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How should I store this started really wet carving?

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  • How should I store this started really wet carving?

    Had a couple of pine trees die on me. Carved the small one into a "gnome" tree. The other was a large pine about 20-24" in diameter that was cut down last Fall. I cut a section about 25" tall and roughed out a "gnome"/bird house. I have some other work I have to do for the next few days. Wondering how you would store this to minimize cracking? It's very wet, was throwing water while cutting. Should I leave it in the back of my pickup (in a covered carport) together like the last photo or put it inside an air-conditioned shop, if I put it in the shop would you leave all the pieces together and put it in a garbage bag or separate them bagged or unbagged?

    This is going to sit on top of the small tree in the center then I plan to make some other bird houses for the other 2 limbs.

    Thanks ~Mike

  • #2
    Wow! I can't answer your question on drying, but I LOVE your gnome tree! Very creative!


    • #3
      Inside or out, I would bag it, to slow down how quickly it will dry out. It also helps if you pack it in some of the wood chips in the bag. You want it to dry slowly to minimize cracking. Any mold that develops can be removed with a bleach mixture or sanded off. There is also a commercial product called Pentacryl that can be brushed on and helps reduce checking.
      'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"


      • #4
        Can't help you with drying, but love the gnome tree. I have a few gnomes I carve and that is a perfect addition to a scene. Nice job on it.
        Living among knives and fire.


        • #5
          The Tree Rescuer Good work is done here. Have no ideas on how to control the drying.
          . . .JoeB


          • #6
            When you stop to think about it, all of the pole carvings in the Pacific Northwest are meant to be seen from one side.
            To resist cracking, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the knotty side of the pole is cut away.

            Your wonderful pole includes the branches(never seen that done before.)
            And, I'd guess that it is really carved in the round.

            Otherwise, I'd say a Skilsaw cut up the back to the center to open the wood instead of it cracking.
            No guarantee at all but it usually helps.

            mpounders plan to bag the carving with wet chips for a slow dry (with a garnish of fuzzy mold) is a good process to try.
            Brian T


            • #7
              Thanks for all the suggestions, for the moment I left it in the back of my pickup covered with a movers blanket. I'll check on it everyday until I can work on it again to see how it's doing. A few more pictures of the tree carving in progress.


              • #8
                Borrowed my dad's tractor for another project so I used it to get the birdhouse on the tree to mark the location to cut threw to line up with the steps. I put the 3 pieces in the bucket, raised it up then climbed in and set the pieces together on the tree.I wanted it to look reasonably level though my chainsaw work on the birdhouse is anything but square and level. I know this is going to crack, but I put some deck oil on it hoping it at least won't crack to the point of falling apart. I would have done the denatured alcohol thing like we do on the bowls but my container I use for bowls is way to small to get this in. Besides I don't have the patience to wait a month to finish this. Do you think this is going to explode?
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  I don't think the birds will mind a few cracks if the develope, Good job
                  . . .JoeB


                  • #10
                    that is an excellent project. I love it !

                    photos at........


                    • #11
                      Thanks guys.

                      Some more progress on the Gnome house.
                      Pretty crude, should have flattened before jigsawing. Following all my wavy chainsaw work made the window holes uneven.

                      7 half inch dowels, some exterior wood glue to put the sections back together.

                      Clamped up overnight.

                      Routered out a spot for a solar panel for lights inside. Grooved the roof with a 4" grinder and a Kutzel disc.

                      Drew lines on for siding, not sure I want to spend another 3 or 4 hours on this though. The grinder is quick but not going to work around the window frames, that will take more effort. Think it's worth it or would you just sand off or wood burn the lines?

                      Using a lot of deck oil trying to keep this from exploding.

                      I used 2 dowels to align the roof, not going to glue it down though so I can more easily replace the solar lights when they fail and they will. Always do.

                      I'm thinking of using walnut stain on the window frames so they stand out more from a distance?

                      I really thought this would be a weekend project, I guess I'm just getting slow in my old age. Still have two other houses to make, thinking kiln dried cedar for one, maybe turn a round one in my lathe for the other.

                      What do you think? Thanks ~Mike
                      Last edited by autobodyman; 08-11-2019, 07:19 AM.


                      • #12
                        Very nice, how is the spitting coming, under control?
                        . . .JoeB


                        • #13
                          Thanks Joe, Yea, it's not throwing water anymore. I did use the chainsaw again to deepen the inside of the roof and though my blade started to steam towards the end it wasn't throwing water. Still pretty green/damp yet. I stuck my moisture meter into it and it reads around 16% however I have oiled this several times so I don't know how that effects the reading.


                          • #14
                            I moisture tested the largest chunk of waste I had from this and it measured out at 41%, course it's been outside all this time and we've had rain and high humidity.

                            I decided to go ahead and do the siding. Below the windows went pretty quick.

                            A little slower going around the 6 windows.

                            A bit of sanding and another coat of Superdeck natural.
                            Looks like I need to add another "siding" piece to the top section.

                            Still thinking about using a darker stain or paint on the window frames?

                            Thanks ~Mike


                            • #15
                              Looking good! I agree with you, a little darkening of the window frames would look nice, I'd think stain.