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  • JoeVM
    replied
    I started carving 20 years ago. I started numbering my carvings after about 2 years. I'm up to #785. That doesn't include quite a few smaller pieces. I spend one or maybe up to two hours a day carving, probably 5 or 6 days each week. That's somewhat less than it used to be.

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  • woodburner807
    replied
    I just carve and enjoy the elimination of time and worry. No idea how much time...

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  • mpounders
    replied
    It all depends! At the moment, I am carving Santa/snowman ornaments for my grandson to give to his teachers and classmates. These are the little "on the corner" carvings about 3-4 inches tall. I need to make about 50 of these, so I am trying to carve 5 a day, which should let me have some time to complete and paint them. I still work full time and also sell some carvings and ornaments online and at a gallery. I allow a certain amount of time based on what I think it will sell for, but still not getting rich!

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  • Dark Lightning
    replied
    Yeah, the "5 minute wizard" is more like half an hour. I guess speed would come with practice. My rate of completed carvings is about 6 a year. Some go quickly, like the dog I posted. That's about 4 hours total. It's an early carving, so maybe a repeat would go quicker. Though speed is no longer of essence as it was in my job. I have my family coat of arms that has been ongoing for about 4 years. I'm learning an immense amount on it, which means a ton of mistakes to undo. It's calling me right now, and the garage has warned up. Guess I'll go generate some shavings.

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  • Merle Rice
    replied
    I usually Carve about 2 Hrs. or till I find myself starting to Rush or get tired. Sometimes I run into a Problem and I stay longer , like now , I ran into a Knot that Crumbled into Pieces and left a Large Hole in a Conspicuous Place. Finding the right solution took time and held my Interest .
    People also ask me how long it took to do the Carving . It used to take me 3 Weeks and now about 2 Weeks with about 25 Hrs. span . I also tried to time my sessions but as Tom said I would forget to start or stop the Clock so gave up on that Idea . I find if I spend a lot of time on a Project I get tired looking at it and want to do something else . All this happens till 2:30 in the Afternoon , ( Nap Time ) .
    Merle

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  • chagorhan
    replied
    When i show friends my carving, they always ask that question and it always depends i say. Sometimes i do the first few steps then go make a tea and not touch it for a week. But a few years ago i was in mass manufacturing of the " 5 minute wizard" ( which i think still took me over a half hour each time) But i made and paint at least one for every family member who came over for christmas dinner to add to their tree.

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  • Eddy-Smiles
    replied
    I've never thought of carving in terms of hours. When I was working it was a safety valve to get rid of pent up energy, anger, and frustration. Now at 76 and limited in mobility it's a cherished hobby that I know could be taken away at any time. I just try to enjoy each second, each minute, each hour that I get to spend on it. As I understand it the "Good Lord" doesn't subtract the time that we spend carving from our days here on earth!"

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  • Glenn Jennings
    replied
    An interesting point. My latest project is small relief animals and they can take about 8-12 hours each. I started booking up the time simply out of interest. I have no interest in selling my pieces so make them for my own enjoyment.

    Time it takes is really irrelevant unless you are looking to charge out your time. For me it is just a fun thing.

    Think Randy has got the right handle on it all hehe.

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  • uvawyo
    replied
    I finish an average of one a week as i get older i get slower tho (and hopefully better) I don't see wood carving as a timed event

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  • Brian T
    replied
    I carve what I see in the wood. A prediction made by my grandmother, 60 years ago. I can't "time" anything. If I don't see it in the wood then make many pages of drawings, the subject never leaves my mind.

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  • Randy
    replied
    For adout year after I retired I had a web site and did craft shows and with word of mouth I was in the shop almost every day for 6 to 8 hours trying to maintain a inventory and doing commissions. I was able to pay for the supplies and tools but at the end of the year the cost of doing shows and travel was come out of the wallet not sales. Since then I have carved 3 or 4 days a week when I have a project. Hours very with the job. Like others I am happy if I can support my tool habit and pay for the supplies. I carve because I love carving. The hours are all well spent and bring satisfaction and peace of mind.

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  • Arthur C.
    replied
    In the last nine years I have produced 78 carvings. That works out to be 7/10 of a carving per month. I'll sometimes go quite a while between carvings (right now I haven't carved since July), and I don't carve more than about an hour at a time. I've given quite a few away to family, for charitable auctions, etc., but don't sell them. Production has never been a factor of interest to me, a carving takes as long as it takes. Benefit of it being a hobby!

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  • Nebraska
    replied
    It is certainly a concept that I would think most ponder from time to time. It would certainly be easier if I kept something even vaguely resembling a regular schedule. One of our local carvers could give a pretty good estimate of the hours a piece took as he carved the same hours (1pm to 6pm) six day per week didn’t carve on Sundays.

    Carving is just one of my hobbies and when I do carve it is seldom for more than a couple hours. I did loosely keep track when I carved Einstein roughly 50 hours. The small 6” to 8” trout take about 7 hrs.


    I started first carving March 2016 and after reviewing photos on my iPad believe just started my 68th piece. So averaging about one per month.

    Like Claude I too sell my carvings, and also figure if I can break even on tools and wood I’m happy. I love to carve enjoy the challenge of taking on new projects and trying to make each one somehow better than the last.

    When I started carving I looked around our house a decided how may areas I would like to see decorated with my carvings. So as I create new keepers the old carvings are sold or given away. Honestly one of the things I love most about commissioned work is they already have a shelf to go to in a home where they will be treasured.
    Last edited by Nebraska; 10-13-2021, 05:43 PM.

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  • joepaulbutler
    replied
    I spend between 4-6 hrs. a day at my carving process. Most of my carvings are done on 4" wide x 1" thick basswood. easier to hold onto. I start off will a picture/image I find on the internet, use a program called "Sangit" to screen capture it. When I get ready to carve it, I print off an 8-1/2" 11" picture of it, then I put that picture on my light table & redraw it again. This I find helps me get acquainted the all the parts of the image. Once satisfied with what I've done and any changes that I might change or add, I then scale the 8-1/2" wide drawing down to 41%, this gives me a picture of ±3-1/2". This operation usually takes one of my afternoons.

    When I get ready to go to the wood I make a reverse image of the 3-1/2" drawing, the reverse image in print to a "YUPO" medium paper, which allows me to rub the image onto the wood. I freshen up the image on the wood where needed, then I use a power handpiece with a 1/32 dental drill to cut the pattern into the wood. This can take another afternoon depending on the complexity of the drawing.

    After that, it is off to the carving and painting, which on the complexity again can take 3-4 days. I have purposely tried slowing down myself, smaller cuts, upon the tip of the blade more. As I have mentioned before, my folks had a small meatpacking plant and I started using a knife when I was six & speed was paramount with your knife skills.

    I've done some large in-round carvings that took a ±month to do. But I agree with Tom enjoyment is the key time factor

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  • Claude
    replied
    Interesting questions, Phil.

    I opened my ETSY shop in Nov 2012. Since then I've sold 624 carvings on ETSY. Some of these are multiples (Santa plus an Elf, etc...). Many are repeats. For example, I've sold over 50 of my stackable snowmen on ETSY (WCI Issue 53 Holiday 2010, Page 69). I've also carved and given away maybe 20/year to friends and family, or donations for fund raisers. This is probably an average of 90/year. How long does each take? Well, the simple ones like my little robin (3 inches long) take about an hour, including painting (not counting drying time). More complex ones like some I have carved at (and after) the Woodcarving Rendezvous in Tennessee, have taken 16 hours of carving time. A lot depends on the amount of detail, as well. Texturing Santa's coat fur trim, for example, takes quite a bit of time. Many of my carvings are under 10-11 inches tall, and are animal or human caricatures. I don't do the detailed sculptures that Ed (Nebraska) does, and I don't do the spectacular relief carvings that Phil (pallin) does. The little animals and birds I do are representative of the critter, not a realistic miniature with detailed feathers/fur.

    If I count prep time, such as sawing out blanks on the bandsaw, drilling holes in a block for a bottle stopper, and deliver time such as driving to the P0st Office, packaging and shipping, etc., I figure I make less than the minimum wage.
    I'm not selling carvings to try to make a living, so that's ok - I make enough to buy more wood, the occasional tool, and so forth. If I didn't sell them, I'd have to add on a room or two to store them all.

    I do get great mental satisfaction from carving - being able to have my hands produce what my mind wants. I do a fair amount of commission work - such as the bottle stopper of Osceola I just finished https://forum.woodcarvingillustrated...bottle-stopper The buyer and I corresponded back and forth several times before we settled on a design that she wanted and I felt I could make.

    My actual rate of production has dropped off a bit in this last couple of years, due to my wife's medical problems - I've spent more time as her care-giver and way less time at the workbench. That's ok, though - signed up for it 54.4 years ago and haven't regretted a moment of it.

    Claude

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