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How Much Wood Is Removed?

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  • How Much Wood Is Removed?

    While working on a current project (See "Escher's Bond of Union" in Tutorials), I began to wonder how much wood was carved away in a typical relief. Fortunately I have an uncut blank of the exact size that I'm using for the project: 1-1/4" x 12" x 15" basswood. So, I got out my wife's kitchen scale and weighed them. The uncut blank weighed 2 lbs, 11 oz. The relief carving is now 1 lb, 14 oz. so 13 oz of the wood has been removed. That's exactly a third of the original blank!

    If you look at the photos in the tutorial, it is obvious that the carving is not done. Another 5.5 oz of wood removed would be the half way point. No, not halfway of the project - half of the original weight would be gone.

    I have four other carvings that started with the same size blank, from the same source. So I weighed them. Each is within a few ounces of the original (presumed) weight! All of them have relief depths of 1/2" to 3/4" How could they retain so much weight? I guess the answer is in the finish. They all have a polyacrylic sealer and finish.


  • #2
    Phil also you need to consider that this relief is all the way through....a lot is being cut from the bottom which does not look like much but I am sure it is a major difference in weight....just a thought.


    • #3
      Old thread, pre-hack, about carving bowls and dishes.
      For some reason long forgotten, I weighed the wood blocks and the finished bowls.
      The joke was that I carved away almost exactly 85% of the block weight, every time.