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Thread: Another Tree Carving

  1. #1

    Another Tree Carving

    I have carved two pieces similar to this except there were two tree trunks on those carvings. They were designed to stand on either side of a refrigerator/freezer and arched over the top.
    In this case it's designed to stand on one edge of a built in and arch over the top where a TV will reside among the cabinetry.
    This one is 8 ft tall and the branches will extend 8 ft. It's made of Butternut and to this point there are 45 + blocks and boards to glue up what you see here. There will be approximately 25 - 30 more pieces needed prior to carving.
    Some of the details on this will be the Squirrel carved sitting at the base of the tree and in the branches will be a birds nest with two chicks in it and two adult birds on the branches.
    The main part of the branch that extends to the right will be separate until installed. What I did was to make interlocking pieces to join the wood together for stability instead of just flat mating faces. Then , in the back side,, I routed in a channel after boring holes to house bolts. This isn't the actual bolt to be used it's just for an example.
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    Last edited by Mark Yundt; 12-13-2012 at 12:02 AM.
    The Woodworking Studio

  2. #2
    a few more shots. Currently it's 4 ft across at the top. It will eventually be 8 ft. The thickness is only 7 inches thick here but I'll add a couple of more inches to it for the final carving.
    The tree itself will wrap partially around the end of the cabinetry as well as the leaves/branches on the upper left.

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    The Woodworking Studio

  3. #3
    For reference these are some pictures from the first carving I did. You can see the trees in the background of the finished kitchen. This one was also 8 ft tall but was 11-12 ft across. This was done in three sections, the two upright tree trunks and the center panel of branches /leaves.For reference the bench the center panel is sitting on is 4 ft wide.

    Last edited by Mark Yundt; 12-13-2012 at 10:31 AM.
    The Woodworking Studio

  4. #4
    nice!!! lotta fine work there.

  5. #5
    Thanks Randall!
    Up to now it's just been dirty work. Hopefully I'll be doing 'finer' work very soon. Getting tired of fitting all these joints, clamping, planing and edging. I 'wanna carve!
    The Woodworking Studio

  6. #6
    Beautiful stuff ,what a nice room that makes.I particularly like oak designs,it was a symbol for Jupiter who ruled over all human relationships. He would disguise himself as a beggar and seek hospitality,so the oak is welcoming.

  7. #7
    This is really cool. Would love to see more progress pix.
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  8. #8
    I had these on my blog where I was chronicling it but here you go. I will be taking more shots tonight since I have done quite a bit more carving since these were taken
    On the first shot I have recarved this entire area as I didn't like the shape it had. I have also completed the birds nest with the two chicks in it along with the rest of the 8 ft branch roughed in as well as the two adult birds carved into place.
    The blocking in of the birds nest is in the fifth photo just under the chisels.

    I tried editing the photos but as you can see I goofed up somewhere . Sorry.

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    The Woodworking Studio

  9. #9
    Here are some updated shots of the tree carving. I recarved the entire upper left section of the tree as it was too blocky looking.The 9 ft branch has all the leaves and branches roughed into place. The very end of the branch is lighter looking as the branches change size and the leaves take on a new direction.

    I also got the chicks in their nest which is located near the main trunk /branch area and the adult birds are located approx. half way across the arch. One chick is squawking away and the other sitting contentedly and the mother bird is looking back towards here chicks and the father is plumped up on his branch surveying his domain and keeping watch.





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    The Woodworking Studio

  10. #10
    really nice work!! i carved a million leaves in the 90's so i have some idea what it takes to work at this scale. one come the floor is so clean?

  11. #11
    Thanks Randall.
    Well ,, there were so many chips on the floor that it was raising me too high to carve comfortably as I had to keep bending over further and further to reach down to the carving the more I carved!
    Then ,, low and behold I discovered a seldom used tool in my shop. A broom. Once I remembered what it was for, cleaned the cobwebs off it and found the instruction manual I set about using it. It did a terrific job. Even I'm impressed.
    That,, and I was sending these shots to the client. Nothing says quality work like " Look at your mega-dollar tree getting carved in a pig sty" to really impress them. That's why I never have clients in my shop. Lest they think, "He can't even sweep the floor let alone carve something for us" . The less they know and see the better off I am.
    Last edited by Mark Yundt; 01-09-2013 at 3:02 PM.
    The Woodworking Studio

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New Paris, OH
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Yundt View Post
    ..... The less they know and see the better off I am.
    The reason we never get to go into the kitchen at a restaurant!

  13. #13
    mark....i have a better tool.....i open the barn doors and stand in the back of the shop with an electric leaf blower. works great!

    i also heat the shop with a wood stove.

    i was kidding because my shop is such a mess most of the time.

    all that aside this is a very impressive job. is there a finish speced or do you get to decide? love the birds!

  14. #14
    Ha! I do a similar thing twice a year whether it needs it or not. I use my air hose with a wand attachment on it. Roll up the doors and create a dust cloud. Hopefully the wind isn't blowing back in my direction.
    I too have a stove. It's primarily coal ( hey, it's Pennsylvania) and wood gets tossed into it as well.
    But I wasn't kidding,,,my shop is ALWAYS a mess.

    For this tree I don't have to finish it. That's the case with 99 percent of my work. They ship me some wood, I carve it and ship it back. Heck, I don't even drive anymore.I put 3000 miles on my car last year only taking my wife on vacation or out to dinner. No need for a cell phone either. I don't go anywhere. Ahhh the glories of being a carver!

    Birds,, these need a bit more work. I started my career carving nothing but songbirds, ducks and birds of prey for competition/sale and Ducks Unlimited events. Took 2nd in the World Championships with a Bobwhite Quail and a slew of other competitions up and down the Eastern coast. Fun times.
    The Woodworking Studio

  15. #15
    Today I couldn't resist working on some of the leaves just to see how it would look. I started out by cutting in the little curved cuts along the edges of the leaves. I used a router to do this since there are so many and this just removes enough material that it makes cleaning them up with carving just a bit easier and faster.I then lay in initial veins and pencil in the smaller veins that run to the edge. These get cut in with a V tool. Then it's a matter of rolling over the cut into the surface of the leaf. I then use a large gouge to make a cove from the little cutouts along the edge towards the center of the leaf. This i think gives the leaf some movement and makes it a bit more interesting to look at.
    The first photo shows the difference between some finished leaves and some in the initial stages of being roughed out. The leaf I focus on for the next 4 shots is located at the top center .
    The second shot shows the main vein,, and the smaller ones going towards the edge of the leaf. The third shot shows the beginnings of rolling the V cuts into the surface and the Gouge cuts from the cutouts. The fourth and fifth shots show the same leaf lit from different directions. The rest of the shots are just more leaves in various stages.
    Now ,, just do this a few dozen more times.
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