Green Man Carving.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 06-26-2015 05:31 AM 1683 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Green Man Carving.
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This is a flat relief carving in Macrocarpa (Monterrey Cedar. I don’t usually carve like this but I thought I should try to carve like everyone else with chisels and gouges. Although I did finish off the fine detail with my usual carving knives. The total time taken was about 180 hours. Its one of those jobs you would have never started if you knew how long it was going to take. After a while you have so much effort invested in it you have to keep going just to realise the benefits. Besides I am not one for abandoning carvings once started. The size is 24 inches by 8 inches and was originally about 2 inches thick.

A lot of the difficulties was caused by the wood. It was milled about 25 years ago and sat untouched in a person’s basement. Consequently the wood was very dry, had small internal splits and was quite flaky to cut. Usually I get a nice clean cut that needs little sanding but cuts on this were hairy and rough. This led me to a variety of finishes that I don’t often use. Dremel, floats, rolled up sandpaper, special bent chisels, purpose made scrapers and even a prototype home made hand rasp with hand cut teeth. By the way I was using very sharp tools. Got there in the end and made a reasonably good job of the whole thing.

I am going to have a break by making some furniture. Its much easier. However I do feel tempted to have another go using the same wood and employing all the lessons I have learnt. Wait a while to get this one out of my system.

-- RusticJohn

5 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27273 posts in 4448 days

#1 posted 06-26-2015 10:55 AM

That is a beautiful piece, John. I can sympathize with you on cutting that hard old wood. it cam out fine in spite of the the hardness and has some nice detail everywhere!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4209 days

#2 posted 06-26-2015 05:12 PM

This is very nice, John. It has a lot of nice detail.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View leafherder's profile


1991 posts in 3295 days

#3 posted 06-26-2015 07:21 PM

Great job! And learning new things should always be fun. Thanks for sharing.

-- Leafherder

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4934 days

#4 posted 06-26-2015 08:52 PM

Thank you all for the kind comments. There were many times when I wanted to give up and do something else but you can’t shy away from adversity. As Churchill said “when you are going through hell, keep going”.

-- RusticJohn

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

519 posts in 3678 days

#5 posted 06-26-2015 09:50 PM

Man that’s a lot of hours John but a very nice piece in the end. And like you, sometimes into a project I feel like I wish I hadn’t started it. Maybe I bit off more than I wanted to chew. But by then you already have so much time into it that you can’t abandon it. Great carving. I like the details and finish

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

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