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carving- which wood

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Forum topic by Danpaddles posted 02-07-2012 05:42 AM 646 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Danpaddles

540 posts in 1035 days


02-07-2012 05:42 AM

I am not much of a carver, in fact, I think maybe what I do is closer to whittling. But I have managed to do a couple things, when the need arises.

My little girl is nuts for dolphins lately. I found a nice pattern, I think I can cut much of it with a scroll saw, then start to shaving it down to look right.

I have a hunk of mahogany (luan I think, not too heavy anyway), a hunk of very very old poplar, and a large basswood board. The relative value of the wood to me, is inverse to the order listed. The mahogany is a little scrap that has been hanging around forever. The poplar is a nice size piece, more likely to be used one day if I leave it as long as it is now. Cut a foot off- and I will have two little hunks, instead of one smallish board. The bass is a fairly big board, purchased for my son (16) to carve upon one day. I sorta gave it over to him, but so far, it has sat (for at least a year) untouched. He has done some good work, and has been in the shop some this year carving, but all smaller things.

I am sure the bass would be the easiest to carve, but I might not want to spark any new sibling rivalry by using “his” board for his sisters gift.

How difficult would it be to carve in the other two boards? would they be much more difficult than the bass? I hate to go out and buy more wood for one little project, I have so damn much around as it is. Like, I have a hunk of curly maple that would be the perfect size for this. But I am thinking that wood is way beyond my abilities, I do not use power carving tools.

Thoughts?
(hey, the time I just spent writing this, I could be done with the saw work already!)

-- Dan V. in Indy


5 replies so far

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Rev_John

93 posts in 2612 days


#1 posted 02-07-2012 06:54 AM

Your hunk of mahogany should do fine with the grain is fairly straight. You will have to have SHARP tools. I have carved mahogany with no real problems but watch the grain.
Good luck on your project. I’d like to know how it turns out.

-- John from Jackson, Michigan

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Danpaddles

540 posts in 1035 days


#2 posted 02-07-2012 07:38 AM

well, if the good Reverend says it may work, I might just try the luan. Sharp I got. If it works, okay, if not, well, it is pretty close to firewood anyway.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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Danpaddles

540 posts in 1035 days


#3 posted 02-08-2012 04:03 AM

There was some funny grain in the mahogany, but nothing I couldn’t work around. A couple times more wood broke off than I intended, but nothing major. I used a pattern I found on the internet somewhere.

Can’t say much nice about the pattern. Btu I can not remember where I swiped it from, so…....

Got the front half looking pretty good, then it dawned on me, the cut pattern I used had the dolphin tale on 90 degrees wrong. Dolphins are not fish, one of the differences is, the tail lays left to right, not up and down. Once I realized what was wrong, I couldn’t see much point in going on. I’ll maybe mess with the pattern tomorrow, for now, well, my little girl is a little slow, bet she never notices the sideways tail. So it is only about 1/2 carved.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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Rev_John

93 posts in 2612 days


#4 posted 02-08-2012 04:45 AM

It looks pretty good. And if she does notice to tail, make up a tale about a special dolphin that loves kids.

-- John from Jackson, Michigan

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Danpaddles

540 posts in 1035 days


#5 posted 02-08-2012 02:07 PM

I gotta work on taking better picts of my work. Guess the belt sander wasn’t the best place.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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