Carved birch mouse

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Blog series by Dave Polaschek updated 06-20-2021 06:21 PM 5 parts 3740 reads 56 comments total

Part 1: Introduction and rough outlines

06-16-2021 09:06 PM by Dave Polaschek | 11 comments »

Last night while I was waiting for the house to cool off, I read the two-part series on carving a mouse at Tools For Working Wood. It was pretty good, so I took a couple screen-shots and when I had a few minutes today, I got started. First, I roughed out the mouse from a piece of birch on the bandsaw. Very 2D, and about 3/4 inch thick. Next, I used a rasp to quickly remove he bandsaw burns (I was using a 3/4” 3tpi resaw blade, not the best for cutting fine details) Then I dre...

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Part 2: Body rounding and ears

06-17-2021 05:19 PM by Dave Polaschek | 11 comments »

After yesterday’s work, I drew a other couple guide-lines along the edges of the mouse, about 1/8” in from the previous lines. Then I cut away between the new line and the line I’d carved yesterday. The goal is to give the mouse a rounded body. With that done, I worked on refining the area between his ears. As I didn’t have a short knife suitable for working in these tight spaces, I modified a longer one. I’ll add pictures of that later. Finally, I sanded his sides a...

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Part 3: The tools

06-19-2021 03:24 PM by Dave Polaschek | 16 comments »

I realize I probably should have posted this earlier in the sequence, but I was adapting tools and figuring out what I needed as I went. Here’s a photo of the tools I’ve used so far. From left to right: A Morakniv Basic which I used for days 1 and 2 of this blog, mostly roughing out the mouse. One of the SPRAD knives I made. Used for detail work where the Basic knife was too long. A 6/6 gouge, used for hollowing the ears. A Morakniv Classic 2C that has been shortened to abo...

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Part 4: Refining the ears

06-19-2021 04:11 PM by Dave Polaschek | 7 comments »

The ears, as DoubleDD said in a comment, can make or break this mouse. I started by making some pencil lines sketching out what I thought would look good (I had already done the right ear at this point, so concentrate on the one on the mouse’s left). I trimmed off the outside of the ear a bit, gradually getting closer to a shape I liked. Then I hollowed the inside of the ear with a gouge. As I went, I also refined the mouse’s cheek, forehead, and the nape of his neck....

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Part 5: Sanding & oil

06-20-2021 06:21 PM by Dave Polaschek | 11 comments »

I decided today I was (almost) done with the knives. I used the slöjd knife to take a thin 1/32” from the inside of the ears, but that was it. Then I sanded with 60 grit, 120 grit, and 180 grit. Followed that with a dunk in the mix of mineral spirits and tung oil. As is typical at this point, I see a few spots where I should have sanded more with the 60 grit, but I’m not sure if I’ll go back and do that or not. I do know I’m done for today. That decision will be made tomorro...

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