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    1. #1
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      Alright, I've been telling you guys about my woodcarvings and I promised to show some more. Here's a few photos from the woodcarving show a few months ago (it's the 19th or 20th show I've participated in since 1992):

      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">This one isn&#39;t wood. It&#39;s actually a deer antler.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">This shows one of my pliers. It&#39;s a "pair of pliers". And, yes, they are working, moving pliers Like all of my carvings, they were carved the way you see them. There&#39;s no carving separate pieces then gluing them together, NO, they&#39;re all done from a single piece of wood/material. The piece on the right has a ring in a three-sided cage, two half-links and a ball-in-a-cage.

      And yes, every little segment is loose and free to move around.
      </div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Lousy photo but cool pieces (my flash batteries had died). A few of these ones are actually my Dad&#39;s work. Same goes for the following photo:</div>


      <div align="center"></div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">This hanging mass is actually a puzzle. It consists of 10 separate sticks, each about a foot long. They fit together by friction. So, while there&#39;s technically only 10 carvings there, there&#39;s actually 60 or more different "things", or "elements", carved in the various pieces. That&#39;s my Dad in the background. (Sorry, it&#39;s a bit out of focus.)</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">This is the reverse side of the piece. This is actually the first - but far from the last - carving that earned me a 1st place ribbon in judging.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">I really like this new (I got the idea from a picture of some one else&#39;s work in a book I&#39;ve got) thing I did here. It&#39;s two smaller cages - each having two loose balls - in a larger cage. These two smaller cages share the main bars. I&#39;ll show another way to make ball-in-a-cage-in-a-cage - in which no bars are shared - when I take more photos. When you do them so that no bars are shared then you get a loose cage in the main cage. Of course, the balls in those cages are loose as well.

      Partially off the right side of that photo is a 2-barred spiral that has a loose rod inside. That&#39;s also something new I did, my own idea.
      </div>


      When I get off of my lazy butt and take some more photos I&#39;ll post them. &#39;Till then, I hope you enjoy.

      There&#39;s also a few more HERE

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      Member Twoshadows's Avatar
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      Those are so absolutely fantastic.

      I mean, I know what went into those. (Well, at least I sort of do.)

      And the antler is so much harder to carve. I tried a few times (I have a picture somewhere).

      There is so much detail on those chains, it just blows me away.

      Amazing.....


      It does make me want to get out my carving tools and start again.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Twoshadows View Post
      And the antler is so much harder to carve. I tried a few times (I have a picture somewhere).[/b]
      Not really, it&#39;s power carved. I used a roto-tool with various carbide bits. You can&#39;t really cut that stuff with knives. The important thing to keep in mind is that you have to have very good ventilation (outside is best) and wear a mask because the dust from the bone is quite toxic so you definitely don&#39;t want to breathe it in. Not to mention that it stinks.

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      Awesome&#33;

      They look like major time consumers. How long do you spend on one of those?

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      SKA
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      Oh wooow that&#39;s absolutely amazing.
      Did you actually Chain the links or carve them out of 1 piece of wood? I can&#39;t see how you&#39;d have chained them together otherwise.

      You got some serious woodcarving skills. I&#39;ve been wanting to do some wood carving too. If I could be teatched by someone I&#39;d want to be teached by you. You&#39;re very skillfull
      How much time does 1 of those chains actually take to carve? And what kind of wood did you use for it?
      Luminous Spacious Dream Masters That Holographically Communicate
      among other teachers taught me

      not to overestimate the Value of our Concrete Knowledge;"Common sense"/Rationality,
      for doing so would make us Blind for the unimaginable, unparalleled Capacity of and Wisdom contained within our Felt Knowledge;Subconscious Intuition.

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      Thanks for the love, everybody.

      Quote Originally Posted by EddieSpaghetti View Post
      Awesome&#33;

      They look like major time consumers. How long do you spend on one of those?[/b]
      They are time-consuming and, honestly, I haven&#39;t spent much time doing it the past few years. Time per piece varies (of course) but I&#39;d estimate on the order of around 20-40 hours/linear foot for the 3/4 inch wood (depending on the type of wood and what I&#39;m doing). Though, I have pieces I&#39;ve started years ago and have yet to finish. Most of my work is in 3/4 inch stock but I&#39;ve done much larger and much smaller. I&#39;m currently - though not very actively - working on a chain starting from an 8 foot 6x6 inch piece of pressure-treated lumber.

      Originally posted by SKA+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SKA)</div>
      Did you actually Chain the links or carve them out of 1 piece of wood? I can&#39;t see how you&#39;d have chained them together otherwise.[/b]
      Yes, every part is carved in place. Think of it as removing all the wood that doesn&#39;t look like a chain. The only glue ever used is in the rare case of accidental breakage but, glue is never used as part of the production process.

      I&#39;ll take some pictures of the 8 foot chain I&#39;ve started. That way you can see how it transforms from solid stock to chain links.

      A point of interest is that, by carving like this, you actually increase the overall length of the piece of wood. For example, when the large chain I&#39;m talking about gets done it&#39;ll have gone from 8 feet long to somewhere around 10 1/2 - 11 feet long.

      <!--QuoteBegin-SKA

      You got some serious woodcarving skills. I&#39;ve been wanting to do some wood carving too. If I could be teatched by someone I&#39;d want to be teached by you.
      You&#39;d be surprised how easy it really is. Once you can visualize what you&#39;re doing, you can figure out the steps required to reach the end product. I&#39;ll also show you a demo piece I made for teaching the "ball-in-a-cage". I made it out of 6x6 pressure treated as well.

      You see, there are a few basics to learn: ball-in-a-cage, rings and chain links. Once you understand how those basics work then you can modify those ideas into countless variations and combinations. For example, a ring in a cage or a ball in a cage in a cage. Also, simple modifications such as twisted cages and twisted links add a lot of character to a piece. Rings can be modified to make some really interesting segments too.

      Originally posted by SKA
      And what kind of wood did you use for it?
      Most of the ones I&#39;ve shown so far are in pine. But I also use mahogany, basswood, "ear wood", butternut, cherry, cyprus, cedar and maple. Butternut, mahogany and basswood are some of the best for knife carving. I&#39;ve done pieces in pressure-treated pine but, PT lumber is FAR from ideal. In fact, it&#39;s very ill-suited for the task because it tends to split and chip far too easily so it requires techniques other than the standard "knife-in-hand" work. And chisel/gouge carving is even worse.

      I&#39;ve even carved in billiard balls, dice and acrylic. Again, very tedious materials to work with. I&#39;ll point out some of the wood types I use in the future.

    7. #7
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      Daaaaamn. Those are dope, man.

      I really like the deer antler chain. What a cool concept. And it amazes me that you can actually carve perfect chain-links out of one peice of material.

      Great stuff.
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      You have some great stuff.
      Shine on, you crazy diamond!

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      SWEET dude

      holy crap, wooden chainlinks&#33;

      that&#39;s impressive

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Oneironaut View Post
      I really like the deer antler chain. What a cool concept.[/b]
      In everything I do, I try to break from tradition. I&#39;ve always been that way. I like doing things no body&#39;s seen or done. I&#39;ve seen carved deer antler but never "trick-carved" antler. I thought the chain in antler would be awesome.

      I&#39;ve always thought it&#39;d be funny to tranquilize and deer and make its antlers into chains then set &#39;em free. Sure, it&#39;s cruel but think of the hilarity that would ensue when a hunter spots that through his scope

      Originally posted by Oneironaut
      And it amazes me that you can actually carve perfect chain-links out of one peice of material.
      Far from perfect but cool none-the-less. The best part about that kind of carving is that nothing has to be perfect. There&#39;s no right way. If you screw up then you just do it a little bit different and no one knows any better. Some of my "new" ideas are actually recoveries from mistakes and breakages. Another good thing is that if you break a section then you simply have two shorter pieces - no real harm.

      I should note that Twoshadows&#39; cool ball-in-a-cage with the two openings on each side of the cage isn&#39;t as bad as she thinks. TS, all you need do is smooth out the cage walls and it&#39;ll look even better than it already does. Sure, your ball isn&#39;t so round (hey, I&#39;ve made pancake balls that fall right out of the cage before) but you also made a style of cage that is very hard to reach in to shape the ball. Normally, you&#39;ll want to get the ball as rounded as you can before the cut it loose but, in your case, that&#39;s a real challenge. Once it&#39;s loose, you&#39;re faced with the challenge of trying to hold it still while cutting on it. Did you use a knife or is yours done with a roto-tool? I&#39;ll guess roto-tool.

      But, like I said, I love the way you made it. I&#39;m going to have to make one like that.

    11. #11
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      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">This is a set of white pine game pieces for a fancy wooden Monopoly game I made about 5 years ago. It was a commissioned project for a decent fee. They average about an inch tall. The ring is loose and so is the ball. The beer mug is filled with clear epoxy dyed yellow with a drop of food coloring. The lettering on the rocket is burnt into the wood. They&#39;re clear-coated with spray lacquer.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Alright, this is an overview of the big chain I was talking about. It&#39;s being made from a 8 foot long 6x6 inch piece of pressure-treated building lumber. I&#39;m 5&#39;, 10" tall and can&#39;t quite reach the top.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Here you can see how the links are formed</div>

      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Another view.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">I use this 13 inch length of 6x6 PT lumber to demonstrate how the form the basic ball-in-a-cage (in this case, 2 balls). The left face shows the raw surface. With the right face, I&#39;ve scored around the cage borders and have started to remove wood from between the balls. "Remove the wood from between the balls?" That sounds really bad... and painful...

      The next step is to start clearing out the corners, then the sides.
      </div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Here you can see how the balls start to take shape. The side on the right would be the next step in the process; the left side being a bit more fleshed out. The ball centers are marked for the purposes of illustration. The centers establish the diameter of the balls. As long as you don&#39;t cut away the marked centers (and providing you make the balls relatively round), the balls will remain plenty large and can&#39;t fall out. [EDIT]Now, you will have to cut the marked portions away in order to make the balls round but, I mean that you won&#39;t have to go very deep.[/edit]

      The next step it to simply continue rounding out the balls until they are loose.
      </div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">This reveals the first bit of wood removed in contrast to the side with the most amount of work done. It&#39;s getting dark and the flash is glaring off of the wood, making the detail hard to make out.

      In practice, you want to try working all four sides fairly evenly. In a free-standing piece like this one, you may choose to open the top and bottom ends as well. that way you have a cage that&#39;s open on all 6 sides. With this being pressure-treated, however, that would be a mistake as it&#39;ll become very fragile at the end grain due to the ends being too thin.
      </div>

    12. #12
      Member asher's Avatar
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      Man that is awesome&#33; I tried to carve a wooden spoon once. Didn&#39;t get very far.

      #asher
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      Quote Originally Posted by asher View Post
      Man that is awesome&#33; I tried to carve a wooden spoon once. Didn&#39;t get very far.

      #asher[/b]
      Thanks. You mean a "love spoon" (decorative wooden spoon-shaped object), as they&#39;re called? I&#39;ve never made one but I&#39;ve seen a bunch of pretty cool ones. I just never wanted to buy a spoon gouge. A good one is so darned expensive.

      Oh, Asher, is there a image guideline that I need to be following? I looked around and couldn&#39;t find any rules regarding maximum number of images/post. I&#39;ll keep the size about the size of these ones.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Oneironaught View Post
      I&#39;ve always thought it&#39;d be funny to tranquilize and deer and make its antlers into chains then set &#39;em free. Sure, it&#39;s cruel but think of the hilarity that would ensue when a hunter spots that through his scope [/b]
      You do have a sick, twisted mind&#33;

      Those are really cool. I love the "big chain".

      How do you make pliers that really work? I&#39;m having trouble picturing that.

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      WoW&#33; You carved a ball in cage from one block? Did you carve the ball seperated, then put it in the cage?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Oneironaught View Post
      Thanks. You mean a "love spoon" (decorative wooden spoon-shaped object), as they&#39;re called? I&#39;ve never made one but I&#39;ve seen a bunch of pretty cool ones. I just never wanted to buy a spoon gouge. A good one is so darned expensive.

      Oh, Asher, is there a image guideline that I need to be following? I looked around and couldn&#39;t find any rules regarding maximum number of images/post. I&#39;ll keep the size about the size of these ones.[/b]

      I mean like one of these:



      My wife actually managed to carve a pretty cool salad fork when we were living in the woods.

      So far as images go AFAIK the more the better, so no limit from me.

      #asher
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      Quote Originally Posted by Infraredkelp View Post
      WoW&#33; You carved a ball in cage from one block? Did you carve the ball seperated, then put it in the cage?[/b]
      No, they&#39;re carved inside the cage; that&#39;s what makes them special. Not to be a [email protected] but, didn&#39;t you look at the pictures above where I show you the steps to making a ball in a cage?

    18. #18
      Member Twoshadows's Avatar
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      All your carvings are amazing. Each time I look at those pictures I see more details that I missed the time before. I would just love to hold them in my hand and really look at them closely.


      And I can&#39;t believe that huge chain&#33; Wow.... I can see that will take a while to finish. I started a little chain, and I never even got to the point where the first two link become loose.

      And it is interesting to see your ball in a cage in progress...and that is big too. I don&#39;t think I had a plan as I started mine, that&#39;s why it ended up looking the way it did. I just started digging into the wood trying to break a "ball" out from the inside while leaving bars to keep it in.

      I should note that Twoshadows&#39; cool ball-in-a-cage with the two openings on each side of the cage isn&#39;t as bad as she thinks. TS, all you need do is smooth out the cage walls and it&#39;ll look even better than it already does. Sure, your ball isn&#39;t so round (hey, I&#39;ve made pancake balls that fall right out of the cage before) but you also made a style of cage that is very hard to reach in to shape the ball. Normally, you&#39;ll want to get the ball as rounded as you can before the cut it loose but, in your case, that&#39;s a real challenge. Once it&#39;s loose, you&#39;re faced with the challenge of trying to hold it still while cutting on it. Did you use a knife or is yours done with a roto-tool? I&#39;ll guess roto-tool.

      But, like I said, I love the way you made it. I&#39;m going to have to make one like that.[/b]
      Thanks...and yeah...I used a roto tool. That&#39;s the way I was taught. I&#39;d like to get better using just a knife. I have always envied the people that can find a stick while camping, then while sitting around the campfire can whittle it into something amazing. At this point I still need electricity to do my best carvings.



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      Quote Originally Posted by Oneironaught View Post
      No, they&#39;re carved inside the cage; that&#39;s what makes them special. Not to be a [email protected] but, didn&#39;t you look at the pictures above where I show you the steps to making a ball in a cage?[/b]
      Actually I didn&#39;t see those pics. I could only see a few of them.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Twoshadows View Post
      ...and yeah...I used a roto tool.[/b]
      If I may be so bold: The reason I guessed that is because when you carve that kind of stuff with a roto-tool, it&#39;ll tend to follow the grain too closely. The result is that&#39;s it&#39;s difficult to make straight lines. Now that it&#39;s done, if you wanted to smooth the bars of the cage, use a knife to finish it off. That&#39;ll clean up your lines and make a striking difference in appearance that you&#39;ll notice immediately.

      Originally posted by Moonbeam
      How do you make pliers that really work? I&#39;m having trouble picturing that.
      It&#39;s a little difficult to explain without visuals. A plier joint is hexagonal in shape and consists of 12 cuts. I&#39;ll try to find a diagram that shows the procedure. What&#39;s most amazing is that - when done right there should be NO scrap wood: No chips, shavings, sandings, nothing&#33; I&#39;ve made very few that ever turned out perfect. I usually have a little waste wood. I&#39;ll take a picture of all the carved pliers I still have, from tiny to large. A side-by-side comparison will be cool for the sense of relative scale.

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      If I may be so bold: The reason I guessed that is because when you carve that kind of stuff with a roto-tool, it&#39;ll tend to follow the grain too closely. The result is that&#39;s it&#39;s difficult to make straight lines. Now that it&#39;s done, if you wanted to smooth the bars of the cage, use a knife to finish it off. That&#39;ll clean up your lines and make a striking difference in appearance that you&#39;ll notice immediately.[/b]
      That&#39;s okay. I don&#39;t mind any suggestions. My ball in a cage was never finished--that&#39;s why it looks uneven. But you&#39;re right, I might not have gotten it as smooth or straight as I would have wanted. Maybe I&#39;ll try to use a knife.

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      TS, don&#39;t let my statement mislead you. I doubt I&#39;ve ever made a single straight cut on any piece I&#39;ve ever done. But that&#39;s another beautiful thing about such carvings: nothing has to be straight and tidy to look cool. It&#39;s just that a knife blade - at least for the final, finishing stage - gives the impression of smooth, straight cuts. A little knife time spent on the rough-cut piece (any piece) makes a sudden, immediately recognizable difference. The mere fact the the object is loose yet unable to detach is enough to make the piece satisfying.

      And I&#39;ve got pieces, too, that are rough and unfinished. Sometimes it&#39;s just not a piece that&#39;s motivated me to spend the extra time to "smooth out the knife marks", which leaves a blocky, rustic feel to the piece.

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      Wow, you carved these? You have all the right to take pride in breaking tradition&#33; These are just amazing. I&#39;ve always admired those who take the time to make an intricate piece of work, and the way you make these carvings surely seem worth all the effort&#33; Wow, that&#39;s all I can really say. It&#39;s pretty cool.

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      Let me clarify what I mean by "breaking tradition", just so I don&#39;t give any false impressions. Now, this style of carving has been around for a very long time. Chain links were a popular thing back in the "early days" of America (though certainly not limited to American culture), as were balls in cages. It&#39;s usually thought of as an "old people" style of carving these days.

      As time went by, the style has pretty much faded into obscurity. For example, of all the woodcarvers I&#39;ve met over the past 20 years, Twoshadows is probably only the 6th or so that&#39;s even attempted "trick carving", also traditionally referred to as "whittling". Besides my Dad and myself, no one else that&#39;s ever been in our club does trick carving (save for a total of maybe 5 pieces). They all carve figures "in the round", relief carvings, wood-burning, wood turning, chip carving and other styles that normally come to mind when some one hears the term "wood carving". In the past few years, my Dad and I have gotten the oldest of my two younger brothers into carving. He&#39;s made some pretty darned cool pieces too. I need to get on the ball - can&#39;t have him catching up to me (even though I&#39;ve gotten rid of more pieces than he&#39;s made in total. But still, he&#39;s done a few that I wish I&#39;d made. Kind of like the ball-in-a-cage of Twoshadows&#39; that we keep referring to. That thing&#39;s awesome and unique.)

      My breaks from tradition - as far as my carving endeavours are concerned - are in that I&#39;ve used some unique materials and the fact that I&#39;ve created a few new elements that I&#39;ve never seen done or displayed in any carving books, shows, etc... I&#39;ve also come up with a number of unique variations on traditional themes and trick carving elements.

      I mention all of this so that no one gets the impression that I claim to have pioneered the style. I&#39;ve only taken it in my own direction in hopes of reviving a lost art

      Having said all of that, I will have some more photos up as soon as I decide on the best route to host them in the future. I&#39;m torn between continuing to host through Photobucket and figuring out of the Dreamviews attachment system can be exploited for my purposes here. Either way, lots more to come soon.

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      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">I finally finished this piece (last night) but the photos of the finished stage are all blurry so I&#39;ll retake them later. But this gives you a look at the full thing. The section on the right is obviously still undone in this shot.</div>


      <div align="center">I figured I&#39;d walk you through a piece as I work on it:</div>
      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">I started this today. I&#39;m using a 16 1/2" long x 2" squared stock of "Ear wood". It&#39;s a soft, very easy-to-carve wood. This shows that I&#39;ve shaped a section then have started to transform it into a set of oddly-shaped cages. The marks you see are knife cuts. I always score the cage openings before I begin to cut away between the bars. Both cages taper. The top one is rounded and the lower one has a total of 10 facets.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">At this stage, I&#39;ve begun to work on both cages and have one ball lose in the upper one.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Another view.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Now, the second ball is loose. The bottom ball is larger than the top ball because of the cage&#39;s taper.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Another view.</div>


      <div align="center"></div>
      <div align="center">Since I&#39;ll almost certainly be asked (eventually) what type of knife I use, I use this type of blade for most of my work.</div>

      I&#39;m showing these steps so that if anyone who sees this decides to give it a try they&#39;ve got a pretty good idea of the way progress is achieved. If you folks get bored just let me know (or stop posting) and I&#39;ll quit showing the intermediate stages. Also, if anyone has any questions about how something is done just let me know.

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