Friday, December 16, 2011

Carving The Baby Gargoyle

I thought this might be a good little project to illustrate how to move from an idea for a little carving, through the steps to complete it.

The first step is to secure a piece of Basswood about 1" thick, and trace the pattern on it.  Cut the blank out leaving a "handle" at the bottom.  This "handle" gives you a better and safer grip when carving.

After the blank is cut, draw the wings and legs on the sides.  Make stop cuts with your knife that define the wings and the legs.  Next start paring the puppies body to make it thinner than the wings.  This is so the wings will stand out farther than the body.  Then make cuts down to the stop cuts to separate the wings from the head and the body, and legs from the body.

The next steps involve separating the wings and the front legs.  There are several ways in which you can achieve this.  You can use your knife and make a whole bunch of slicing cuts.  You can use a rotary tool with a sanding drum and sanding sleeve.  Or you can use a "U" gouge.  If I'm out and about, I'll use my knife.  But generally at home I'll use the ""U" gouge.
Next start working up the head.  Start by narrowing the head so that it is thinner than the wings and the body.  Continue to define the areas where the head, legs and wings come together.  Deepen these areas by removing wedges of wood.  Round over the front legs.

It's time to make a couple of cuts to define the eye mounds and the ears.  I start by separating the ears and the eye mounds by removing a wedge of wood with the knife.  Next just make cuts that result in two steps that further reveal the eye mounds and ears.  (Knife cuts down from the top, and then in from the front)
In this step make cuts to isolate the nose, so that it stands out.

Next work on the wings.  I used the "U" gouge, followed by sand paper, to make the individual sections of the wings.  I just wrapped the sand paper around a dowel to smooth the sections of the wings.    After getting the baby gargoyle shaped the way you want it, take a good stiff brush (denture brush) warm water and liquid soap; and give it a good scrubbing. 
  I will some times take the wood burner and use it to clean up fuzzies and to do some fine detail cuts.   While it's still wet you can apply acrylic paints.


Bruutmans said...

Hi Tom,

Great this one,just great. I might even try that,if it wasn`t that i have a big bandsaw and not such a samll one. I simply cannot cut that small.
But,can i ask how big or small this is? i can see your pocket knife so i have some kind of idea. I do not know the inch system at all,but my geuss in cm would be 10cm.


Robert Cahill said...

Thanks for the tutorial Tom, This will definitely be put on my to do list. I will cut it out with a scroll saw.

Midnight Carver said...

What a neat little project. Thanks for taking to time to do the tutorial. Definately going to try this one