Discouraging Day
Posted On 04/24/2008 10:12:55 by lowvillecarver
Probably a terrible day to write but I need to get out my frustration.  As is often my case,  I choose to carve things that are probably way over my head and then when I struggle, I wonder why I didn't see it coming.  Currently working on several pieces but the major problem lies in a large in the round carving of Santa with Reindeer.  I guess this would be non-realistic as it is turning out that way.   First issue...only had a front view sketch of what this would look like but became so enamoured with it that I assured myself that I could figure out the rest.   So here I am trying to figure out the back side of a deer and to finish off my frustration, the wood on the back side of the carving has turned very very punky.   Time for a day or two off to look at it with fresh eyes and get my tools up to sharpness.  Thinking of breaking out the foredom to get some of the shape work done and then back to hand tools.  With some luck, tomorrow I will see the piece as loveable and just challenging.

Tags: Punky Wood


Viewing 1 - 4 out of 4 Comments

05/03/2008 16:29:44

While I also like to do mostly hand carving, there are times to resort to some power.  I say step back from it for a while, think it through, figure out in your head what its supposed to look like and then go to it, just gently at first so you don't take off parts you may need.  As for the back view of the deer, google it.  only 80,000 picks of deer, should be one you can make sense of.

04/25/2008 06:58:08


Sometimes a dilute solution of shellac will fortify punky wood if it is not too far gone.  I mix my own shellac from flakes so I'm not absolutely sure of the strength of store bought shellac but I believe it is about a 3 pound cut (3pounds of shellac in 1 gallon of alcohol).  I use a rough mixture of 1/2 pound cut shellac so about 5 parts alcohol to 1 part of store bought shellac should be about right.  Use Zinser shellac since it is stabalized to increase it's shelf life and methyl alcohol unless you can get denatured.  Denatured is far less toxic than methyl.  Good luck.



04/24/2008 21:27:08

go to power if you have it.. ...just make a rough out of the carving and then back to to the hand tools..,, and mabe a shot of Jim Beam to help you get a good night sleep..




04/24/2008 12:11:21

Sometimes spritzing the wood (1/2 alcohol and 1/2 water mix) can get you through a punky spot but it sounds like you've really hit a bad area.  Your idea of putting it aside until another day is a good idea.  Otherwise it could turn into a real mess.  If all else fails, could the front side be mounted on a plaque?  It would look like a deep relief.  Just a suggestion so it doesn't get tossed in the fireplace.  

Best of luck,


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