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Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Tiki Carving » » Working With Big Logs
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Working With Big Logs
Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2005-01-30 09:02 am   Permalink

Here are 2 logs that are 13' long by 30" thick. They were Cypress Heart wood meaning all the sapwood had been removed which would have Doubled the diameter.


And a few other big Logs I have met during my carving years. They all seem to be about 13 feet tall





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[ This Message was edited by: Benzart on 2005-01-31 05:45 ]


 
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Aaron's Akua
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Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2005-01-30 11:18 pm   Permalink

BIG Logs indeed. Thanks, Sabu for the contribution. Seeing Barney's actual work yard adds some insight to the storefront pics shown in the BOT. That log behind him is huge!

Ben, the chainsaw tips from you, Cheeky and Kiegs were really helpful. Thanks especially for all the chainsaw links and research that you PM'd. I'm odering my new chainsaw tomorrow - The Makita UC3500 electric in-line model, well balanced, with a 14" bar. I'll also be picking up my BIG log soon, hopefully within a couple of weeks.

I've been think a lot about what to carve. The log will probably be about 20" diameter (every added inch of diameter seems to add weight exponentially). It should be a little larger than life, so probably 7 foot tall. I was kicking around the idea of doing a replica of that
"Mysterious Tiki X", because it looks fairly simple. But this is going to be a pretty long carve, and should probably have some good detail, cause I don't know how many of these big tikis I'm going to do. Might as well make it count. It will probably be a Hawaiian tiki god, pretty traditional. I'll post as I go along.

BTW - Those 13 footers are all astounding.

Aloha,

Aaron

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[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2005-01-30 23:18 ]


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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2005-01-31 05:50 am   Permalink

My thoughts exactly. It sounds like it is going to be a Much better than average log and it deserves a top of the line carving, one that will test your ability and one that you will be proud of for years to come. My recomendation is an authentic Hawiian God such as Lono or Ku. Are you done yet???
Of course we expect a few pictures of every step.
Go GO GOOOO
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Aaron's Akua
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Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2005-06-06 12:11 pm   Permalink

Okay, I’ve pretty much given up on carving a Barney West size log, but I did pick up a nice piece yesterday with the help of some our local carvers.

Carving at the park every day, I’ve gotten to know the grounds people pretty well. The supervisor, Alan, stopped by a while back to let me know he was cutting down a large cherry tree in his front yard. So I stopped by to scope it out one evening. The piece was about 48 tall x 30” diameter, with lots of burl. Now, that doesn’t seem that large, but we’re dealing with cherry wood here. Using this handy
log weight calculator, I found out that the log actually weighed somewhere between 700 and 800 lbs.

PolyPop, Spermy, and Riptide "volunteered" to lend some muscle, but all the same we decided to slice the log in half to get it down to a manageable weight.

Here’s the stump.


Alan, the grounds guy used to be a tree trimmer in his earlier days. He borrowed a 30” bar gas chainsaw from a friend, and did all the cuts for me.




We wrapped some bungies around the top then wedged a few wood chips into the cut to keep the cut from pinching or splitting when the saw got down to the bottom.



That’s PolyPop, Riptide, and Spermy in the background, left to right.



Here’s what we wound up with – 2 large slices of cherry burl, ready for a couple of large “against the wall” tikis or masks.




Everybody went home with logs, and the warm fuzzy feeling of having helped out a fellow carver (namely, me). Thanks for the muscle, guys!

And also BIG MAHALOS to Alan for supplying this fine cherry wood to us local tiki carvers (I'm sending him a link to this post).

Cheers,

Aaron

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[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2005-06-07 13:06 ]


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rodeotiki
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Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 1513
From: calgary
Posted: 2005-06-06 12:17 pm   Permalink

Wow thats some beautiful wood , cant wait to see what you get from it.

Here is a
link to philtotem and has a video of the carving of a large log. Could be 10 feet or more.

[ This Message was edited by: rodeotiki on 2005-06-06 15:25 ]


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Capt'n Skully
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Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 404
From: The Lost Lagoon
Posted: 2005-06-06 2:02 pm   Permalink

I like the shot with the park guy's wife in the background watching the tiki-like baffoonery from a safe distance.

 
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8FT Tiki
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Joined: Nov 30, 2003
Posts: 1232
From: Kansas City, MO
Posted: 2005-06-06 9:57 pm   Permalink

Yeah In that photo, I thought he was making one of those bear chain saw carvings.
Have fun with those. I'm sure you'll create something very unique!

By the way Aaron, thanks for posting the link to that log weight calculator. I just used it to find out what this log I have here is weighing in at. It has been sitting on my driveway since I got it from my church a few weeks ago. They took out 2 trees on a grounds cleanup day and I got some nice pieces. This is a sycamore log and
OH MY FREAKING GOSH, it says this weighs approximately 693 pounds! I got it delivered by a relative with a lift gate delivery truck but how am I gonna get it to the back patio??? I don't dare tell the suckers who will be roped into helping me what it weighs until they get it moved and have a cold beer in their hands. I am gonna have to plan this out good.



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[ This Message was edited by: 8FT Tiki on 2005-06-07 15:14 ]


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2005-06-07 10:07 am   Permalink

WOW Aaron what a Nice pile of logs and a beautiful Burl.
8Ft, waht an Awesome log, WOW.
You guys are Killin' me but I Love it. Nice way to die.
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Aaron's Akua
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Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2005-06-07 9:18 pm   Permalink

Rodeo, I couldn't get the carving video to work, but got completely sidetracked by the website. Man what a carver that Philtotem guy is! I'll try it again - what viewer download will I need to watch this video?

Skully, don't be misled. The lady in the background helped Alan cut that tree down. She's no stranger to the chainsaw! I think she was fairly intrigued by us tiki carvers though.

8 foot, Yeah that log calculator comes in handy. Look at that whopper log you've got there. You just can't judge the weight of a log by looking at it. Sometimes it's better that way though! Don't give your friends any cold beer till it's safely in the back yard!

Benzart! Some cherry limbs are on the way. Same for Finkdaddy. Carve 'em small, make 'em look big!

Mahalo,

Aaron
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SilverLine
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Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 632
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2006-04-13 08:41 am   Permalink

It's been a long time since this topic was discussed last, so I thought I'd bump it up with a little story.

I live in an older neighborhood well populated with mature trees. This morning I stopped by a neighbor's who was having a old oak taken out of their front yard. I kept telling myself, "It's OAK! It's hard-carving and HEAVY! You don't want it!" But O-M-G look at the SIZE of that log! "It'll flatten your tires as soon as they put it in the truck bed!" I said to myself. But still I dreamed of what I might be able to do with it.

Well, away it goes to the dump. I know when I'm beat. If there was a way, I'd have it in my garage right now. Oh well.







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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2006-04-13 09:24 am   Permalink

New News---Oak is NOT that bad to carve. Look Here to see carvings by Chris Pye, a Formal carver who carves for the Royal Family and for other architectural concerns. Most all his carvings are done with the Traditional carving wood,,OAK. Yes it is hard, but it has integrity and will last forever and stand up to major abuse. SO, Don't throw those Oak logs away..
Chris Pye is the guy who does the carving lessons I have posted a few times. All are available free (with a promise to donate Something to your favorite charity) to download. Check it OUT.
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5065
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-04-13 10:10 am   Permalink

My two cents. First, avoid dropping the log on concrete. I've seen large logs break concrete. I wondered how the guy I get New Guinea stuff got the giant poles in his backyard around. He said on the islands it was easy to get a bunch of guys to pick it up and load it for him. In the the US he had some truck put them in his back yard. Old ways are best though. You might easily get some 300-500 capacity tires and make a cart, but, the axles and all would be tested and it would not work well. Rolling it on pipes would be the easy way as long as you could strap it to something to keep it from going too fast and getting away from you. I would think you would carve it in place though and not want to move it after it's done.

I have been considering getting a huge log and putting a massive tiki in the corner of my yard. It would require a good bit of roughing with a chainsaw though. If I can get that done first and then the log delivered where I could carve at my leisure, that would be ideal. That's on down the road though.
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SilverLine
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Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 632
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2006-04-13 1:19 pm   Permalink

Well now you're making me wish I'd tried harder to claim one of these!! The fact is, I'm just not set up for anything this large (yet). The handy-dandy log weight calculator estimates one 4-foot section of that log to be 3,000 lbs. I just put a 300-pounder in the garage this morning. I can't imaging moving something 10 times heavier.

How big does a balsa tree get??


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Polynesiac
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Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2085
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2006-04-13 6:08 pm   Permalink

About 5 months ago, I was walking by some tree trimmers that were taking down a canary palm on my way back from work. They were very efficient and had the tree down and ready to chop up in minutes. I approached and asked what they were going to do with the palm log and before I could explain why I wanted it, they said "you carve tikis? do you want the logs?" I said yes, but explained I had no way of getting it home and they said "where do you live? we'll drop it off!" Luckily I lived about 100 yards from where they were and it was only after they dropped off the logs that I realized just how huge and HEAVY they were.



They turned out to be slieghtly larger than 2 feet in diameter and cut into a 4 foot section and two 3.5 foot sections. At first I was bummed that I didn't specify a 6 foot section, but it's been over 5 months now and I can just barely roll them on my own. To add to all that, my carving area is 32 steps uphill from my driveway, so when I do start carving these I'll meet a lot of people again. I'm looking forward to it.

On a side note (no pictures unfortunately) a 40+ foot canary palm came down along paseo del mar here in 'pedro and when I went to check it out and grab some, the trimmers had chopped it up into 6 foot sections and stacked two trunks ontop of each other. when I walked up to them they were WAY over my head! they looked like more than 4 feet in diameter! I had to decline becuae not only would they not fit in my driveway, but I really am not set up to carve such hernia sized pieces!!!
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
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Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2006-04-13 6:15 pm   Permalink

Ok, Here's my pathetic log story that will probably make some of you veterans chuckle.

Two weekends ago, I get home late Saturday night and find a PM from Polynesiac letting me know that the local Target just a mile or so from my house has cut down all their Mexican Fan Palms. The logs are just lying there and he wanted to know if we could use my truck to grab a few logs. Being the stand-up guy that he is, he says he's willing to help me move a few for myself if I'd like. We should move fast since the tree-trimmers will probably pick them up on Monday.

I look at my clock. Midnight. Too late to call Polynesiac, but the perfect time for some log-rustling on my own I think to myself. I might as well go pick up a couple logs for me, right now. That way on Sunday any logs that we get together can go straight to Polynesiac's home.

I put on a jacket, get some gloves, and drive my truck over to the Target parking lot. Sure enough, there are logs lying everywhere. I spot a six-footer about two-feet in diameter. That's the log I want! I pull the back of my truck right up to the log and get out, put my gloves on and get a good grip on that palm. Bending at the knees I heave with all of my might and... move it about six inches. Puzzled, I scratch my head. I've lifted the end of an old vintage palm tiki that had fallen at an apartment building and didn't have any problems at all. Suddenly it dawns on me that these logs are wet. They've just been cut down a day or two before and they must be full of water. I realize that I was far too cocky and now I get a low-grade feeling of panic as I look at the rest of the logs around me. Will I be able to move any of them?

Lowering my sights, I pick a 12"-diameter log just over six feet. Lifting one end with a lot of exertion, I manage to prop it on another log, at a good angle to wedge my truck tailgate under the high edge. Once that's done, I walk around to the other end of the log, grip it good, and give it as huge a heave as hard as I can, using all my strength. It moves about 4 more inches onto my tailgate. A few more massive heaves inch it further and further up. By now I'm covered with sweat and palm dust and panting like a dying man.

Another heave and the log rolls off my tailgate and thuds back onto the asphalt. I shake my head numbly. I realize I am in way over my head. But instead of giving up until tomorrow, I get this typical male feeling of dogged stubborn-ness. I am not leaving the parking lot without that log. I start the process all over again, first propping one log onto the other, etc. and about 15 minutes later, the log slides all the way into the bed of my truck with a satisfying thunk.

For my next log I decide on a five-footer about 12" in diameter as well. What a difference that single foot in length made! I was able to manhandle this log much easier into the back of my truck. One minute tops. I then decided that two logs for the evening was plenty for me and drove them home. I now have a lot more respect for you carvers. Those suckers are heavy!

The next night, Polynesiac and I moved several more logs over to his house. From now on I'm always going to get help when moving medium to large-size logs. Two men made all the difference.

Sabu


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