Saturday, September 21, 2019

Easy and fun sea turtle

I am discovering more and more about life at the beach in Florida; my new home.  I purchased a typical "old Florida" house on the Panhandle.  By "old Florida" I mean up on eight foot pilings, one floor plan, screened porch across the front, open deck across the back.  I am a couple hundred feet from the water.

  One of the first things I had to learn about were the sea turtles, and their nesting on the beaches.  During turtle nesting and hatching season, life on the beach is all about the turtles and protecting them.  There are organized turtle patrols that monitor the whole cycle of nesting and hatching.  It's a real experience, and for me a learning experience.

 My circle of old as well as new friends know that I like to whittle, so some approached me and asked if I could whittle a sea turtle.  Those of you who are more familiar with me and whittling, know that I whittle every day while at breakfast, and I have for years.  One of the fun parts of my routine is whittling where I eat breakfast.  At my new home, my breakfast is taken at THE TRADIN POST on Cape San Blas.  Thus, I spend about an hour and a half whittling with some friends at the TRADIN POST, every day.

Here's a couple finished sea turtles.  These are merely stained instead of painted.  I have a suspicion that I'll be whittling a lot of them.  So I wanted to be able to complete them in the shortest time.  I already have been asked for about ten.

I started by locating a  photo of the sea turtle that I wanted to whittle.

It is rather difficult and time consuming to carve directly from a photo, so I like to simplify the subject (turtle) by making a sketch from which the pattern will be made.  It is at this point that I will consider how I well whittle the turtle with my knife.  I will stay away from tight arcs and curves as much as possible.
 Transfer the pattern onto a 1/2 inch thick piece of Basswood.

Use coping, scroll, or a band saw to cut out the turtle blank.

Draw the pattern of the shell.  Rather than attempt to paint the sea turtle we'll wood burn instead.  Wood burn the pattern on the shell before any shaping of the shell is done.  It is a lot easier to wood burn on a flat surface rather than a curved one.
 Use your knife to round over the top edge of the shell.

Add the shell pattern that was removed when rounding the shell.  Add another burn line that represents the bottom of the turtles shell.

Knock the edges of the flippers down a bit with the knife.  Dip the piece into stain prep then light brown stain.  Let dry then Polyurethane. 
Add a magnet to the back or a pin back or eye hook.  A great way to get rid of some scrap wood.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Halloween and Thanksgiving Pins

With Fall nearly here, it's time to start thinking about some carved pins for gifting.  The Pin that come to mind is a PUMPKIN.  The pumpkin can stand alone as a pumpkin for Thanksgiving and/or add some features and it is a Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween.

Just a plain Pumpkin!

The plain Pumpkin blank with a handle to provide more to hold onto when carving.

Round over the edges of the Pumpkin blank.  I leave the detail pumpkin segment lines drawn on and I make sure that the Pumpkin is rounded, with no flat spots when the segment lines are carved away.

Carve the segments . Here is the Bonus part of this little project.  Cut the handle off and carve a skull out of it.
Paint and add a pin back and you have a nice little gift for someone.  This one was turned into a friendly Jack-O-Lantern.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Christmas is Coming!

Christmas is coming!  It may be four months away, but it is coming.  Any whittler worth her or his salt will be starting on some Christmas items.  For me it's ornaments or pins.

 When I start getting a wee bit bored, I like to shake it up some. 

Maybe this year I've shaken it up a bit too much, but it sure is fun.  I already have some folks in mind to gift one of these "off beat" Santa pins to.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

BACK And Posting!

It has been four months since I've posted, and I apologize.  In one of my last posts I mentioned that I was dealing with some changes in my life.  What I did not realize was how extensive this can be.  In one day several things happened that I thought I handled.  My wife of 56 years was diagnosed with a form of fast progressing dementia and the same day I rolled and totaled a new vehicle.  I refused transport to the hospital because I thought I was OK.  One week later at the gym an ER doctor friend took one look at me and said "You don't look good, what happened"?  I told her and she she said "What did the ER say"?  I said,"I am fine".  She said no you're not, you eyes tell me your might have had more than just a bump on the head.  She said I still should see a doctor, that there are all sorts of delayed responses to a head injury.  The doctor said a most prevalent response is memory issues.

To make this a shorter story, it seems that I actually forgot about this blog.  I don't mean that I just kept putting off posting.  It happened just like my doctor friend explained.  The Blog was gone from my memory, and then yesterday while clearing some copy from my computer I found it - just like that.  I wonder how many other things I have forgotten and have yet to find.  Maybe there is a winning lottery ticket with my name on it!

The one piece of information that can be learned is to have yourself checked out if you are in a accident, understand that all injuries are not completely physical and obvious.

But I am back, and it feels like I never left.

I am completing another book for Fox Chapel Publishing, which will be released this fall or winter.  The main trust of the book will focus on the newer woodcarver, or more specific whittler.  The book will use the flat plane style of carving to introduce the newer carver to whittling.  The book will simplify the flat plane carving style to three basic knife cuts.  The main thrust of the book will focus on knife technique.  Projects will be presented step-by-step that will result in a completed piece that will provide the reader an early whittling success.

Here's an example of the SIMPLIFIED FLAT PLANE style.

Thank for hanging in there!

Tom Hindes

Saturday, April 20, 2019


I have been in my new house for 6 weeks now.  When I moved in all I had was a pocket knife, strop, scroll saw, and some Basswood scrapes.  I had several changes of clothes.  The house came furnished.  When I say furnished I mean everything.  I need to get back to Ohio and bring some more stuff.  When I say stuff I mean tools, paint, supplies.  I am getting settled in.  However, not spending as much time whittling as I want to.  The very nature of what I like to whittle means that a lot of it is given away as soon as it gets done.  Here is about the extent of what I still have....

I will get some more done soon.

Monday, April 1, 2019

New Whittling from the Beach

Finally settled, at least to the point of whittling.  Most of my tools and stuff is still in OHIO, but my scroll saw came down with me.  The hurricane took out everything from under the house, up to about 7 foot from the floor.  The house is on 8 to 9 foot piling so the house was basically OK.  After connecting some piling with walls to form a work area I set about to build a solid bench for the scroll saw.  I used salvaged wood from several houses that did not fare so well.  This saw table must weigh several hundred pounds and is very stable.

After deciding what to carve/whittle I cut some blanks from some Basswood  that I brought with me.
Here's what I whittled, and made into pendents, and a shelve sitter.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Getting Settled & Ready To Whittle!

These are the first pieces whittled since I relocated to the Florida Panhandle.

Here's a photo of my new carving/whittling "studio".
This is the front porch, which one can hear the surf from.

I am getting settled, but lots of things that I need are at my house in Ohio.

I will start posting some more whittling projects.

Thanks for checking the blog..

Tom H

Sunday, February 24, 2019

UPDATE About this BLOG!

Recent changes in my life have caused me to not be as attentive to my Blog as I should and want to be.  I am in the final stages of downsizing.  I am not on a diet, but the house I have lived in for the past 46 years is too big for me to maintain.  I have to clean the place up of 46 years of accumulated stuff, and get ready to move.

I am in the process of purchasing a house on the Florida Panhandle, where I will be moving very shortly.  The Florida house is near the beach and has lots of porch and deck, all of which will be utilized for whittling.

So, very shortly I'll be more attentive to the Blog with more postings that I hope you all will find interesting, and maybe even helpful.

Thank you for viewing.........

Monday, December 31, 2018

More fast and easy "flat plane" critters.

Some readers know that I like to whittle small.  Some also know that I like to introduce potential wood carvers (beginners) to wood carving by starting out whittling flat plane animals.  Reasons for this are: inexpensive, just a knife, some hand safety gear, smaller pieces of wood, and the reality that after one session there is usually a finished piece to act as a motivation to continue.

Of the following examples, the howling wolf is the only one that I will use with beginners.  The other might be a wee bit too small.

There are only three knife cuts introduced with these examples: STOP CUT, PUSH CUT, PARING CUT.

I am not real comfortable calling this type of piece Flat Plane.  Maybe I need another word to use with the term FLAT PLANE........Any thoughts?

Tom Hindes

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

This years Santa ornament (2018)

Rather than whittling a Santa and attaching an Eye piece to hang the ornament on the tree, I decided to attach Santa to a backing. 

You can see that my theme is wood, and natural wood at that.  The ornament on the left is attached to a piece of old barn wood.  The ornament on the right has been glued to a slice of tree limb with the bark attached.

I think that the whittled Santa and the natural wood backing add a "woodsy" look to the ornaments, and will look great on either a green wreath or Christmas tree.

I was not as diligent in my whittling at the diner this year as in the past, but I still managed to whittle 75 Santa's.  I'm guessing that you have figured out another reason why I "dip" my Santa's instead of painting....