MILLERSBURG, Ore. — Five years ago, when Jason Hibbs and his family bought their house, they had no furniture. Jason figured he'd make some, so he went online and bought the power tools he thought he'd need to get started.
He'd never touched a table saw until then.
Friends and family started making requests for furniture and his woodworking career took off. He dropped out of nursing school and started Bourbon Moth Woodworking out of the shop on his Millersburg property.
His usual works include custom cabinets, tables, coffee tables, built-ins and cabinets.
Hibbs has kept busy with orders, until COVID-19 hit.
The orders stopped coming, but the household chores didn't.
"I was mowing the lawn and, you know, it's a classic story. You're mowing the lawn and it's kind of boring and you think, 'What could make this more fun?'" Hibbs said.
He created a race track out of lawnmower tracks, but he said the fun lasted only 20 minutes. There had to be something else he could do to make the mowing monotony better.
"I just drove my lawnmower into the garage and started screwing 2x4s onto it and sheets of plywood on it and slowly the tank came to life."
Yes. A wooden tank.
"I had zero plans. The plan kind of happened as I was doing it."
The wooden tank took on a life of its own. It has headlights and reflectors, a top hatch that opens and closes, but it needed something else.
Something more authentic.
"This isn't going to look like a tank unless this has got like tracks on it," Hibbs said.
He worked with a friend down the street who created a custom set of tracks for his wooden tank.
"I put a gun on there. And of course if you're gonna have a lawnmower tank and it's going to have moving tracks and it's gonna have a gun coming out of it, the gun has to shoot something. So I turned the gun, the gun barrel's made out of PVC pipe, but I turned it into a potato cannon, so it launches potatoes. I could launch them. Yesterday I was launching them about 200 yards."
Turns out the faux tank gun has a dual purpose too.
"It's a pretty serious potato gun. The cool thing is, if you take a metal grate and you attach it over the end of the cannon before you fire a potato you can instantly make french fries."
He drove the tank out of his shop for its first test run and it instantly grabbed the attention of everyone driving by.
"I didn't tell the neighbors I was doing it, but yesterday when I was driving around I definitely got some strange looks. A few people stopped on the road and were wondering what I was doing, and I was like 'Oh, I'm just mowing my lawn. No big deal.'"
In a day where it seems everything has slowed down and there's more time on our hands, Jason Hibbs is doing his part to break up that monotony of waiting for the next customer to come calling.
"We're calling it the COVID killer, cause we're all trying to battle COVID-19 in our own way and I thought maybe this could be the way I fight COVID, is in my lawn mower tank."
So what's next for the tank? Jason doesn't know, maybe you'll see it driving in a parade some day but more likely mowing the almost 4 acres of grass on his property.
You can follow Jason Hibbs' work through the Bourbon Moth Instagram page.