"Addicted to Wood"

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Blog entry by mpounders posted 06-27-2011 11:29 PM 3939 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There is an old song by Robert Palmer with these lyrics:

“Your lights are on, but you’re not home
Your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats, your body shakes
Another kiss is what it takes

You can’t sleep, you can’t eat
There’s no doubt, you’re in deep
Your throat is tight, you can’t breathe
Another kiss is all you need

Whoa, you like to think that you’re immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough
You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to wood!”

OK,OK, he actually said love…...but it is a little known fact that he may have considered “wood” but was forced to change the lyric to give it more commercial appeal! Maybe.

But the sentiment expressed in the song resonates with me in carving….at times, it seems like it is all I think about. I always have a pocketknife with me and will carve at any opportunity. It doesn’t matter if it is a pencil. a twig, or a toothpick, I have this urge to see what I can carve! I have even brought basswood scraps to work to carve on when things slow down. This piece is about 3 1/2” tall and was intended to be a female practice face, only it may be more boyish than female. It doesn’t matter that much to me…it’s all about the “doing”! It has kind of an Egyptian mummy look to it and you can see the knife and sandpaper that I used. Thanks for looking!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

7 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2832 days

#1 posted 06-28-2011 12:40 AM

the video that goes along with that song is awesome! keep on carvin, instead of keep on truckin

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View DinoWalk's profile


29 posts in 2587 days

#2 posted 06-28-2011 01:58 AM

Cool thought, I like the two guys in the back. How do you carve using a knife? I’ve been wanting to get into more intricate carving but the last time I tried, I sliced my finger.

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3624 days

#3 posted 06-28-2011 04:58 AM

lookin good Mike. KI like your version of the song better

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4125 days

#4 posted 06-28-2011 05:02 AM

Dino, there are kevlar carving gloves and also leather finger guards…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3064 days

#5 posted 06-28-2011 04:36 PM

I’m similarly addicted. To wood that is.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View mpounders's profile


875 posts in 2923 days

#6 posted 06-28-2011 05:05 PM

Thanks all! Dino, here’s what I do to avoid cuttin myself. I have a leather thumbguard that I wrap in a fabric tape that sticks to itself. I use my thumb like a stop, carving up to it and would have removed it by now without protection! Cutting to yourself is a controled method of cutting. You can make a guard by cutting fingers and thumbs off a leather glove and wrapping it with tape. I have to replace the tape or add more, as it gets sliced up and pretty ragged.

If you carve smaller pieces and hold them in your hand, then a protective glove is important. I prefer kevlar as it is pretty easy to slice through leather with a sharp knife. The kevlar protects you from slicing cuts, not stabbing cuts with gouges or knives, so it is still important to be aware of where the blade will go, when you make each cut. It is also safer to use a holding device when possible. This allows you to use both hands to controll the tool and can keep them away from the pointy sharp end. This could either be a vise, a work holder, or a bench hook. Some carvers also wear leather aprons to protect their legs and chest…..I know of several who have stabbed themselves in the leg and in the chest! It can take the fun out if you have to get stitches, but some precautions can make it safer. The little heads in the background are also further evidence of spare time at work. I prefer to carve with a greater variety of tools but I like to challenge myself at times by using only certaqin ones. Whittling with a pocketknife makes me feel closer to my father and grandfather who didn’t have a lot of fancy tools. Take a look at some of the videos by Gene Messer who does excellent flatplane-style carving with only a knife.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View DinoWalk's profile


29 posts in 2587 days

#7 posted 06-29-2011 03:58 AM

Thanks Mike, that’s some great info to get started with and thanks for the video link.


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