Saturday, May 20, 2017

Past Projects

This post is the 576th post that I have made to this blog.  That's a lot of carving information and projects.  Some of the older posts have fallen off the end of the blog, and are no longer available.  That is why I will periodically highlight some of the projects that have been posted in the past.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Whittled Jam/Cheese Spreader

Christmas is a season for gift giving.  I plan on being ready.  Here's a fairly easy little project that requires only a piece of Basswood and a knife.  I am referring to the Santa handled spreader only - not the jar of home made strawberry preserves.

The materials needed are a piece of Basswood measuring 1 x 1 x 6 inches, paint, and food grade oil for the finish.  Tools needed are a scroll saw or a band saw, knife, and pencil and paint brush.

This project is carved on the corner of the Basswood.

I think the above photo is self explanatory...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Completed Small Flat Plane Style Animal and Noah;s Ark

After very little time. you can whittle and paint many pairs of the small animals, in the flat plane style as demonstrated in previous posts.  The Ark is not that difficult either, if you have the tools.
The materials for the Ark are all salvaged (1/4 inch birch plywood and crown molding).

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Continued step by step whittling the ultra flat plane Rhino.

The goal in the following steps is to "create" the flat planes by removing slices of wood at the sharp edges of the blank.  Instead of rounded corners and edges we want the flat planes left over from removing slices from the blank edges.
Step 1  -  Remove chip from center of lower belly.

Step 2 -  Pare the corner off of the back of the front legs.

Step 3 -  Pare the corner off the front of the rear legs.

Step 4 -  Remove the front of the feet on the rear legs.

Step 5 -  Slice the corners off the top of the rear legs.

Step 6 -- Slice the corners off the bottom of the head.

Step 7 -  Pare the corners off the top of Rhinos head area.

Step 8 -  Continue removing the corners of the bottom of the head.

Step 9 -  Make a stop cut dividing the two ears.

Step 10 -  Pare down from the tops of the ears to the stop and remove the chips.

Step 11 -  Lets hope it looks some what like this.

If you want color, now is the time.  I like to dilute water based acrylics.

Time to whittle more ultra flat plane animals for the Ark.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


TIME TO START WHITTLING!   Notice that I am not using any glove nor thumb guard....YOU SHOULD!. unless you have enough scar tissue built up to be knife resistant, or have a real nice nurse practitioner  like I do.....

The photo captions precede the photo.

Step 1  -  Stop cut where head meets body.

Step 2  -  Stop cut where tail meets body

Step 3  -  Stop cut where horn meets head.

Step 4  -  Remove wood from horn to thin it down.  Carefully slice down to the stop cut.

Step 5 -  Begin to thin the head by slicing wood off up to the stop cut that separates the head from the body.

Step 6  -   Continue thinning the head by tapering it from the back to the tip

It may be necessary to deepen the stop cut separating the head from the body to narrow the Rhino's head.

Step 7  -  The narrowed head should look like this.

Step 8  -  Make stop cuts separating rear legs from body,

Step 9 -  Make stop cuts separating front legs from body.

Step 10 -  Remove ship from belly to rear leg.

Step 11 - Remove chip at rear legs and belly.

Step 12 -  Make stop cuts on each side of back

Step 13 -  Remove chips to the stop cut at mid way back, both from the shoulder and the rear.

Step 14 -  Remove a slice to form a flat facet at rump area.

Step 15 -  Remove a slice of wood from mid back to the neck area.

Step 16 - Your Rhino should look somewhat like this.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Carving Noah's Ark Animals - Flat Plane - 3

When carving the ark animals remember we'll have to carve two of each animal.  But there is some good news.  These ultra flat plane animals are real simple and real fast to carve with only a knife.  In fact, you can probably carve them in nearly the same time it takes to trace and cut them out on a scroll saw.  This is great for me, cause I am probably the most impatient person on the planet.  

I would say that with just a little practice with a sharp knife, a new carver would soon be carving these animals.  This project provides great motivation for the new woodcarver...

To prepare to carve these smaller animals you need a carving glove, thumb protector, and a sharp knife.

The example used for this exercise will be a generic Rhino.

Step 1   Prepare the blank, by lightly drawing the features on the blank with a pencil.  Draw a center line as shown in the photo.

TIP -  When drawing on the blank with the pencil use very light lines.  If you want finish the pieces with just wax or light stain you will have to sand or cut the pencil lines off the piece.

The following steps will be done with a sharp carving knife.  This use of the knife qualifies this carving to be referred to as WHITTLING.

Since this piece will be whittled "in the round" this will necessitate making the exact same knife cuts on each side of the blank.  

The whittling steps will address and show the knife cuts on one side only.  I would recommend as soon as you make a knife cut on one side, you make the same cut on the other side.

 The direction of the grain in the blank is very important.  Generally the grain will run from the animals feet to their back.  However, when making knife cuts the grain will change from one side to the other.  For this reason the first knife cut should be done very carefully and shallow.  If the knife blade digs in you are cutting against the grain.  When this happens, you must reverse the blank and make the cut in the opposite direction.

Get into the habit of making SLICING knife cuts.

The coming postings will provide the steps to carve the Rhino, in the flat plane style.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Planning The Ark Animals (2)

There are several ways in which you can acquire illustrations of the animals for patterns.

It is easiest to use the profile or silhouettes of the animals.

1.  Draw/sketch them yourself.
2.  Search the Internet for copyright illustrations.
3.  Check children's coloring books.

You may have to reduce the size of the animal before you make a paper copy.

1.  Once you have a paper copy of the animal sized the way you want it, acquire transfer paper (carbon paper).

2.  Next select a piece of wood that you will transfer the image to.  When selecting the piece of wood you must consider the thickness of the wood.  You will generally be using three thicknesses of wood for the animals.  The thickest wood (1") would be used for the thickest animals (elephant, Rhino, Hippo, etc.).  The thinnest wood for the thinnest animals (fox, skunk, chicken, duck, etc.).

3,  In this step you transfer the animals image from the paper copy to the wood, using the carbon/transfer paper.  Be sure to place the carbon paper against the wood carbon side down.  Hold your sketch firmly against the carbon paper and wood; and go over the sketch with a pencil or ball point pen.

4.  Here is the transferred bulldog outline on the wood to be cut out on the scroll saw.  The finished bull dog at the top is for comparison, and to show that the scroll saw can be used to turn the rounded parts of the dog into flat areas in preparation for flat plane carving.  Or the bulldog can be cut out with the rounded outline and the knife used to create the flat planes

5.  This a photo of the bulldog blank that was cut out on the scroll saw, with the rounded edges.  The "flats" will be made with the knife.

TIP:  I am sure that your success in making and carving this Noah's Ark, will lead you to want to make others.  So, not only will you have to cut out one more bulldog, but you'll need a template for each animal.  I would suggest that the first Bulldog be traced onto a piece of wood that is a bit thicker than you need.  Then once the blank has been cut out slice a piece off to be used as a template for future blanks...

It's always easier to trace a template than use the carbon paper.
For the smaller animals or animals with more detailed outline, I use the inside of the ballpoint pen to trace the outline.  This permits me to get into the tight inside corners of the template.

Here's some sketches of some animals.