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Finishing Log Carvings

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Forum topic by rockindavan posted 12-28-2012 02:47 PM 530 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rockindavan

283 posts in 1291 days


12-28-2012 02:47 PM

My brother recently finished another log carving for his wie. He asked me how he should finish the carving to prevent it from splittting like the last one he made.

His first carving was of an eagle. Of course the wood was straight from outside from the firewood supply, wet as can be. He coated it with multiple thick coats of new engine oil(hes a mechanic so it is in great supply, also too cheap to buy actual finishing oil) The eagle dried out and eventually the wings broke off.

Now he carved a few bears and want to know what to finish it with. The carvings are rough, just with a chainsaw. He doesn’t want, or like the look of a smooth carving.

My thoughts are this..
1. Soak with 2-3 coats linseed oil or tung oil, whatever is cheap.
2. Coat with thinned spar varnish
3. Or coat with oil/varnish mixture
4.Possibly wax to slow the drying, although rough surface might look like crap with wax on it

He doesn’t want it to look glossy, but it is going to be outside. The carvings again are nice and wet. Any advice would be appreciated


8 replies so far

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bondogaposis

2528 posts in 1006 days


#1 posted 12-28-2012 03:29 PM

If it is made from a whole log, it will split no matter what he does. There is no finish in the world that will prevent that. I think that a spar vanish/blo mixture will look nice and and help to prevent weathering of the wood.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Clint Searl

1455 posts in 1016 days


#2 posted 12-28-2012 03:33 PM

BLO will get moldy and black outside.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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crank49

3434 posts in 1626 days


#3 posted 12-28-2012 03:39 PM

Don’t know what is in it but Anchor Seal is a product used to coat the ends of green lumber to control checking and splitting while air drying. It looks like milky varnish, is thick and slimy out of the can, but dries clear.

I know this is not a finish, but it doesn’t look bad.
It’s Not glossy; Just makes the wood look dark.
But, it controls the drying process and keeps the stresses equalized and that’s what you need IMHO.

As Bondo said, nothing is going to prevent a whole log from splitting, but the longer you can extend the drying process and allow even and balanced evaporation from all surfaces the better the results will be.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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rockindavan

283 posts in 1291 days


#4 posted 12-28-2012 03:45 PM

Does bruning the wood with a torch help to seal the pores?

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rockindavan

283 posts in 1291 days


#5 posted 12-28-2012 03:46 PM

Also is there any problem with him making a mixture of spar varnish with engine oil..sounds kinda redneck but aye

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crank49

3434 posts in 1626 days


#6 posted 12-28-2012 06:12 PM

I wouldn’t think a torch would help in any way I can imagine.
Engine oil, in any form, will be detrimental to the wood.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Clint Searl

1455 posts in 1016 days


#7 posted 12-30-2012 03:21 PM

Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

690 posts in 828 days


#8 posted 12-30-2012 03:27 PM

A whole log over time will split and there is nothing that can stop it. Sealing the endgrain will slow it down and maybe reduce the splitting. It will split.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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