Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Whole Process of Doing a Carving Project

       Carving Clyde
By Bill Russo

Things aren’t always what they seem to be. I thought Clyde , a roughout from G.B. Sears woodcarvers and Suppliers whose name was supposed to be Muley would be easier than some I had already done. It isn’t. I renamed him Clyde because I prefer Clyde.

There is a lot of extra wood in this project and a carving knife is slow going. It can be done, of course and maybe if I was on a deserted Island with nothing else to do and  had no other options I think I could get it done.

I once borrowed a diamond coated sphere that could fit into a Dremel ...It was perfect for removing wood faster. I bought one. I also use a coarse drum as well as a flapper wheel at times. All have their use and each can do what the others can’t. Still, it’s hard to remove the wood from between the four legs as well as under them.



Clyde looks like this after a few hours. I don’t log the time spent  anymore. I did a few times but what does it matter?

This is the first carving I tried where the face was easier to work on than the legs. See that hind right leg? It has an arch to it..It shouldn’t.

I have a habit of forgetting to use a pencil to guide my cuts. That’s called free cutting. It’s usually a mistake...I know it and I am working on it.

I am making progress and the sanders help a lot. I snapped a leg off! Ooops . Crazy glue to the rescue. It should be ok if I don’t drop it. Crazy glue and wood filler can save a carving.

They leg keeps snapping off and the reason is because the two halves are flat to each other.  So, what I did was drill two holes, one in each piece and fit a small dowel into them..After cutting the dowel to size I glued all three pieces together. So far, so good. I can sand the uneven joint or fill in any gap later.  The wood in this roughout was harder than normal.Perhaps my tools weren’t as sharp as they should have been..Maybe I was careless and skipped the glove for a while...So what happens? A pretty good cut with blood on the carving and elsewhere. Most carvers carry a few band aids and maybe a little anti septic in their tool box.

The piece looks pretty good and I keep smoothing and modifying things but it’s really time to paint it.I always do the eyes first....When it’s dry I cover it with stain, a mix of boiled linseed oil and burnt sienna oil from a tube. Mix thoroughly..You may have to strain out the little bits of solid tube paint. (cheese cloth works well enough)..brush it on or submerge the piece in the liquid. Blot it to catch the run off. (Remember that linseed oil, thrown away improperly can cause fires by spontaneous combustion. Don’t let any rags stand in a pile indoors.)  Spray with polyurethane..satin or glossy...your choice..It doesn’t have to be dry from the oil yet..It actually helps dry the whole thing. Finally I use Butchers Wax or something similar and rub it in ightly using a Scotchpad...very fine....and then polish it with a soft rag..maybe a microfiber one.The more you ploish it the nicer it looks....Careful not to rub too hard so as to remove the paint. Sit back..Enjoy the finished piece..Pick up the phone and order another one or two.