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Need help in restoring a 6.5' chainsaw eagle

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  • Need help in restoring a 6.5' chainsaw eagle

    I purchased a chainsaw eagle from a neighbor. It had been sitting behind her shed for years and has need of restoring. The base is rotting and the one wing is held together with wood screws. I don't know what kind of wood it is and it doesn't appear to have ever had any type of sealer or oil applied to it. There are other cracks throughout the eagle. Please see pictures. I

    I would like to know if I can use a wood hardner on the base where it is rotting out. Also, what is the best way to repair the wing and fill the small cracks to keep water out of them? How do I reattach the piece of the base that has broken off? Best way to clean the eagle.

    I have managed to get most of the moss off of the eagle, but need to know how to clean the rest of it. Will using water damage it?
    I am just a someone who wants to restore a carving and have no experience. I would appreciate any help/advice you can give me!
    Thank you Glenny
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  • #2
    Hi, Glenny.
    I moved your thread to the Wood Finishing and Painting forum so more people are likely to see it.

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    • #3
      I have no suggestion, but what a worthy project, keep us posted
      . . .JoeB


      • #4
        Home Depot, Lowes, etc., sell a product that is supposed to harden up rotted wood...I've never had occasion to use it, but I've heard second hand that it works.

        For the cracks, JB Weld makes a filler for replacing missing wood. It's a two part epoxy (Not the JB Weld in tubes) that comes in two tubs. I have used this in problem areas in carvings, and it's good stuff. I buy it from Amazon.

        To reattach the part of the base, I'd drill both pieces for a couple of dowels and use standard carpenters glue (the one for exterior use) like Titebond.


        • #5
          Get the moss off the whole thing. I say use a wire brush and go gently.
          Do the whole bird so it all looks the same.
          Then go over it with a fine brass bristle brush like you would use on a BBQ/grill.
          Get a crutch welded up out of concrete rebar to support it.
          ArthurC has some very good suggestions for remedial patching.
          But I say no dowels. They rot. Use shot pieces of rebar iron.

          In the Pacific Northwest, cedar totem poles last about a lifetime. Lesson in that.
          When they fall over, they are never stood up again.
          I believe that most of my brother's poles have fallen over.
          I have not seen them in more than 15 years.

          At least 10 of my carvings stand out in the weather. I like the color.
          They are all standing, far as I know.

          Clean off the bird. Secure the posture standing up. Bring it in out of the weather.
          There's no finish to show the gray.
          Brian T


          • #6
            In New zealand we have a product called METALEX This is a timber preservative and is very good for killing off the spores that get the rot going. You probably have it in USA The stuff is mixed with 20% mineral turpentine so that it will penetrate quite a way into the wood. I would mix up a batch in a tub and soak the whole base for aweek or two so that the stuff gets right into it. Would cost quite a bit to do that as the stuff isn't cheap But even sitting the carving ina tub and pouring the stuff over it, reclaiming it and pour it again over and over would get into all the cracks that are likely to hold water where the rot gets started.

            Could simply cut the base off and fit the bird to a new one that has been treated. Just a thought.


            • #7
              Thank you everyone for your suggestions, thoughts and advice! I will check into the Liquid Wood products. I believe they will allow me to harden and then repair the base. I will check into the Metalex product as well, as I'm not sure the Liquid Wood would penetrate the entire base, leaving it exposed to more rot. Not sure we would be able to lift the eagle enough to get it in a tub, it weighs a lot!, but we'll figure something out.

              Some of the cracks on the eagle body are very fine and not large enough to get filler in them. Any suggestions on how to keep them from expanding? Would liquid wood on the entire eagle work?

              Also, suggestions on how to fix the broken wing would be appreciated. It's broken in about 3 maybe 4 pieces and being held together (not well) with wood screws. I'm thinking maybe dowels of some kind here too, but some of the wing areas are not very thick.

              When completed we would like to put this back out in our front yard. What would be the best finish to put on it to preserve it? We would like to save the piece for as long as possible, so if we have to change the color of it we will, but we like the weathered grey as well. We don't want something that will peel off in a few years, is there something out there that will work? The area we are going to put it in is under trees and doesn't get a lot of sunlight.


              • #8
                Claude, Thank you for moving my post to another forum! I'm still trying to learn how to navigate the site!


                • #9
                  I think the moss adds to the carving
                  . . .JoeB


                  • #10
                    The weathered gray is bleaching and air in the wood cells at the surface. Any finish at all will ruin that. I've made nice picture frames from that weathered wood and did nothing for finish. They look as good as the day I made them.

                    I used polyurethane on 8 cedar and aspen carvings. The biggest are 17" tall. Eventually, I put them all out along a fence so I could see them every day. Two years and they were gray. So be it.

                    ANIMAL FAMILY 005.jpg

                    Brian T


                    • #11
                      We like the moss too JoeB, but were informed that it would quicken the demise of the eagle so we reluctantly decided to clean it off.


                      • #12
                        That's a shame
                        . . .JoeB


                        • #13
                          Just a thought maybe not a good one but once all repaired and in place and suitably weathered what about some form of oil that could soak into all the nooks and crannies to give it some protection from the elements. An oil wouldn't mess up the weathered finish but could add years to the life span I think. Would want to be an oil that didn't set hard I think.

                          I suspect that putting any filler in the cracks is not going to be a happy thing as the outer timber probably expands differently from the core in rapid changes of temperature and humidity and also the filler will likely expand differently from the timber so all that ends up happening is the crack reappears along the edge of the filler. Have had this happen with filled rot sections in window frames.

                          Hope this is of some use.



                          • #14
                            perhaps plastic dowels?

                            photos at........