Carving a Life Size Statue #3: Large glue up, transfer lines,starting to Carve

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Blog entry by Dennis Zongker posted 07-24-2016 10:32 PM 2091 reads 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Detailing the Clay Part 3 of Carving a Life Size Statue series Part 4: Jointing the arms,Sizing the body,Carving some details »

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 weeks of cutting, gluing, drawing layout lines and carving off the larger sections of wood. One of most important steps is matching up the cups of the wood grain while also matching up the color of the wood and density.

Since you don’t have to worry about the wood warping, there is no reason to alter the grain direction from board to board to keep it flat.

When gluing up for a large carving it is important to have the “cups” which is the grain direction on the ends of each board going in the same direction. The reason for this is when your carving into your glued up block of wood, the cutting direction won’t change on you every time you get to the next layer.

And believe me I have learned the lesson the hard way, trying to carve in details and also fight against different grain of cutting directions can be very frustrating. lol

Thank you very much for looking and happy woodworking to you!

-- Dennis Zongker

25 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8987 posts in 2341 days

#1 posted 07-24-2016 10:40 PM

What can I say, Dennis? Always a masterpiece! You never cease to amaze me! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Grumpy's profile


21459 posts in 3272 days

#2 posted 07-24-2016 10:51 PM

Great blog Dennis

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1300 posts in 3194 days

#3 posted 07-24-2016 11:11 PM

Knock it out of the park Dennis!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View sscartozzi's profile


58 posts in 1181 days

#4 posted 07-24-2016 11:21 PM

Amazing I can’t wait to follow the progress.

-- Steve, Malvern, PA

View savannah505's profile


1781 posts in 3007 days

#5 posted 07-25-2016 12:22 AM

HIRE BEAVERS!!!! Really enjoy seeing your progress Dennis. Seeing you use a bow saw, kinda gave me a chuckle, I probably would have pulled out the chain saw. Keep the progress pictures coming, we’re all looking forward to seeing the work as it goes. Great job.

-- Dan Wiggins

View realcowtown_eric's profile


554 posts in 1358 days

#6 posted 07-25-2016 02:09 AM

please post prgress photos, updowns/ mistakes and epipahies. gotta watch the progress

Eric in Calgary

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3127 posts in 3133 days

#7 posted 07-25-2016 02:14 AM


That’s A LOT of wood! Is it bass? It looks like we could make quite a few sheet of particleboard from what you’re chiseling away!

You skill and artistry is way beyond our imagination.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View shipwright's profile


7087 posts in 2219 days

#8 posted 07-25-2016 02:58 AM

All I can think of is how much hard work that is Dennis …. Just to get to where you can start having fun with the actual carving. You are tiring me out just looking at the pictures. I remember having that kind of energy …..... once.

We are all cheering for you from the sidelines but none of us have any doubts as to how the final piece will turn out.
We all know it will be spectacular ….. as per usual.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View DocSavage45's profile


7656 posts in 2263 days

#9 posted 07-25-2016 03:41 AM

Another great one!

wondering why you are not using an electric chainsaw? Oil stains? That wood is beautiful. Is it pine,polar?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Bob Kassmeyer's profile

Bob Kassmeyer

184 posts in 2346 days

#10 posted 07-25-2016 10:45 AM

As always it is great to watch your progress. Looking forward to seeing the finished project.

Bob Kassmeyer

-- Bob Kassmeyer, Nebraska

View JoeinGa's profile


7370 posts in 1428 days

#11 posted 07-25-2016 12:03 PM

Wow. In this pic, it looks like you’re gluing up to make a battleship!

We all know what the final figure will be, but just to have the vision to SEE what will come out of the big block is pretty amazing. Like others have said, will be fantastic, no doubt.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2613 posts in 3013 days

#12 posted 07-25-2016 12:16 PM

Thank you very much for the kind and inspirational complements Lumberjocks!

As far as using a chainsaw I have tried that before. The problem that I have is that kiln dried hardwood is almost impossible to cut with a chain saw. Then when I use it on tree branches where the water level in the pores are much higher it cuts like a dream.

If you guys know the secret on what I’m doing wrong please tell, most nights I’m very sore and tired and could use a faster easier method.

Do chainsaw carvers carve into kiln dried hardwood and if they do what blades are they using?

Thank you again

-- Dennis Zongker

View gashley's profile


61 posts in 2427 days

#13 posted 07-25-2016 12:49 PM

Love your project updates on this stuff Dennis. Definitely way beyond my poor imagination and skills. Wish I could offer some tips about how to hog away the big waste areas – but I’m stumped. I’ll probably sit here at my desk all day trying to image some sort of power tool method to do it.
P.S. Nice clamp collection!

-- Gary in OP

View kiefer's profile


4873 posts in 2088 days

#14 posted 07-25-2016 02:22 PM

Incredible project in the making and it’s fun to watch you going through the process with pictures and explanation .
Thank you !


-- Kiefer

View grizzman's profile


7781 posts in 2724 days

#15 posted 07-25-2016 03:11 PM

well i imagine you will be able to rent yourself out as a tow truck or a fork lift, your arms will be fit for sure, what type of wood is this, i will like seeing how you attach the arms, what is the estimated time for completion, once your done hogging out the waste, then the fun will start, im wondering why you didnt use Walnut, what reason is there for that, do you use a good liniment at night, and taking a nice hot shower at night will really help, im having some envy here, enjoy this, this carving will last many many years, in fact it might last until the Savior comes….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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