Red Cedar Flower in Progress #2 #1: Red Cedar Flower in progress #2

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Blog entry by Bearpie posted 05-26-2012 04:06 AM 3157 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I’m back to show the tools I used in creating this wooden flower. The tools displayed are the only ones used so far in the project other than my trusty chainsaw used to cut this wood to a manageable size.

I did more wood removal today and will have to be very careful from here on out because I could easily ruin this piece by going through the walls which I do not want to do. It is somewhat bulky and fairly difficult to hold down so I can work on various areas. I made a makeshift bean bag using sawdust and several plastic shopping bags and it works fairly well to hold the “bowl” up in position. The only problem is, it is too light!

Man, the dust and shavings go everywhere! I am not anxious to do it outdoors as the amount of shavings produced will make it a tough issue to clean up and the wood shavings could be harmful to our Live Oak trees and we definitely do not want to harm them at all!

This die grinder is the most used tool with the Kutz all 1” ball grinder which is quite aggressive. The triangular looking bit next to it is very aggressive and tends to want to “run away” so a firm grip is necessary. The carbide bit on the right is also quite aggressive but leaves a smoother finish and also is prone to chatter if you relax a little bit. The flap wheel sander works very well but cannot get into the tighter spaces. I have several different grit grades from 60 to 220.

I had these 2 chisels forged into a V and an arc for use with the impact hammer using my air compressor. This was the first tool I used and it takes quite a chunk of wood out very aggressively and it is a good tool to use when roughing out. When the shapes became closer to my visualization I had to stop using this tool cause it was just too aggressive and I switched to this tool. It is a wonderfully sharp tool and works easily and you just guide it along. It is much much easier to use than a chisel and mallet and faster in my opinion.

I used this 3 bit carbide grinder to shape most of the outside of the flower and some areas of the insides. It is too bulky to get into the smaller areas but does a “chainsaw” like cut not as quick as a chainsaw but with far greater control. This is a superb tool to use and have.

This block of wood probably weighed in excess of 150 pounds when I started and out of curiosity I weighed it today and found it to be 22 pounds. I would like to try to get it around 10 pounds. Much of the thickness is around 3/8” to 3/4” and thicker on the bottom. I will have to be very careful from now on when I work at making this thinner and thinner! Using the calipers often will be a must. There are areas of rotten wood here and there and some in a delicate area so care must be taken.

To answer a few questions raised in the comments. I do plan to sand this smooth :-( and get this as thin as I dare. I am shooting for something like 1/4” but already it is thinner than that in some areas. I believe some areas will have to be thicker for strength as well. Using a scraper on this project will be impossible due to all the convolutions that are there. The only place I would be able to use a scraper would be on the outside and I am not really a fan of them although they have their uses. This is not going to have a stem but be more like a bowl or vase in purpose. I will not be able to get the rest of the log as they have already had it taken away and that part had greater areas of rot and, to me, is unsuitable for my purposes. I will be keeping my eyes open for another piece like this. I am leaning more towards a mixture of Tung Oil and Danish oil in a 50/50 mix. Tung Oil by itself is too thick and takes too long to cure, Danish Oil is too thin and by mixing the two together I feel that I get an optimal product, one that soaks into the wood and dries faster, hardens better, polishes or buffs nicer.

Thanks everyone for your kind comments and input, they are much appreciated. I think this will be it for this blog series and the next time I talk about this will be to post the finished project. Thank you! It may be a while!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

4 comments so far

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 3364 days

#1 posted 05-26-2012 05:31 AM


You have some great tools and some great skill using them all! Thank you for the details and for sharing! Keep up the good work!


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View kookiemomster48's profile


36 posts in 4025 days

#2 posted 05-26-2012 11:24 AM

When I look at your tools I have to think in miniature. <g> I don’t have the strength to hold tools that large! But I love what you do and your shop is really awesome! Again, I have to think in miniature! I have much less space. BUT the wood calls and one does what one can.
Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Eclectic wood, wire, stone and bead lover

View justoneofme's profile


859 posts in 3637 days

#3 posted 06-15-2012 07:18 PM

Take your time … the final viewing will be well worth waiting for!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View nickbob's profile


1 post in 3303 days

#4 posted 07-10-2012 06:42 PM

Hey bearpie i am so glad to have seen this post. I too work on some wood sculptures from time to time but about a year ago i broke my favorite bit that i use in my die grinder. I have been searching for over a year for another but i did not know the name or who made it. then as i was searching today i saw it in your third pic. It is the small triangular bit. i was wondering if u could tell me the name of that bit and where i might find a replacement. I would appreciate it greatly.

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