LumberJocks

Carved elm bird

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 05-12-2021 01:16 PM 1083 views 0 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another bird (or birb) carved from a piece of elm, then sanded and shellacked. Feels pretty nice to the hands, and will spin around if you give it a push.

Carving these birds (I have four or five more in progress at various places) is really helping me get better at working with the grain of wood. I’m not trying particularly difficult woods on purpose, rather just using whatever scraps I have handy, which happen to include walnut, elm, ash, oak, cherry, more walnut, and probably pine at some point.

Anyway, it’s been fun, and I’m learning as I go. The birds don’t end up particularly realistic, but my sweetie thinks they’re all cute, so that’s something.

I’ve also been using various utility, construction, or companion knives from Morakniv, rather than sticking with slöjd knives. Working with the big blades sometimes makes it challenging to get into corners, but I’m figuring out how to use different parts of the blade or come at the wood from a different angle to make the cut I need, and I think it’s improving my skills.

-- Dave - Santa Fe





26 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

11371 posts in 3533 days


#1 posted 05-12-2021 01:33 PM

In my opinion it looks fine good Dave. When you’re carving something and it looks like it suppose to be, it great. Mine would end up looking like a rock. These would look nice around a birds watering hole. LOL.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10473 posts in 2072 days


#2 posted 05-12-2021 01:38 PM

Thanks, Dave! I bet you could do better than a rock, though. Just keep carving away everything that doesn’t look like a bird. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3537 posts in 3680 days


#3 posted 05-12-2021 01:59 PM

Very nice, exceptionally smooth and fair.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

7114 posts in 2712 days


#4 posted 05-12-2021 02:14 PM

The thing I admire most about animal carvings is seeing the creators “view” of what makes it finished.

For some it’s very abstract looking, others go for photo-realism. I look forward to how your “view” develops as you make more of these birbs!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10473 posts in 2072 days


#5 posted 05-12-2021 02:24 PM

Thanks, Tom! Took a bit of sanding to get there, but I’m getting closer with the knife on each one I do.

Splint, I’m guessing I’ll stick abstract, but we’ll see. We’ve got a friend who runs a hospice house, and one thought is that I’d send a batch of birds to them as comfort birds but we’ll see how it goes. With those, the idea is smooth and tactile. But I might change my mind over time…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View gdaveg's profile

gdaveg

551 posts in 692 days


#6 posted 05-12-2021 02:51 PM

Dave,

Very nice looking birdie. Job well done.

Was the Elm hard to cut? Never worked with it before. Have some Chinese Elm that I got a log of from my son in law from a tree he trimmed. It is drying now but seems to be hard.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

1527 posts in 3197 days


#7 posted 05-12-2021 02:58 PM



...
Splint, I’m guessing I’ll stick abstract, but we’ll see. We’ve got a friend who runs a hospice house, and one thought is that I’d send a batch of birds to them as “comfort birds”
...
- Dave Polaschek

Well done on the carving, Dave! I’m sure they’d appreciate having some comfort birds for the residents.

Claude

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

9691 posts in 2202 days


#8 posted 05-12-2021 03:01 PM

i am still working on my bird AKA birb when my health allows me too been to busy with appts. and dialysis but its coming along nicely . How long did this one take to carve ?

GREAT JOB :<))) SHOUL DBE A TOP3 SO GRATZ

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10473 posts in 2072 days


#9 posted 05-12-2021 03:03 PM

Thanks, Dave! The elm wasn’t easy to carve, but it was a lot easier than ash. The biggest problem I had was a few spots running through it that were softer, so I had to work carefully around that.

Thanks, Claude! I’m going to try and build up a bit of a backlog before I suggest that. There are up to ten residents at any one time, and I want to make sure I have at least enough for everyone to get a bird if they want. Plus, at the moment, my production rate is too slow… and I don’t want to have it feel like a job.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10473 posts in 2072 days


#10 posted 05-12-2021 03:06 PM

Tony, I think it was a couple-three weeks of grabbing a few minutes or an hour here and there. Maybe a day or two of carving time total, much of which was trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. If I had roughed it out on the bandsaw and knew what I was doing, it’s probably a half-day or less.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

5113 posts in 4599 days


#11 posted 05-12-2021 03:12 PM

Looking good! I like the walnut one, too.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View pottz's profile

pottz

26521 posts in 2474 days


#12 posted 05-12-2021 03:21 PM

lookin good dave,you pushed me to get the turning going but i think im gonna let you go with the carving alone.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

9691 posts in 2202 days


#13 posted 05-12-2021 03:40 PM



Tony, I think it was a couple-three weeks of grabbing a few minutes or an hour here and there. Maybe a day or two of carving time total, much of which was trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. If I had roughed it out on the bandsaw and knew what I was doing, it’s probably a half-day or less.

- Dave Polaschek


wow that would have saved me a ton on chips by roughing it on bandsaw first IM SUCH A NOOB :<(((

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

3144 posts in 3056 days


#14 posted 05-12-2021 04:40 PM

Looking good.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10473 posts in 2072 days


#15 posted 05-12-2021 05:12 PM

Thanks, Steven!

Thanks, Pottz! It’s not too tough, and a lot more portable than a lathe!

Tony, I’ve used the bandsaw on about half of the birds I have in progress. Sometimes just making chips is relaxing and rewarding, and I prefer not having the noise and dust. Sometimes I just want to get to the bird.

Thanks, Oldrivers!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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