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Carving Class Project

Discussion in 'Woodworkers' Completed Projects' started by rocky1, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Well mentioned awhile back I was taking a wood carving class, had some confusion and didn't get registered and wound up with no materials for me. Instructor took off for Europe on a month long cruise, a week or so later and didn't return until 10 days ago. He called me up the day after he got back, and scheduled class for last Saturday. The other student that was supposed to be there, got tied up in traffic and didn't make it. Had a one on one session last weekend, so I caught up with her in class and we both finished up this weekend.

    Initial class project was an eagle's head. Interesting to carve! What would appear to be the simplest part of it, was actually the most difficult. (That little knot on the back of his nose!) This one was all power carving using Dremel moto-tool.

    Week 1 Progress:

    KIMG1211.jpg

    Any mistakes made you fix with Quick Wood Epoxy Wood Putty instructor got a little carried away on the eye socket on this side showing me how to do that, and we had to rebuild it.

    KIMG1210.jpg

    Week Two: We finished carving, sanding, finished, mounted on base, and stuck the eyes on it.

    Finish on the base is min-wax in Cherry something, and acrylic paints. Was going to shoot some poly on it, but I'm not real impressed with the base, and I might have a chunk or two of wood in the barn, so I think this base is going to get replaced.


    KIMG1219.jpg
     
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  2. Smitty

    Smitty Member Full Member

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    That is way cool. Bet it took a lot of patience to do.
     
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  3. ripjack13

    ripjack13 ɹǝʇɹɐqpooʍ Staff Member Global Moderator Forum Moderator Full Member

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    Lookin good rocky...
     
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  4. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    Actually it wasn't too bad Dan. Being a first attempt, and unsure of myself, coupled with listening to instruction and a lot of general chat, a lot of things took longer than they should have. I would dare say after you did a few of these, you could knock this project out in a couple hours start to finish. Have 6 hours in this one, but this chunk of basswood had some deviations in grain that I assume are not altogether common in basswood. Some places were plenty hard, some not so hard. Several checks in it, so it was obviously well seasoned. The instructor bandsaws them to general block-headed bird shape and he isn't real careful in cutting them out since he enjoys carving, whereas I'd be more careful on the saw to save some carving time. Beak wasn't even close to proportional in his cuts; one side was considerably fuller than the other; was off center too. Made it all a little more challenging honestly, but I kinda liked the additional challenge, and it all came together ok.

    When carving with the moto tool, you need to anchor your tool and the piece somehow; instructor tucks both hands into his belly and carves. Downfall to that is, when you slip, which you will slip occasionally, the burr grabs your shirt and wraps up in it, twisting the tool out of your hand, and burying the switch to shut it off in your shirt someplace. Instructor was nice enough to demonstrate that for us yesterday, although NOT intentionally. Had 4 - 5 tools on the table, cords all tangled of course, so thoughts of unplugging him quick were lost in short order, and he managed to sort out the switch before I could find the plug. Then he laughed and said all of his shirts have holes in the front of them, and his wife fusses about it all the time.

    Personally, I found sitting the tail of the tool on the table, resting both hands on the table, and moving the tool and/or the work preferable, then spanning between the hands with a thumb or finger to the work, or across to the other hand, to steady everything. The moto tools used in class got quite WARM when carving, (probably seen more use than most), so they do get difficult to hold on to when you're hogging a lot of material. And, you're fighting weight of the motor, and motor torque when carving, so setting it on the table eliminated all of that as well. Tucking it into your belly would do the same, but I ain't really into wrapping sharp devices doing 3000 RPMs up in my shirt!

    It isn't perfect by any means, but reading on up carving the other night, the author of that article said another carver had told him, "Every piece you carve, is practice for the next piece you carve." Gotta start somewhere... Study my mistakes and move up from there.

    Gonna play with carving knives and chisels next, work on caricatures and see where that takes me. That's more what I was looking for when I took the class; the moto tool was fun to explore, enjoyed working with it, and actually creating something. Have 4 or 5 of the things but have never done anything serious with them, they usually get used for meticulous little things that are awkward with other tools.

    Instructor is a cool old dude, we got to talking with him yesterday and the gal taking the class with me asked what he did for a living. Said he was a retired Civil Engineer, and that among his grandest accomplishments, he was on the team that designed the crane that sets the Space Shuttle on the back of the 747, for transport from landing strips out west, back to Cape Kennedy. And, that what everyone doesn't realize when they see it being transported is, once the shuttle is atop the plane and fixed, the crane is folded up and goes inside the 747 for transport, and the same crane is used to unload the shuttle. That'll make you stop and think for a minute!!
     
  5. Patrude

    Patrude Member Full Member

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    Great job
     
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  6. Tony

    Tony Hardwood Enthusiast Staff Member Global Moderator Full Member

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    Very cool Rock, I'm impressed! Tony
     
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  7. rocky1

    rocky1 Creator of Shavings and Sawdust! Full Member Thread Starter

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    It don't look half bad until you go to Google images and look at the good ones, or look at images of real Eagle heads up close. Then well... :blush:

    For a first, it's OK, I got better in me. I'm too damn much of a perfectionist to not get better at this. We were working off some awful small pictures of eagle heads in class, and they really didn't show a lot of detail. May have to do another eagle head just because!
     
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  8. ironman123

    ironman123 Member Full Member

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    Looks good Rocky. Keep at it and soon it will be as easy as pouring honey/syrup on pancakes.
     
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