Working on a relief

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Blog entry by mpounders posted 05-30-2012 02:13 PM 1356 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

See if you can guess what I am carving on! I’ll put the answer at the bottom of this post. Some friends approached me about making a housewarming present for a new music director at our church. The wood appears to be spruce. It carves like cedar, in that it is soft but splinters easily, sands easily, and it doesn’t really have the color or smell of cedar. I have always wanted to get better at relief carvings, especially wildlife, with the hopes of some day carving a few gunstocks or such. This pattern is based on one from a book by Susan Irish. I used tracing paper to combine parts of her pattern to fit in the space I had to work with and added a musical note in the bird’s beak.

I’m using a combination of gouges, knives, woodburning, and power carving. Sometimes, a different technique seems to work better. Getting the background down is going better using power first and then smoothing it a bit witha gouge. I may simplify the design a bit, but I think it will look good.

You might not guess what this is unless you had seen one before… is a pipe from an old pipe organ (G, I believe). It is similar to a large wooden whistle (I covered the hole with tape to keep dust and chips out). The end with metal rested in a frame that had air lines running to it. The opposite end has a turned handle fitted to a square wooden plug, that slides within the box so that it can be tuned to the proper note. There are quite a few of these boxes in different sizes ranging from a foot to several feet in length. in addition to metal tubes that function in a similar fashion. It sounds pretty cool, like a conch shell or ram’s horn, when you blow in it! Thanks for looking!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

5 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


31363 posts in 2890 days

#1 posted 05-30-2012 02:51 PM

I didn’t know til I got to the bottom. However, I can already tell that it’s goning to look great just like all of your other work.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4429 days

#2 posted 05-30-2012 03:03 PM

I know if you are doing it, it will be magnificent!

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3042 days

#3 posted 05-30-2012 05:41 PM

It is already looking magnificent and will become even more so!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2828 days

#4 posted 05-30-2012 09:35 PM

That will look phenomenal on that organ. Are you gonna carve all the others?? Wow, if you do. There is a billion keys on one o them organs, yes? :)

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

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3620 days

#5 posted 05-30-2012 09:57 PM

Interesting concept on using an old pipe organ piece

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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