Monday, January 25, 2010

Chainsaw Carving at Home

Too rainy to fish... and too bored to stay indoors. Sometimes the Pacific NorthWest is hard to take.
I've had this old cedar stump out back for several years. Last week, my chainsaw-carving-fishing-buddy got our chains all sharpened, and so I got the bug to carve!
Here is the stump.

... and here are the bugs! The ants infested some of this wood.
There are alot of challenges in carving - rotten wood, nails, bugs, etc.
One always hopes when they start carving that the stump isn't rotten...

There aren't alot of things the kids can do to help carve - other than staying out of the way and not sneaking up on me...
But they can help with getting rid of the bugs!
The big ants make a 'popping' sound when sudden heat is applied...

Here are the first few cuts. Bears are fun to carve, but I need more practice with them.
I love carving fish - if we can't be out fishing at least I can carve some big ones...
Another nice thing about carving cedar is the smell - it smells great. Alot of sawdust!

Here is one of the 2 fish emerging from the wood.
There was enough wood to carve 2 fish, and having them "bust" out of the water/stump is a fun thing to carve.

The kids had fun on the fringe, too, making fires and goofing off.
Here she is modelling her "mermaid" tail she discovered.
"No, you can't keep this in the house." We end up saying that alot to the kids...

Here are the two fish nearly finished.
Make sure to keep extra wood on - when it is sanded with the grinder it will shrink and look more "fish" like.
Now... on to cut out the water...

Another angle of the fish.

It is hard to take a decent photo of a 3D carving... and make it look ok!

I think I'll call this one "Neck -n- Neck".

After some more work, they take better shape.
A blow-torch adds some color and shadow to help distinguish features. Eventually the base of the fish will be black, where they emerge from the water.
Need to grind them now.
The dog really liked laying in the soft, fragrant cedar dust. Hopefully it gets rid of the fleas! She didn't seem to mind the saw, either.
There was another smaller part of the stump that didn't work with the first carving... so lets do some more fish!
Here is a rough outline...

Carving can be messy.
It is a great outlet and very relaxing. Especially on a wet day with nothing else to do.

Here are the other fish carved.
Two fish stacked on the same piece of wood is another favorite to carve.
It can get tricky, though, workingon details of one while not scaring the other...

Here's a side-view.
The one in front is smaller, about the size of a 'Jack' Salmon.
We agreed that "Jack Over Kings" would be a good name.
Carving is the most fun. Grinding and sanding are important and really make the carving nice, but it is time consuming and boring.
Burning and laquering is also boring, but important - especially before the wood starts to split and dry out. Oh well - on to the work.
Carving is alot of fun and highly recommended. The more try, the more you will appreciate work by professionals - like this: