Thursday, August 09, 2012

Grab a chisel

Why does it feel like with every step I take forward, I end up two steps behind myself? This has been a week that hasn't been all that productive, but the baby steps I've been taking have all been necessary.

First - if you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I can be a little obsessive about things. So there was just no way I could live with the poor job I did on the lettering that I carved - the first thing I did this week was correct it.

The "G" was a little skinny, so I sketched some wider lines on the wood,

and then carved it away.

Luckily, I saved a bit of that brown Milkpaint that I'd mixed up, and painted the newly carved area.

With that behind me, I tried to focus on carving. I've had so many drawings and sketches floating around, I think I've been seeing them in my dreams. I was on a visual overload, and decided to just start carving, to help me focus and choose a design.

Just pick up a chisel and do it!

Here's a piece of Sassafras, planed and ready for carving.

Add some artwork and grab a chisel.

But first - I used a cove bit to machine a border around the carved area.

Burned the corners just a bit!

The artwork was transferred onto the wood with carbon paper.

Dennis Patchett has been teaching a carving class at the shop, and he recommended routing away the waste with a straight bit. So - I removed most of it with a half-inch bit, and then used a much smaller bit to get in even closer.

There isn't much more than a 1/32" left to be carved away.

Both flat chisels and small gouges helped to round over the edges.

With a little bit of sanding, these dogs start to take shape. This sample is only about fourteen inches wide, and still needs a little work, but I was so pleased with it, that I decided to go for broke and start the headboard.

But of course - there is one more fly in the ointment! The morning I was going to start carving, my friend Stacey sent me a drawing of a schnauzer - and you know how I love those!

I decided to play around (one last time, I swear!) with the design.

And yes - in the end, I added a few schnauzers into the line of dogs.

Here I am, routing away the waste. This was nasty, hot, sweaty, dirty work. We had a heat alert today, and the sawdust stuck to me like little fleas.

With most of the waste removed, the area still doesn't look like much

until the detail routing starts to define each shape.

All of the dogs are now ready to be detailed.

I have a date with a chisel and some sandpaper. You'll know where to find me for the next few days!

1 comment:

Vegas Lupe said...

Schnauzers...Love 'em!