First go at carving

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Project by NoKetchup posted 04-05-2012 05:28 AM 1807 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


534 posts in 1838 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


14144 posts in 2587 days

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

It is Gorgeous!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View shinju's profile


185 posts in 2329 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


18371 posts in 1863 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 1243 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


1320 posts in 1684 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 1267 days

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

Great job!

View stefang's profile


14600 posts in 2330 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


3220 posts in 1414 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 1687 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 1288 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


6551 posts in 1797 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


1488 posts in 2349 days

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

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

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2305 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.

View shipwright's profile


6076 posts in 1794 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.

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