The Wooden Nickel and my Wiedemann Beer sign fetish

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Back in the late 1980’s I was living in Newport, KY. It was my first place out of my parent’s house, and it was right across the street from the Wiedemann Brewery. The brewery had been shut down for years at that point. So it was of no surprise when they rolled in one day with wrecking balls, and bull-dozers. The place was demolished in a matter of days. So a few of my buddies and I pulled this beer sign from the rubble. It hung in the main lobby of the brewery as seen in one of the pictures.
When I moved to Los Angeles in 1989- it stayed in KY. When my buddy, John, moved out to L.A., I flew back- then we cross-country road-tripped with “The Wooden Nickel”, as it had come to be known. (This road-trip is fairly well-documented in a series of VHS tapes recorded at the time.)
Then, of course, it was the central piece in our Genuine Viking Skol Hol for about 3 years.
It has lived in my garage for the last 25 years, tucked safely away, until about two months ago when I got it in my head to create a full-size to scale model of it in 3D- so that I could print as many copies (and sizes) as I wanted. I could even put lights inside it… hmmmmm.
Naturally, I could not avoid the tug of this challenge. These pictures show progress.
This thing is 39″ in Diameter, it is carved in wood, though I am not sure what kind of wood it is. The gold is a paint of some kind. Oh and it weighs about 100lbs. My version will be much lighter.
I figure I would make trays, and coasters from the same model… just smaller.

Photo credits for the three black and white images- N. KY Photo Archive run by the Kenton County Library.