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  • leylandii wood knot problem

    I collected some leylandii woods from my friend's garden last weekend. When I try to use one of the branch for carving there are too many knots, where new branches were growing. These grow spots are extremely hard making impossible to carve. I wonder if there would be way around to this problem. Also if any of you have experience carving Leylanii woods, please let us know how it was, and what to look for.

  • #2
    Power carving might work, but knots and grain are one of the issues you face with using found wood. You might just have to plan your design around the knots or bad areas. And just because it is free doesn't mean it is fun to carve or even suitable to carve. I carved a hickory walking stick once, out of green wood, and it was a tedious project to get it to look like I wanted. And it was not fun at all, by the end! I learned that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you always should! I like to have fun carving, rather than it being a chore.
    'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

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    • #3
      According to http://www.wood-database.com/leyland-cypress/ it isn't much different in hardness than basswood (not counting the knots...). Using gouges and a mallet, you should be able to work through knots ok, as long as you go with "gentle" taps from the mallet and don't try to hog off large chips... The rest of the wood should care easily with a knife.

      Claude
      My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

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      • #4
        I suspect that it will work like so many other conifers. Nobody here yet has taken inspiration from Guiseppe Penone's logs.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          They are cut into three smaller bits, and debarked now. Yup, as MP and Claude says power carving or large gouge / chisels with mallet on the knots would definitely work. But I might just try to carve around them. At the back and side, there are clear space which could take palm carvings.

          It is extra work before carving, and definitely not ideal, but fun to prepare them.

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          • #6
            Nice to see the pieces. No matter what you do with them, you will be "learning the wood" and that's important.
            Useful with conifers to keep track of which end was "up."
            I think that I'd take a draw knife to one of them, to see what I got under the bark.
            I think I'd look at the ends of another for the beginnings of natural cracks and use the axe & hatchet to split one in half.
            Brian T

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            • #7
              Started carving a face on one of the piece. The knots were cut off by large Flexcut mallet chisel. It feels harder than the lime wood I used to carve, but it seems carving OK. Flexcuts are doing good job on these Leylandii woods. Definitely learning a lot about the woods with this process.

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              • #8
                Kept on whittling away for the evening, and left it at that to further keep on working to see how it will turn out. So far it seems carving OK.
                Last edited by kiri; 05-20-2017, 06:21 PM.

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                • #9
                  Looking good so far!

                  Claude
                  My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                  My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                  My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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                  • #10
                    Thank you Claude

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                    • #11
                      Leylandii tree wood carving: As kept on carving, one or two grains appeared in the wood.

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                      • #12
                        Wood carving isn't as fast as you may have imagined! Looks good for that anatomy of the face. Like this.
                        Brian T

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Robson Valley View Post
                          Wood carving isn't as fast as you may have imagined! Looks good for that anatomy of the face. Like this.
                          Thank you RV. Trying to learn about the face carving and also the woods. This session was teaching me a lot. I was going to put it in the bin soon after started, but trying to see a little more where and what it will come to .

                          Face carving has been always challenge for me, so maybe I should try figurine or relief carving next time.

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                          • #14
                            I discovered that, after a while, I could predict that maybe 1/2 of my started carvings were going nowhere. Not relevant to size.
                            Other than keeping the first few things that I ever carved, the dead ones go into the fire pit.

                            The first ones are really important to keep for retrospective. Maybe start some others. Come back and dig at this one.
                            You will know when to do that. And you are learing wood, tool marks and shapes.
                            Brian T

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                            • #15
                              It is good to know now I have Leylandii woods piled in my garden for practicing carving for at least a year. I will have chance to make use of other tools lying in the shed - small axes, bill hooks, draw knives and whittling knives for preparing those branches. Only basswood I ever have had was a wee leaf board included in the packing of the Flexcut Beginners Gouge Set.

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