Monday, February 28, 2011

Becker Knives fork carving competition (part 2- completed)

The difficult parts of any carving are also the most delicate. On this fork those parts would be the tines. They have to be thin enough to spear food, but thin means vulnerable to breakage. A broken tine would stick out like a missing thumb.

When I started my foray into whittling I was very hesitant to carve away too much material. This reluctance resulted in lots of "fat" whittlins early on. While it's true you can't put those wood chips back on, you do need to shave enough of them off so your projects don't look like Hurley from "Lost." It was a lesson learned the slow way.

So this fork was carved to be thin, like an actual functional fork you'd find on the dinner table. The only blade used was the Becker BK11, as per the contest rules. I sanded it smooth with some beach stones, then dyed it by soaking it in berry juice. I really like how it turned out.

Lumberjack Spoon (BCUSA contest entry)

Well I didn't win, but the recent Bushcraft USA spoon contest was a ton of fun. No other spoon looked like mine, and I got some votes, which is always encouraging.

The basic idea here is a lumberjack gripping a double-bit axe with "BC" and "USA" engraved on it's head and handle. Other details include a sheathed knife on his left side and a patch sewn on his right pant leg.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Becker Knives fork carving competition

The Beckerheads over on BladeForums are holding a fork carving contest. The top three prizes are Becker knives!

The fork must be carved using a Becker knife, so I'm using my BK11, aka the Becker Necker. I'm learning that it's a good knife with a nice thin blade suitable for carving but it could use some more comfortable scales. Occasionally the finger guard gets in the way of a good grip, but overall it's an excellent knife for the task. Also, my cord wrapping skills need improvement. The orange 550 cord I wrapped keeps coming loose.

This is my fork so far. I'll post again when it's all done.

Monday, February 21, 2011

WIP: New Woodspirit Walking Stick

I've dug up a stout walking stick from the woodpile and have started sketching and shaving away. I'm taking tons of photos this time, and might even post a step-by-step tutorial if things go well.

More updates to come!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

St. Patrick's Day party favors (part 3: pins)

Here's the completed pins (magnets are still to come.) I glued some brass clasp pins to each carving. The clasp type pin feels more secure than the straight pin/frog type, though the clasps tend to sit slightly away from your shirt or coat once pinned in place. The one-piece design of the clasp is better, I think. There's no extra parts to lose.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The First One

This was the first whittlin' I ever did. A few years ago, my belly full of ice cream, I found myself holding a popsicle stick. For some reason I didn't throw it out. Instead I took out my pocket knife (a green Kershaw Scallion if memory serves) and carved that popsickle stick into the shape of a rifle. I'm glad I still have it!

I think it's a Remington. I'm not sure what model.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bushcraft USA Spoon Carving Contest

The BCUSA Spoon Carving Competition IV is happening right now! Stop over and check out the entries. This time there's 20 beautiful hand-carved spoons, in all levels of experience and many types of wood. Voting is open to any registered member, and registration is free.

While you're there, look around BCUSA. I love the Self Made Gear subforum as well as Trips & Expeditions. It's a great place to share one's love for the outdoors and despite the name, Bushcraft USA is an international community.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A slideshow of past whittlins

Here's a slideshow of some of my carvings. There's all sorts of stuff in here, from the rustic little spike trolls to the painted and finished toy soldiers. I'm proud of the variety and feel like I've made progress toward a higher level of detail and control. Let me know what you think!

Friday, February 11, 2011

St. Patrick's Day party favors (part 2)

As you can see, some of these pins and fridge magnets are soaked in linseed oil while others are painted with acrylics. It's a nice break to carve these simple little items, plus I'm using up scrap wood from other projects. (and yet the clutter continues to build.) Next I'll add pin backs and glue on magnets.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

St. Patrick's Day party favors

I love making little pins, magnets, and other carvings for guests at our annual St. Patrick's Day party. Last year I made shamrock pins out of basswood and cedar. This year I'm adding some more variety with flags, harps, and pints of stout. Here's an early in-progress look at this year's giveaways.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Toy Horse- from start to finish

Here's some photos of my latest toy horse project. From rough sawing with a coping saw, to carving, sanding, and finishing with lindseed oil and acrylic paint. The final step is to apply a few coats of shellac. This horse will be a gift at an upcoming baby shower.