PILEATED WOODPECKER - basswood bird, tupelo and mahogany mount

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Project by Roman Hrytsak posted 977 days ago 2611 views 2 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My carving buddy Cliff obtained the basswood blanks in exchange for me guiding him through this carving. After many hours of carving, painting and generous insertions of beer, he got a nice piece that he mounted on a fencepost base and I constructed the abstract tree! PS Had to clear away the dust at the end of each carving session!

This is a full size pattern and the piece stands 18 inches high and 14 inches wide with an 8 inch diameter mahogany base. In my carvings I try to make the habitat as close to real as possible. I had some scrap tupelo lying around in my shop and I got out the glue and tried to simulate a tree hit by lightning. The woodpecker is harvesting any beetles he could find. I also try to make the mount and base as tight a fit as possible so I make a template out of ‘bondo’ to connect the base to the tree cleanly. The bondo portion is easily carved and provides a strong attachment(seen at the base and branch connection).

The pileated is not a black bird but a very dark brown, a colour I obtained by using a lot of washes of red and various tones of blue acrylic paints. I hope you enjoy this one. RH

-- Roman:... there are no mistakes, just opportunities for a design change!

19 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


11988 posts in 2597 days

#1 posted 977 days ago

This is absolutely wonderful. I will have to get some beer and come over for lessons….lol My carving portfolio is up to a power carved trout, 3 spoons and some relief carved acorn leaves. I have a long way to go….

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

View grosa's profile


873 posts in 1329 days

#2 posted 977 days ago

Very nice, great job.

-- Have a great day.

View KnotCurser's profile


1738 posts in 1568 days

#3 posted 977 days ago

A true work of art – fantastic!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2027 days

#4 posted 977 days ago

WOW, fantastic!

That lightning tree is awesome! Love it all, beautiful project…....................

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Cozmo35's profile


2197 posts in 1536 days

#5 posted 977 days ago

I this is the result of a “generous insertions of beer”, you should increase the intake. Outstanding work!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Bearpie's profile


2574 posts in 1518 days

#6 posted 977 days ago

I have a Pileated Woodpecker living in my neighborhood! I see him every now and then so I can relate to this piece. Beautiful work!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View chrisstef's profile


9354 posts in 1506 days

#7 posted 977 days ago

Thats a really great carving of a pileated. We had one in our yard all summer 2 years ago, theyre really awesome to look at and your carving skills nailed it along with the paint. All your missing is the softball size holes they put in dead trees, ohh and the sound of someone hitting a tree with a hammer.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Roman Hrytsak's profile

Roman Hrytsak

432 posts in 1186 days

#8 posted 977 days ago

Thanks for the comments.
I still haven’t figured it out how they avoid getting a concussion with all their hammering!

-- Roman:... there are no mistakes, just opportunities for a design change!

View LittlePaw's profile


1565 posts in 1578 days

#9 posted 977 days ago

Wow, it looks so real, Roman! Great job!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View peteg's profile


2706 posts in 1323 days

#10 posted 976 days ago

You just keep outdoing yourself my friend, we don’t have these guys down our way, but, thanks to you I swear I can see one sitting just out the door :)))
Another stunner, he aint no little sucker either.
BTW what sort of beer do you use to lubricate your chissels, hope we can get some down our way LOL

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View helluvawreck's profile


14580 posts in 1366 days

#11 posted 976 days ago

He really did a great job on that woodpecker; it’s very realistic.

-- 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 Maveric777's profile


2687 posts in 1576 days

#12 posted 976 days ago

Think this is one my favorites so far Roman… Wow… Just flat out awesome!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Spoontaneous's profile


1251 posts in 1830 days

#13 posted 976 days ago

Woody would have been proud.

Very nice work Roman, I have been really working on the beer drinking part… but somehow, my carving isn’t getting any better. Really great job…. so real!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Roman Hrytsak's profile

Roman Hrytsak

432 posts in 1186 days

#14 posted 976 days ago

i must make it clear that I don’t partake in any spirits when I’m carving or doing other wood working. It happens when the shop is closed and it is time to reflect. My friend Cliff and I had many reflections!

-- Roman:... there are no mistakes, just opportunities for a design change!

View wiswood2's profile


1049 posts in 2196 days

#15 posted 976 days ago

Great job. It looks just like the two that I have come to my yard every so often.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

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