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First Carving - not sure what to do

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  • First Carving - not sure what to do

    This is my first carving. It looks fine but has a few areas i’m not sure how to approach. Leaves, smaller roses.

    Please, Id love any help and any advise from experienced carvers. I tried searching for a carving club in my area but can’t find anything.

    Also, need help with sanding and staining advise

    This is something I’m making for my eldest daughters birthday.
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  • #2
    Carving Roses and leaves are difficult to master and you have done a great job.
    I'm not sure if I can help much with the sanding, I try to avoid sanding by making my final finish cuts as light as possible. Some carvers like the looks of chisel marks or some kind of texture for the finish.
    If you do feel you have to sand I can see no easy way to do it other than a lot of grunt work.

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    • #3
      Aw! Thank you! ☺️

      Ive been working on this since the end of this past summer. I put it down for a few months. Lately Ive been picking it up just to look at it - usually I see something I want to improve. I can’t seem to stay focused much, so I work it a little at a time. 5 to 10 minutes max. then down it goes.

      Im not sure how to work on the smaller roses. And is it ok to leave the leaves raised, or should I flatten them?

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      • #4
        I think the leaves are great just like they are: showing different shapes that the leaves take (bumps and dips, etc.) I like your roses, also.

        Claude
        My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/
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        • #5
          Thanks so much, Claude!

          I haven’t really worked on them yet, other than the basic shape. But instead of flattening them i’ll work on defining their detail!

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          • #6
            It appears that this is a basswood round bark-in slab plaque bark-on slab. if so you had to do a lot of grain-end carving, a difficult job at the best. I think if you try to do any sanding, it might not produce the effects you would like. Sand the end grains flat can be done, but trying to sand the flower petals and leave would sand the softer parts between the grain faster than the grain itself. I agree with Claude. If anything sharpen your knife and use clean cuts on anything you would want to clean up.

            It is hard to see from a picture, but to me, it appears you have done a splendid job
            Last edited by Claude; 02-24-2022, 06:42 PM. Reason: typo
            . . .JoeB

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            • #7
              Wow! Thank you! I really love carving already! I’ve always been artsy, draw and write poetry - never carved. but have immense admiration for the craft and the people that enjoy carving.

              It is a basswood round. I read it’s the easiest wood to begin with. I don’t know what gains are, but i’ll look it up!

              I tried hand sanding with a superfine pad and it caused a fine thin piece connecting the leaves to crumble. I purchased some elmer’s wood filler and was able to “repair” it. Haven’t sanded since.

              Should i leave the roses as they are? They don’t seem complete… I’m not sure how to bring them to life.

              I will continue working on the leaves and post another picture of progress.

              Also, Im not good with color so i’m afraid to use acrylics or anything once it’s completed. i’m thinking a nice stain, but i read basswood will soak it up by the gallons.

              Thanks for the encouragement!!!

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              • Claude
                Claude commented
                Editing a comment
                grain = grain of the wood.

                You can use a matte acrylic varnish (water based) to seal all the end grain. One coat all over, then a 2nd or 3rd coat on end grain to prevent colors from soaking in and getting darker.
                Last edited by Claude; 02-25-2022, 02:03 PM.

            • #8
              If you have a dremel or some type of rotary tool, I like the Guge cone sanders and the 3m bristle sanding disk attachments. The cone sanders are paper cones that come in different grits and are pretty handy for difficult areas. They are not real aggressive. Wood grain runs up and down the tree like little straws that carry water and nutrients to the tree. So when you take a round slice out of the tree, you have bark all around and you might be able to see the growth rings in the wood indicating it's age. These rounds are good for woodburning and painting but can be difficult to carve. Imagine trying to carve a bundle of dowels on the end! Carving is usually done on boards or blocks and the carving is done on the side grain of the tree rather than the end grain, so you are to be commended for your patience! You can use emory boards or sandpaper glued or wrapped around sticks or whatever seems to work. You might need to experiment with another piece of similar wood before you start staining or painting. You are correct that end grain will soak up a finish (remember the "straws") and you may need to seal it first with something before painting or finishing, or just to get an idea of what it will look like when you put something on it.
              'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

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              • #9
                I think Joe hit the nail on the head carving end grain is a pain in the end! But all things considered you’ve done a fine job. Sanding starts at 80 grit, then 120, 220.
                898198C8-C9C0-4D47-8FF0-5AC852834781.jpg

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                • #10
                  Sure a fine carving, even though not finished, Bleu. No advice because I don't do relief carving. Please post progress.
                  Bill
                  Living among knives and fire.

                  http://www.texaswoodartist.com

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                  • #11
                    Your carving is well done. Amazing for your first one. As Joe and Ed have said working the end grain is diffacult, your grain direction is in circles so you have to work in that circel with you cut and sanding. do not be afraid to give a little more depth to the flower petals it will let you give them more shape.
                    We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi
                    https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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                    • #12
                      I found many areas that gave me problems but didn’t understand why. Now I have a better idea. Thanks guys! Really

                      mpounder, thank you! I just ordered a dremel, so I’ll search for the Guge cones too - not sure I’ll know how to use all this stuff, but it’ll be fun! Will definitely follow your stain advise too! I’d just die if I ruin this. By the way, can those long files work on this? I forget what they’re called but might order a few from amazon.

                      My memory is really suffering this past year and I was just getting ready to ask what end grain is again but Ed came to the rescue! Thanks Ed

                      Woodburner, I love wood burning but I haven’t mastered the art yet! I love the smell of it when I’m working on a piece. I bought a new wood burning tool but it will be quite some time before I figure it out lol

                      Randy, that’s exactly what i’m trying to achieve but some of the areas are so narrow. I do want more depth - not sure how to do it and afraid I’ll break it - I’ll mark up a few pictures tomorrow

                      Im so glad I posted here!

                      Thank you all for helping me

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Bleu723 View Post
                        ...
                        Randy, that’s exactly what i’m trying to achieve but some of the areas are so narrow. I do want more depth - not sure how to do it and afraid I’ll break it - I’ll mark up a few pictures tomorrow
                        ...
                        e
                        Undercutting the leaves, and even some of the petals will help you. The undercutting creates shadows that give the illusion of more depth that there actually is. Pardon my drawing, but this will give you an idea of what under cutting is... Be careful doing it, though. Notice the "thin" spot in the right hand sketch; using gouges and even some thicker knives can cause edges of leaves, petals, etc. to break off.


                        IMG_7694a.jpg
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                        Last edited by Claude; 02-24-2022, 07:11 PM.
                        My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/
                        My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/
                        My Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/claudeswoodcarving/
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                        • #14
                          This may be of some help in understanding basic uses of burs. http://woodcarvingillustrated.com/bl...-carving-bits/

                          Thought - looking at your top flower, Where the inside petals rap back and would be going behind (out of view) if you could deepen and slightly undercut that seam it would let you give a more rounded shape to those petal. "You may not have enough wood to do that with this piece" I would suggest that before you try that get another piece of wood carve a similar rose and practice making those changes. Repeating one subject until you get the look you want is a good way to learn. You will learn how to or how not to on each one.
                          We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi
                          https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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                          • #15
                            What a site, yes siree, what a site!
                            . . .JoeB

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