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Chip Carving Class - Quilt Squares #14: Lesson 8 - Applying a Finish

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Blog entry by MyChipCarving posted 04-04-2011 09:49 PM 5024 reads 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Pattern Downloads Part 14 of Chip Carving Class - Quilt Squares series Part 15: Send me your square(s) »

Applying a finish to your completed chip carving is a “make or break” step. Do it well and your chip carving comes to life and is something wonderful to behold. Do it poorly and your carving loses the beauty and the finish detracts from the chip carved design. Follow this lesson closely from start to finish and you’ll find success with each chip carving you complete from here on out.

I call this the My Chip Carving Quick & Easy Finish

Step 1 – Remove leftover pattern lines
Pencil lines are easy to remove with a soft, white plastic eraser. I prefer the Staedtler Mars Plastic and the Mercur Prism erasers when it comes to removing pencil lines.


Take your time especially around the delicate areas of your carving.

Graphite transfer paper AND Pattern Transfer Tool pattern lines are best removed with the Tombow Sand Eraser.

I have to import this eraser from Japan. You won’t find it in any office supply store.
It really does the trick. Again, erase carefully.
Vacuum the eraser remains when you are done.

Step 2 – Lightly sand the surface
With 220 grit or finer sand paper, very LIGHTLY sand the surface with the grain.
You do NOT want to sand too much and flatten the ridges you worked so hard to create when carving.
Also, wrap the edges of the sand paper around your fingers or a sanding block to avoid the edge of the paper catching a piece of your carving and chipping it out.
Vacuum your project when sanding is complete.

Step 3 – Apply sanding sealer
Using a soft, white nylon brush, apply a coat of sanding sealer to all sides and edges of your project.
Zinsser Universal Sanding Sealer, available in most home centers, is a shellac based product that is wax-free.

The sanding sealer can be brushed on because it will soak into the wood and not pool in the bottom of your carved areas.
It will dry in 15-30 minutes which is nice.
Seal all surfaces, front, back, sides, edges, everything. If a surface is left without a finish it will take on and give off moisture at different rates than the other surfaces with a finish on them and your project will warp.

You do not need to clean your brush. Let it dry hard. The next time you need to apply sanding sealer, soak the brush in denatured alcohol and it will soften and be ready to use again.

When all surfaces have been sealed and the sealer has dried, lightly sand and vacuum to remove dust.

Step 4 – Apply a topcoat
Everything applied from here on out will be SPRAYED, not brushed!
Brushing will cause finish to pool in the bottom of your carving and it will not look good, I promise.
Spraying is the only way to apply a topcoat to your chip carving.
For the Quick & Easy Finish, you will spray on SATIN LACQUER (also available in most home centers). Not gloss or semi-gloss. You want to spray on a dull finish so the light creates shadows where you carved. Gloss and semi-gloss finishes cause the light to reflect off the finish so the viewers eye is drawn to the shiny finish rather than your carving.

In a well-ventilated area, spray one light coat on all surfaces of your project. Of course you’ll need to allow upper surfaces to dry before flipping it over to apply a finish to the back.

Lacquer also dries quickly, 15-30 minutes.
When the first coat is dry, lightly sand and vacuum to remove the dust.

Spray on a second coat in the same manner.

When it is dry, examine the finish. If the finish is uniform and even on the surface, you are done!
If the finish is not consistently even on the surface, lightly sand, vacuum, and apply a third coat.
After the final topcoat is sprayed on, don’t sand or polish or wax, you are done.

Follow these steps and you can completely finish your chip carving in 60-90 minutes!
Now you know why I call this the My Chip Carving Quick & Easy Finish!

Here’s an example of a candle holder I carved and finished using this method.
Notice the shadows and how they draw your eye to the carving and not the finish. That’s the goal!

Step 5 – Send your square(s) to me

I will be assembling the square(s) you send me into a chip carved quilt(s). Each quilt will be auctioned or sold with proceeds going to the My Chip Carving Foundation. I will post a blog entry showing you the finished quilt(s) that you helped create along with auction/sales information. Thanks in advance!

Mailing address:
My Chip Carving
51654 164th St.
Garden City, MN 56034

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996



19 comments so far

View Roger's profile

Roger

14649 posts in 1469 days


#1 posted 04-04-2011 11:22 PM

Are these squares going to be glued on something?
Can we “sign” the backs?

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View MyChipCarving's profile

MyChipCarving

474 posts in 1790 days


#2 posted 04-04-2011 11:42 PM

Roger asks, “Are these squares going to be glued on something?
Can we “sign” the backs?”

I have a plan for assembling these squares into a quilt-like style. They will be glued onto something.
You are welcome to sign (and date) the back or edge of the squares your submit.
Sign with India ink or a very very fine permanent marker if you do.
Sign and date as the very last step after finishing.

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996

View MyChipCarving's profile

MyChipCarving

474 posts in 1790 days


#3 posted 04-05-2011 12:09 AM

In a perfect world, if I could receive all of the squares you carve by the end of April, that would be excellent.

Planning and carving with you!

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996

View Dave's profile

Dave

11170 posts in 1505 days


#4 posted 04-05-2011 01:53 AM

Class dismissed. Thanks Marty for a wonderful ride. I did learn a lot. Please come back to this post and let me know when your new knives are ready for sale.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View rich2008's profile

rich2008

23 posts in 1305 days


#5 posted 04-05-2011 07:24 AM

Yes, count me in on the knives too Marty. I can’t wait to get my order in. If I was not so far away, I’d drive up and get them in person!

Rich

-- Rich, Mississippi Gulf Coast

View rich2008's profile

rich2008

23 posts in 1305 days


#6 posted 04-05-2011 07:33 AM

It’s me again. I just had an idea. How about giving us a class on carving a plate? We can all get our plates ready, you give us a pattern, and we will proceed just like we did here with the quilt squares. I think many of us new carvers would really like a class like this. We all can not get to the Red Barn Retreats to do this, so a one on one video, sort of step by step procedure to follow through out the carving, would be great.

Thanks,
Rich

-- Rich, Mississippi Gulf Coast

View MyChipCarving's profile

MyChipCarving

474 posts in 1790 days


#7 posted 04-05-2011 03:51 PM

How about giving us a class on carving a plate? We can all get our plates ready, you give us a pattern, and we will proceed just like we did here with the quilt squares.

Hey Rich and all,
You know how I like to teach chip carving. Teaching a plate carving class would be something I’d be interested in doing.
If you read this and are interested in another chip carving class sometime in the future, why don’t you reply to this post so we can get an early student count.

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)

helluvawreck

15893 posts in 1532 days


#8 posted 04-05-2011 04:59 PM

Marty, I still haven’t carved a single quilt square, yet. I’ll try my best to get you a few before the end of the month. I have been chip carving, however, and I really do enjoy it. I’ve been carving box top practice boards, letter practice boards, and Sunday I carved a free form leave pattern. Now, I really enjoyed that leaf pattern. Thanks for getting me to make the plunge by posting this tutorial.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View rich2008's profile

rich2008

23 posts in 1305 days


#9 posted 04-05-2011 05:20 PM

!

!

!Hi Marty;
I just mailed off my two quilt squares. I did snap a jpeg of them, but have not posted any pics here on Lumberjocs. I’ll try and see how it works. Yes, count me in as the first student on the plate carving!

-- Rich, Mississippi Gulf Coast

View Dave's profile

Dave

11170 posts in 1505 days


#10 posted 04-05-2011 05:29 PM

Wow Rich great stuff!

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Cubie's profile

Cubie

16 posts in 1302 days


#11 posted 04-05-2011 06:05 PM

Marty, I intend to try the truetint spray on finish using an airbrush. Since I will have the brush out and limbered up I was wondering if it might be used for the initial coat of shellac rather than brushing it on?

Cubie

-- Cubie

View MyChipCarving's profile

MyChipCarving

474 posts in 1790 days


#12 posted 04-05-2011 07:51 PM

Marty, I intend to try the truetint spray on finish using an airbrush. Since I will have the brush out and limbered up I was wondering if it might be used for the initial coat of shellac rather than brushing it on?

Cubie, most definitely you can airbrush the shellac sanding sealer and all coats thereafter.
I do that when I’ve got a lot of items to finish. Sure saves time and the results are…oohlala!

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996

View Roger's profile

Roger

14649 posts in 1469 days


#13 posted 04-06-2011 02:29 AM

rich2008: very nice chip projects there. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Chipaway's profile

Chipaway

23 posts in 1305 days


#14 posted 04-06-2011 09:58 PM

Marty, I’d be interested in additional classes. Plates would be good. Lettering would be good. Heck, about anything would be good for me. I have a lot to learn.

Rich, nice looking projects!

-- Ron, Gainesville, Georgia, http://www.HandCarvedPlates.com

View Panthro's profile

Panthro

19 posts in 1288 days


#15 posted 04-11-2011 07:50 AM

Rich, I really like your quilt carvings. You rock!!

-- Bob

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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