Wood carving?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CraftyDiva, May 21, 2005.

  1. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    I know this subject should be posted in the Craft's forum, but I'm thinking not too many of the gentlemen (who might be able to help) actually go there.

    My question is about carving bowls from slices of tree trunk. Because of a storm last week we now have a fallen tree. I'd like to slice up some of the trunk to carve bowls out of. I know green wood is easier to carve but how do you prevent cracks (grain splitting) from appearing as it dries out? Is this a hit or miss deal or is there a secret to it? TIA :)
     
  2. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

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    I saw a show on that about a year or so ago, and the one thing I remember about it was they carved it from the side of the tree rather than carving from the center if that makes sense?
    That way the grain was running accross the bowl rather than top to bottom.
     

  3. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    Thanks for taking the time to answer my post. :)

    After doing a search on this subject, I've come to the conclusion I lack the proper tools to perform this craft. How 3rd world natives can carve a bowl without the use of a $$$$$$$ lathe is beyond me. There aren't any instructions for handcarving bowls (at least my searchs found none), so I'm giving up the idea. At least till I win the lottery. :D
     
  4. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    Burn out the center a little at a time and when you have the right amount of wood burned out sand the surfaces smooth.

    You can use charcoal briquettes to burn out the center
     
  5. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    Thanks for the tip. :)

    I'll file that away for future use. I did find a site that told of a man in Ohio that carved with a penknife and broken glass. Beautiful work, including a bowl, but alas no "How to" just showing his work.
     
  6. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    Our son Alex V made this bowl when he was 11 years old, now he is 43. He took one of the poplar log notches we cut out to make our log cabin:
    • burned it by lighting a fire in it;
    • chiseled out the center;
    • cut the outside with the chainsaw;
    • sanded the inside;
    • coated the inside and a part of the top and outside with fiberglass resin;
    • that's it, lasted for . . . 32 years so far.


    How about that?


    [​IMG]
    Original Bowl Created From Poplar, circa 1973, by Alexander J. Boome V, on Oak Ice Chest Next to Bear Lamp

    Good Luck,

    Alex
     
  7. Mary in MO

    Mary in MO Well-Known Member

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    Alex, your son's bowl is beautiful.

    I keep remembering the video of Dick Proeneke making his own bowl from a burl, and a spoon from a piece of left over cabin wood. I believe he used a chisel or two and probably an axe to rough cut it. It looked like he used some kind of a scraper that peeled (think of a carrot scraper on steroids) the wood back when the movie showed him doing the spoon.

    Don't give up. I'm going to take culled small trees from my lot and build my granddaughter a small log cabin play house for christmas. Practicing on a small scale :haha: . I've always wanted to make my own bowls and spoons and cups. Remember that before we had lathes we had hand tools. Check out the woodworking section of home depots and see what they carry.

    Mary
     
  8. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    There are sites showing how to make wood spoons by hand, but nothing about bowls. I guess I could wing it with a few chisels and gouges. The wood is free :haha: so no loss there. Maybe this is a good income generator, writing a book on handmade bowls "WITH" instructions..........hmmmmmmmmmm! :D
     
  9. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    Alex,

    Thanks for sharing the pic, nice keepsake of your son's childhood.

    I'm afraid burning out the bowl would destroy any beauty of the grain inside. Your pic appears to have a black inside, any grain showing or was that the intent?
     
  10. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    He liked the look of the deep dark center, and there is grain which shows. The resin gives a somewhat finished look with lots of depth.

    It would be no trouble to burn it, scrape it out and scrape a little more with the chisels you will buy and then sand, oil, varnish, or I suggest use resin -- it is clear, durable and has a very deep look -- like twenty or thirty coats of varnish -- yet stronger.

    Go for it -- don't wait -- start today -- have lots of fun.

    Alex
     
  11. Craftydiva, the native americans used the slow burning technique for making bowls and they also used the same method to make wooden canoes out of tree trunks. Have you thought about making your own canoe?
     
  12. Craftydiva, the native americans used the slow burning technique for making bowls and they also used the same method to make wooden canoes out of tree trunks. Have you thought about making your own canoe?
     
  13. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    :haha: Although I do know how to swim, I have a fear of small boats. If the boat is large enough to stand and walk around I have no problems. But a rowboat or canoe would/has given me anxiety attacks. Reason? Haven't a clue. So making a canoe will be last on the list of things to make for me.

    BTW...... I have the same problem with ferris wheels (can't stand to be on one) and yet a roller coaster has no effect on me (except maybe bringing up lunch afterwards). :haha:
     
  14. woolyfluff

    woolyfluff Well-Known Member

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    I do some of what you are askin Yahoo.com bowl turners ask any question you should et an answer
     
  15. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    My uncle has made dozens of wooden bowls out of tree burls. They are absolutely gorgeous! What he does is work a little at a time on each bowl as he has time. He sometimes has 3 or 4 bowls that he is working on all at once. He keeps the bowls (burls) in plastic bags in his chest freezer. By doing this, the bowls dry slowly and do not crack.

    To recap, he takes the bowl out of the deep freeze, works on it for maybe 15 to 30 minutes, and then puts it back in the deep freeze. He repeats this processs over and over again until he has finished. This is all done by hand, with no power tools. Consequently, it takes him many months to finish a bowl. By the time he is finished, the bowl is fairly dry.
     
  16. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Y'all,

    A couple years ago, on a trip West, we bought a couple of
    big Bread Bowls, carved from Mesquite & Manzanita.
    I thought, "Gee, I c'n do that". I was already taking a wood
    carving class.

    The Tools for Carving Bowls are "Bowl making Adzes"
    They are like Hatchets, with the blade running cross-ways.
    The blades on Bowl-making Adzes have a "Curve to them"
    The Handle is also curved.
    These Bowl-making Adzes come in several different sizes, according
    to the sizes of the bowl you are working on.

    The Bowl Making Tools, Adzes, are Available at:

    http://www.woodcrafterssupply.com/

    They have a complete line of Carving tools at reasonable prices.
    I've invested a bit of money in mine. Worth every Penny.
    I don't think they ever wear out. Always Buy Good,
    Never buy Cheap. You get what you pay for in Tools.
    Oh, and they also have Timber-Framing Chisels.
    I have a Friend who buys his Chisels there

    It takes some "Learning & practice" to get to use the Tools
    "Properly & quickly". You aren't going to just pick them up &
    Carve a Bowl.
    However I've made a couple of passable Bowls, I could take a
    little pride in.
    Adzes have been used to make Wooden Bowls and Trenchers,
    from pre-Midaeval times. It is a Good Craft for a man to have.

    Now "Turning Bowls", requires a Lathe, big piece of machinery.
    You can spend thousands on a Lathe.
    It's a different thing altogether than carving a Bowl.
    Have Fun
     
  17. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    A lathe does not have to be an expensive piece of commercial machinery. The pioneers were able to make a spring-pole lathe out of scrap wood and a green sapling out of the woodlot. From what I understand they were quite common in areas that didn't have a mill. If you Google spring pole lathes, you will find plenty of information and plans.
     
  18. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    When I built a doll house for my daughter (20 years ago) I used willow. Just strip the bark and let them dry for a month or so. 3/4" dia. equals 18" logs on a 1/2"~1' scale.
     
  19. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    Thanks everyone for the useful information. This is going to be a fun project and learning experience for me.

    Thanks again :)
     
  20. tenacrewoods

    tenacrewoods New Member

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    If you are looking for an in expensive lathe,Harbor Freight.com has
    a 14" x 42" one for $124.00 And I think a smaller one also. If you don't
    find it on their site call the 800# and they'll send you a catalog and ask
    them for best price on lathe. Most peole don't know they have different
    prices on same products in diff. areas you just have to call and request
    best price. I've been buying this way from them for 11yrs.

    Mike :rock: