First go at carving

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Project by NoKetchup posted 04-05-2012 05:28 AM 1732 views 2 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I hope this is ok to submit, I have never carved before and have very little woodworking experience. Its a Totoro, one of those japanese animation characters.

The body is antique sugar pine butcher block I made
claws and wiskers are bocote
face parts are madagascar ebony
I forget offhand the tree the nut comes from

I used a radial arm saw and bench planar for the butcher block but everything else is 100% dremel and a piece of sandpaper. The parts are all Mr Potato head style press fit (I do have several different mouths for him that are fun to switch up).

All said it was about 40 hours, but I think it made a mighty fine xmas gift to the missus. I learned a lot of lessons and looking forward to picking up some new tools to try some more difficult projects.

29 comments so far

View lizardhead's profile


533 posts in 1741 days

#1 posted 04-05-2012 05:37 AM

I would have called it Fat Cat

-- Lizardhead---Yeah but it's a dry heat--Tempe, Az

View woodworm's profile


14141 posts in 2490 days

#2 posted 04-05-2012 10:22 AM

It is Gorgeous!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View shinju's profile


185 posts in 2232 days

#3 posted 04-05-2012 10:56 AM

Very nice,great job…..shinju

-- enjoy, be well and enjoy life with all around you

View helluvawreck's profile


17235 posts in 1766 days

#4 posted 04-05-2012 11:17 AM

Considering it’s your first attempt at carving, I would say it’s pretty dang good. Fat Cat would wouldn’t be a bad name. On the next one you could put a big cigar in his mouth and a stack full of money in his hand. Seriously, I think that this carving shows a lot of imaginative creativity. Stay at it and I believe that you will do good with carving.


-- 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 nick85's profile


39 posts in 1146 days

#5 posted 04-05-2012 11:41 AM

That looks awesome! The nut is a banksia pod. I would suggest carving in the little marks on his belly, and maybe the outline, to ensure people know who it is…

-- "I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win."

View MasterSergeant's profile


1314 posts in 1588 days

#6 posted 04-05-2012 11:47 AM

Thanks for the smile your carving provided me! Excellent!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Woodtroll's profile


5 posts in 1170 days

#7 posted 04-05-2012 12:14 PM

Great job!

View stefang's profile


14160 posts in 2233 days

#8 posted 04-05-2012 12:31 PM

This is really good, especially for a first. Don’t worry about your work being good enough to post. Anything goes on as long as its woodworking. Welcome to LJ.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Woodbridge's profile


3129 posts in 1317 days

#9 posted 04-05-2012 12:41 PM

very cute, very cool. thanks for posting your work it very good. welcome to LJs

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario (

View AugieCoe's profile


44 posts in 1590 days

#10 posted 04-05-2012 01:02 PM

Love it! For the first time at carving and shaping you really gave him a lot of personality!

Great work!

-- There is a lesson in every project. Play safe!

View Ben Simms's profile

Ben Simms

191 posts in 1191 days

#11 posted 04-05-2012 01:24 PM

My neighbor Totoro. great movie, a little odd but I liked it. Vary nice carving I knew immediately what it was from the thumbnail pic.

-- I played with Legos as a kid and I never had the part I thought I needed, so I learned to improvise. Now I'm an engineer with a woodworking hobby.

View StumpyNubs's profile


6399 posts in 1700 days

#12 posted 04-05-2012 01:32 PM

Did you use my body shape as inspiration?

Thanks for posting!
Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
New episode of Blue Collar Woodworking is now online!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View BlankMan's profile


1487 posts in 2252 days

#13 posted 04-05-2012 01:45 PM

I like that! Really cute. Good job on your first carving.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5582 posts in 2208 days

#14 posted 04-05-2012 02:08 PM

You wife will most definitely love this Christmas gift. You have a good eye for carving and I hope to see future pieces you create.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpieceā€¦ because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View shipwright's profile


5799 posts in 1697 days

#15 posted 04-05-2012 03:09 PM

Now that is just tooooooo cute!

Very well done for a first try.
Welcome to Lumberjocks. You’ll fit right in.

tip: In the future, use a landscape format photo for your first (main) view and it won’t get beheaded.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 29 comments

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