Wood Carving
without knives

By Mike Leslie aka autobodyman
February 2006

"a little more carving"

I had a few more hours this evening to work on the top part of the carving for a DVD cabinet I'm building.   Making some headway.

I decided to try taking the arm down and then redrawing the details to carve rather than to carve deep with a fine bit.   I've never done it this way before, guess I will see if it's quicker or if I am going to be making a mess out of this.

The wood is 3/4" thick.

It's curly soft Maple.

I did this one first... I needed to match it's depth.

Because I'm not that great a carver,
  •   I wound up adding to the top of this carving as I carved, my board was only 3/4" thick.

  •   The overall depth, of this first carving, wound up at approx 1-1/8".

  • This is for a two door DVD cabinet,
    here is a link to more pictures of it.

    Once I am done carving this piece, I will carve the main panel close to where this will be glued on top, glue it on and then finish the entire carving.

    Probably not the way a real carver would do this but... I probably should have started out with 1 1/2" thick curly maple.

    It's 3/4" when I started...

    I take pictures as I go so I can get a more overall look at what I am doing, makes it easier for me to see where I need to go on or fix something I didn't notice while working on it.

    "A couple more hours on the carving"

    I got a couple more hours of carving done today.

    You see my
  • Black'n'decker RTX with a
  • HSS flame point bit.

  • I have the rest of this week & weekend off so I am hoping to get more done on this by Monday.

    It's getting cold here in Sundance tonight, according to my weather station.

    I'm glad I will be all snug and warm in my woodshop tomorrow.

    "6 more hours on carving"

    Probably does't look like six hours of progress, but... making some headway.

    I'm hoping to have this section of the carving finished by Monday.

    "Wing girl carving done, sort of"

    Hope y'all ain't sick of seeing my progress on this carving project?

    I think I am done with the girl except for some sanding, thought I'd get a start on the main panel tonight.

    I started a little but my hand is sore after holding the RTX for 8 hours.

    The girl is just sitting on top, it will be easier for me to mostly carve the main panel before I glue her down.

    After I get the panel carved and glue her down I will feather the bottom of the rock column into the back panel.

    Probably doesn't look like 8 more hours of carving but all those little lines in her necklace, arm bands, loin cloth and hair are hard for me.

    Tiny bit and trying to keep it halfway straight.

    I think I must be getting old too, think I am going to have to get some glasses one of these days.

    I move in close enough to see the fine details I'm trying to carve and it gets blurry.

    Back off far enough that it's clear and I'm almost to far away to see it.

    A guy stopped by the shop this afternoon while a friend of mine was here.

    The guy saw my carving laying on the bench and asked what I used to carve that, my friend spoke up and said, "Chainsaw".

    The guy said really, and I just had to play along.

    I told him you have to find a board with just the right kind of grain pattern then hit it just right with the chainsaw to get it to break out of the wood.

    "Got one wing carved."

    Well I got one of the wings carved today.

    The girl sitting on top, I'm hoping to get the other wing carved tomorrow so I can glue her down Wednesday as I have to go back to work Thursday.

    "Carving, getting closer to finished"

    Had a little time after work the last few evenings to get the main panel finished enough to glue the girl down tonight.

  •   I drove a couple brads into the main panel
  •   cut the heads off and
  •   sharpened them.

  •   Set the girl on top till I had it aligned right
  •   pushed her onto the nails.

  •   Pulled her back off and
  •   used wood glue in the center and
  •   CA glue around the edges.

  •   Aligned her on the nails and
  •   pushed down and held in place for 2 minutes.

  •   Now I just need to clean up around her,

  •   feather the rock in and

  •   do a crap load of sanding

  •   before I can glue the panel into the door frame.

  • I have to work this weekend so I won't get a lot done on this.

    I'll post more after I get it clearcoated sometime next week.

    A guy came into the woodshop the other day and said he liked my carving but using rotary tools wasn't really carving.

    I said, okay how about this, does this qualify?

    "Wing girl carving clearcoated"

    I wasn't going to post again until I was finished but what the heck.
  •   I sprayed 4 double wet coats on this with
  •   an hour between coats.

  •   As you can see it's still wet (shiney)

  •   It's satin but with the clearcoat hardner in the clear,
  •   it will be a semi-gloss when it drys.

  •   About Midnight tonight, I can flip it over and spray the backside.

  • Well Almost, except for some knobs I need to make.

    I want to attempt make a claw holding a ball carved from Cherry for the two knobs.   Probably take me a while.

    All told I have around 116 hours in this project so far.   If you want to see these any larger go here, you can choose large or original;however, the original size is right off my camera and quite large, though you can really see the details.

    What do you think?

    Thanks ~Mike

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