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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Newbie - What type of wood to use in colder climates?
Newbie - What type of wood to use in colder climates?

Joined: Dec 08, 2005
Posts: 1
Posted: 2005-12-08 7:27 pm   Permalink

Greetings -

Just found this site and been poking around for a couple of hours looking at all the great work you guys do, and thought I'd intro myself...

The names Rick Bender(age 39), livin in sunny southern Wisconsin (it had to warm up to over 20 degrees today to be able to start snowing!) I'm an artist/designer for a local sign shop.

Anyway, been around my woodcarving father all my life (he carves 1/2 scale carousel hourses, among other things) and wanted to try carving something a little larger for myself, I'm working on a design for a sign for my new small rod and custom shop (the name is going to be Wild Boys, Rod & Custom) and I'm toying with the idea of carving a pair of Tiki's (3' to 4' tall) and having a spear running between them either in their hands or piercing their noses and hanging a sandblasted sign panel from it.

I was wondering if anyone can give me an idea of what type of wood (logs) to collect in a colder climate like mine, seeings how there arn't too many palm trees around? My dads buddy has a tree removal business which is where he gets his bass wood for his carvings. I won't be leaving the sign out in the winter.

Also, can anyone recommend a website or possibly a book on Tiki designs? While I was looking around I came across a pole and a sketch (Flaming) by Eric Bass that I really like, kinda partial to the designs with exposed teeth and tongues, I wanted something a little more scary for the kids.

I'll stop with the stupid newbie questions for now, at least till I drag some logs home, any steal my dads carving tools.


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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3767
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2005-12-08 8:11 pm   Permalink

Greetings and welcome to TC Bungi. There's a few carvers from the Big Lakes area here on TC. Lake Surfer, finkdaddy, to name a few. I think they use cedar, but have you tried ice?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 23, 2005
Posts: 1694
From: Attica, MI
Posted: 2005-12-09 04:33 am   Permalink

I'm a northerner also. It sounds like you are going to have them displayed outside. I would recommend pine or cedar for your tikis. Both will stand up to outside exposure with minimal care and are easy to carve. I have some unfinished pine tikis that have been outside for years and haven't started to rot. I also have some hardwood tikis that haven't fared as well (although they give a good fallen idol illusion and look good in the summer garden)

I've spent a lot of time online looking for tiki photos and inspiration and you will do no better than with the awesome talent at this site.

Everything I learned about carving came from the great people at this site. Well, not everything, I learned a whole lot of what doesn't work on my own.

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Basement Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 3601
From: Jawja Province, Isle of North America
Posted: 2005-12-09 07:23 am   Permalink

I agree with Johnny P. on the pine and cedar...William Westenhaver and Witco were in Washington State (pretty cold!) and his main choice was Swamp Cedar. But I would ask Lakesurfer, too...he's an expert on that part of the carving country and all woods therein.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 2999
From: My Island
Posted: 2005-12-10 3:23 pm   Permalink


Man, use anything you can get your hands on! Once you get to working on the personal masterpieces....then look for the choice cuts. Let us see some of your stuff.



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