 1835.
A brass version of this engine by Szymon Klimek can also be found in this museum.
|A more modern 4-4-0 American steam locomotive from the late 1800's is also part of the collection.|
|A Duesenberg car pulls up to a vintage gravity-fed gasoline pump, all carved from wood. In those days, the "trunk" on the back really was a trunk.|
|This open-gear wooden wall clock is made entirely from wood with three floating dials and three hands (hour, minute and second). It has a fourteen day wind that runs with an accuracy of +/- 1 second/month. H-36”, W-18” (woods used: bloodwood).|
|Sunia's ship model is the HMS Victory. In 1805, admiral Nelson sailed on this ship in his victory at the battle of Trafalgar. It is a 100-gun frigate with elaborate admiralty rigging. L-40”, H-29”, W-14” (woods used: walnut and cherry).|
|Farm tractor. L-10”, H-6”, W-6” (woods used: white ash, walnut, maple and cherry).|
|Backhoe tractor. L-24”, H-8” w/10” at highest point, W-6” (woods used: black walnut, maple and cherry).|
|Cab-over semi tractor. L-17”, H-9”, W-7” (woods used: cherry, walnut and maple). The cab tilts forward as on the real thing to expose the engine.|
|This M1 Abrahms main battle tank measures about 24" long (including the main gun barrel), 9-1/2" wide and 7" high. The woods uesd were European beech, walnut and maple. The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank produced in the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army Chief of Staff and Commander of US military forces in Vietnam. It was designed in the 1970's by Chrysler Defense, which was later purchased by General Dynamics.|
|Continuing on the military theme, here is a World War II era Jeep and carriage from Beech wood.|
|Added June, 2012 is a large Colt .45 “Peacemaker” type revolver made from Black Walnut and European Beech. Size is 32" L x 7" H.|
|Also added June, 2012 is a lattice boom crane – 24" L x 18" H x 12" W. It is also made from European Beech and Walnut.|
|This new three-wheeled tricycle project was added February 25th, 2013.|
|This 1924 Bentley combines wood and metal. Made from European Beech and brass, the car is about 19" long and 8" wide. (Added 4/28/13)|
|This Caterpillar Loader features light and dark contrasting woods. It is articulated at the center and has instrument detail on the cab dashboard. It is made of Maple and Black Walnut, 22"L x 8"W x 10"H. (Added 8/27/13)|
|MRAP COUGAR, made of European Beech, Maple and Black Walnut, 17"L x 8.5"W x 10"H. (Added 11/11/13)|
|LOG SKIDDER, made of European Beech, Maple and Black Walnut, 13"L x 8"H x 7"W. (Added 11/11/13)|
WATER WELL DRILL RIG, made of European Beech, Maple and Black Walnut, 22"L x 7"W x 10"H. (Added 11/11/13)
HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE, woods used ash and maple. (Added March 18, 2014.)
DUMP TRUCK, 21"L x 7"W x 9"H, woods used European Beech and Ash. (Added March 18, 2014.)
1949 FORD "WOODY" WAGON, 20"L x 7"W x 7"H, woods used European Beech and Maple. (Added March 18, 2014.)
In addition to his skills as a wood worker, Sunia also works on projects in metal. Here are some examples sent in by his son in August, 2010..
|Air Cooled Red Wing Motor—Bore 1-1/4", Stroke 2", This gasoline engine puts out 2.5 HP and is a fully functional one third scale model. It runs on regular gasoline and uses a buzz coil as an ignition source. The engine weighs 40 lbs, is 15" long, 9 ½" high and 9 ½" wide.|
|Horizontal Stationary Working Steam Engine—Bore 1 ½", Stroke 2 ½". This is a double-acting engine rated at ¼ HP. It weighs 35 lbs and has a height of 7 ½”, length of 18" and width of 8". The flywheel diameter is 6-7/8",|
|High Precision Mini Drill Press—This is a 6-speed drill press that Sunia designed and built himself for use on his projects. It has a speed range of 1,800 to 7,200 rpm and features a depth indicator gage, quill travel of 1-¼" and utilizes a high precision 1/2" Albrecht chuck. The drill is made of steel and is 16" high, 10" deep and 6-½" wide.|
Vertical Steam Engine—This 1905 Vertical steam engine called "Domestic" was built in 1/3 scale. The engine puts out 1/2 horsepower to drive an 8" flywheel. It has a 1-5/16" bore. The ignition system is of the "Make-&-Break" type. (Added in April, 2011)
Holt 75 Caterpillar Tractor Engine—This much more complicated 4-cylinder engine demonstrates the extent of Mr. Reznik's metalworking skills. The Holt 75 Caterpillar casting kit was first introduced by Cole's Power Models of Ventura, CA around 1940, but after WWII it lay dormant. Coles re-activated it in 1970 after a new set of patterns was made to comply with the modern foundry practices. It is a 4-cylinder, 4-cycle, water cooled in-line engine that was, in full size, most successfully used in tanks of WWI. The speed of the engine is controlled by a centrifugal fly-ball governor that was commonly used for governing the speed of steam engines. The model engine has a bore of 1 inch and a stroke of 1-1/4". The crankcase holds the lubricating oil that is distributed by the crankshaft as it spins, but external rocker arms must be manually lubricated before operating the engine. It is water cooled and burns gasoline using a spark ignition.
See the following two links to watch similar engines in action:
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