Although chainsaw carving may seem hard and nearly impossible at first, but that is not actually the case. With patience and a little practice, you can make wonderful chainsaw carvings out of wood to decorate in your house or yard, or gift to your dear ones. The first chainsaw carving dates back to the early 1950s, but they are rapidly becoming more and more popular throughout the world as a form of art and personal expression, combining modern technology of chainsaw with historic woodworking and carving techniques.
Keep these tips in mind to make a chainsaw carving.
Step 1 – Take Lessons
Before you begin, it is essential to take a short course to get comfortable with a chainsaw. Look up these courses in your local directory or newspaper for relevant listings. It is important to get comfortable with a heavy, loud and noisy chainsaw, along with tools such as knives and blades used for sculpting.
It is equally important you wear the appropriate protective clothing, gloves and safety glasses to prevent injury, maintain your chainsaw properly and work free from any distractions.
Step 2 – Practice Carvings
Before making a chainsaw carving, practice on smaller pieces of scrap wood. You do not have to make any particular shape, just learn how to make soft angles, sharp cuts and straight and jagged cuts with your chainsaw.
Also practice various techniques particularly used for carvings, such as Native American carving, which uses a few straight cuts to mold a round timber, and Whittling technique that uses large cuts.
Step 3 – Purchase Timber
Once you are comfortable with the chainsaw and can maneuver it appropriately, obtain any size of timber for a carving. Also purchase carving plans easily available in any bookstore or crafts store, or on the Internet.
Place sandbags or smaller logs on your timber to hold it in place as you carve.
Step 4 – Make Sketch
Follow the plans to draw the sketch or shape on the timber with chalk or a marker. An alternative to this is to make a rough design on the bark of the timber itself with the tip of the chainsaw.
Step 5 – Carve the Timber to Shape
Follow the form to carve your timber with the chainsaw. Avoid making large cuts in the beginning because you may slice up the wood completely. Instead, keep making smaller cuts until you get the desired look. Depending on the finishing touches of your carving, you can change to a blunted chain or continue using a rough one to finish.
You can also sharpen or define angles with small blades or knives.
Step 6 – Apply Sealant
Apply a coat or two of teak oil or beeswax depending on whether you want to exhibit the carving indoors or outside. You can also paint your carving, allow it to dry overnight and apply a coat of sealant on it.
With practice, what took hours in the beginning will take much lesser, and you will make works of art to stand out wherever they are placed.