The history of the worlds biggest knotted gun!


Everything started one day in early June 2021 with a visit by two gentlemen. They plainly asked if I could build a wooden copy of the knotted gun.

-Yes, of course I can. A quick head calculation gave me an idea how to make it.

-Allright, but we want it twice as big... 4 times the volume and double the tolerances. Now it was no longer an easy task. But I´ve allready told them I could do it. No easy way out from this.

-We want it ready on October 1st ...

Well, no one remembers a coward...

-Sure, I said.

-I will do it...

Next thing, I set out to get the best timber for this project. I got this tip from an old friend, and found some aspen logs, perfectly suited for this job just 50 km away. Got up into the tractor and got to pick up the logs and then went straight to the local sawmill.

The logs where cut to the size 3" x 9". One thing though, this was fresh aspen and aspen is moist, very moist. Well, I was not letting that stand in the way.

To resolve that moist, I went to ask a neighbour if I could borrow his wood dryer and sure thing in no time the dryer stood in my workshop. It was not all ok from the beginning. I had to reconstruct the dryer quite a bit to be able to drain out the water of the new sawn timber.

Anyone who nows anything about wood drying understands that this is a complicated and time-consuming task. In this case it had to be done in maximum 5 weeks.

Three heaters later and a fire resulted in nice boards, almost ready for planing and glueing. Now it was time to start the fun part, sawing and cutting the shape of the gun…

I started with the easy parts around the handle and trigger. The axe came to good use.

However, quite soon I realized that this will take me forever on my own and that I needed some help.

I reached out to a classmate from the late 80’s, Kalle Bergman, and he helped me out with the shape and size of the knot by 3D scanning, some 3D modelling and a full-scale drawing of the knot.

Then, Seiya Mitazaki, my good friend in my village and who most probably is the best carpenter in Sweden came to my aid with this crazy project. To build a big gun for the world fair in Dubai, the biggest in existance.

I can tell, it was some sceptical thoughts at first. On August 15, we started cutting the knot.

Five weeks later on September 23rd we delivered the completed statue at Stockholm Arlanda airport.

... the most intense months of my life, so far...

// Anders Borg, carpenter


Unveiling of the symbol by Amina Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, and Liselott Andersson, ambassador of Sweden to the UAE, at UN Day on 24 October.


Shaping the handles of the gun require knowledge of wood behavior and a great piece of experiance.


A big chunk of wood, carefully glued, with the knots outside the shape of the future knot.


The first cut of the knot was really nervous.


Shaping the knot or chainsaw massacre? A lot of thoughts behind every cut.


2d drawings from a 3d model is sometimes helpful. But can really mess up your mind.


3D scanning the surface of a small model of the gun, Is a start to make a bigger model.


Fine shaping or pure magic. Slowly the knot is revealing behind all the wood. It's in there somewhere.


Finally the rough shaping have made it posible to start imagine the lines and curvature of the knot.


Cutting the internal shape is tricky, all the wood fibers are directed into the wood.


Checkering of the handle require a lot of patience an a steady hand.


To make the trigger gard, several thin layers of wood are heated, bent and glued together in a light and strong shape.  


Piece by piece the gun is ready for assembly.


Almost ready, small adjustments and final sanding before a thin layer of varnish.


Two tired and really proud carpenters finally see the result of three months of intence work.