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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Gonna chop down some cocos palms - Any hints on preserving them?
Gonna chop down some cocos palms - Any hints on preserving them?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2005-12-20 06:46 am   Permalink

We got a tree lopper lobbing on our door this arvo looking for work, offering to chop down some of our palms etc. My folks have been looking at this for a while, but made no moves. Until now.

Theres one particular one that I would like to keep to carve up some of it. Better than being mulched anyways. How do I go about prepping it to dry out? I searched and found this post by Marcus:


A while ago, that marcus tiki guy wrote:
The cocos palm is the closest to a coconut palm that we have in Australia - I have carved both (prefer coconut but there are really hard to come by) With the cocos palm I go deep then let it dry up for a couple of days (usually get help from ants who enjoy the moisture) then I give it a sand and it comes up like wood then seal in a marine lacquer. The moisture is then sealed in - allows palm to dry through the ends, which enables it to become lighter and you dont lose any shape. (some palms when they dry up will shrivelup and concave in - the worst is the alexander palm - so dont bother with them they are crap. Oh grasshopper - hope this is enough wisdom for one day - wax on wax off - cya soon.

I take that as meaning you take off the outer skin? Like an inch all round? let it dry then sand and lacquer? How long should I leave before carving? What else should I know?

Thanks in advance peoples! Your champs.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 23, 2005
Posts: 1694
From: Attica, MI
Posted: 2005-12-20 07:03 am   Permalink

I know it's much help to you, but you could send them to me in Michigan. We'll freeze the logs outside. They won't rot that way. Looking forward to see what you pull out of those logs.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2094
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2005-12-20 07:28 am   Permalink

Hewey there is TONS of information about preparing wood in the carving thread that is locked at the top of creating tiki. If you have time, go through there. there is much wsdom to be learned from that thread.

I posted this for aaron a bit ago, and it applies somwhat for you:

As far as de-barking is concerned, I don't know much about non-palm wood questions (though I beliece BK talks at length about prep and storage in the carving thread, and lake may have some great inshight too) but as far as palm is concerned, I'ver noticed that if you husk off all the extra "frond" pieces and make the log look like these:

then they don't tend to get as stringy as if you leave all the exra frond pieces on. (these are from a 100+ foot mexican fan, so they were already de-froned years ago by tree trimmers)
DEFINATELY keep the logs waiting to carved off the ground (just throw a few 2x2's benieth them to raise them aoff the ground for air circulation) and laying down. also - don't stack them ontop of one another either, unless you put something betweent he logs (more 2x2's work great). I don't know how they will react to being in an enclosed area that gets very little air flow, though. all my palm is outside. I ususally try and carve the palm while it's still a little wet (like 3-7 months into the drying process) as the palm is like buttah.

when you carve (if you don't want to include the base frond pieces in your carving), "husking" refers to removing all the extra left over frond pieces that the trimmers left (sort of like bark in non-palm trees) and bringing it down to that tannish color that palm is. I don't know what your palm looks like, but for mexican fan palm you can remove the old fronds initially with a box cutter and roll the palm, then use chisels to remove the left over frond pieces (when they look like the picture above) I have a few pieces of cannary palm that need to be husked with a chainsaw, because the frond pieces are HUGE.

You can start carving immediately, the more wet the palm is, the more you'll be splashed with water as you carve.

The qoute you posted above sounds like good advice, I usually let my carvings mold while I'm wrking on them (it's only surface mold) and give it a good clean before I stain and seal.

good luck and post more ???? if ya got em


POLYNESIAC - putting the 'F' back in ART

[ This Message was edited by: Polynesiac 2005-12-20 07:30 ]

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