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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving How I waste my week-ends... lots of pics...
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How I waste my week-ends... lots of pics...
Heath
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2006-08-25 8:23 pm   Permalink

I recently acquired 8 queen palm logs between 4 & 5 foot in length.

The trees were cut down last Friday, so I have had them for a week.
Against the advice of others (Benzart, OnaTiki, and Matt Reese), I decided to try carving one of the logs...

I didn't get much more than an inch deep...

... when I noticed my chisels didn't seem to feel quite right. The destruction was obvious.


After some swearing at the log and my own stupidity for not listening to others, I calmed down and decided to finally ask an all important question.
After I hollow out the log and remove the soft, chewy center, does it need to sit and dry to make it easier to carve? Or is it actually easier while it's still wet?











[ This Message was edited by: Heath 2007-12-18 12:26 ]


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10358
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2006-08-26 05:34 am   Permalink

It is Easier while still wet. Notice the grinder marks on the Cutting side of your chisel? It was sharpened on a bench grinder, or it Looks like it was. When you put that into any wood, the small jagged edge becomes a Large jagged edge. Doa search here for sharpening chisels and try to get your chisels a bit sharper before continuing. Sharpening is something that sooner or later we all have to learn how to do. It kind of sneeks up on you and before you know it you are saying"Hmm, Why is it not cutting as good as it used to?". Another thing about all palms, they are full of sand and even an ocassional stone or 2 gets imbedded into the bark or the wood.
I know of 1 guy down here who Loves carving Queen palms. He starts by cleaning out the soft center and is left with 1 to 3 inches of hard wood which he carves. It cures Very Hard, I have Seen it with my Own eyes.
Hope this helps.
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Polynesiac
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2006-08-26 08:39 am   Permalink

Queen palms are not worth the effort, in my opinion. THe outside is incredibly hard, requiring you to sharpen your chisels a ton while carving them, and the center either turns to mush or gets so fibrousy that you can't do anything with it. I'd dump these and wait for a Mexican Fan to carve (those tall skinny ones with an afro on top). They're good and soft, carving real easy.

 
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Bay Park Buzzy
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Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2793
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2006-08-26 11:11 am   Permalink

Problems I've had with queen palms:
I noticed that the centers split and crack extensively, while the outer inch or two is very hard. I thought I would hollow one out. It warped into a figure 8 after I removed the soft center


It warped until it actually split into two


Also, the cracks sometimes go all of the way to the edge in several places


They also get bugs and beetles in all of the cracks

I'd stop trying with these before you waste too much time. It will not be worth the effort, if you actually get one to work. They look tempting, but rarely work. I tried with about 6 different queen palm logs and finally just gave up. Mexican fan palms are the way to go
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Heath
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Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2006-08-26 12:25 pm   Permalink

Thanks everyone for the input. I'm not known for giving up so I'll probably split the one I started and go from there. I'll post pictures of the progress...
All but three of my carvings have been from fan palm, but an opportunity arose. And as they say, Ignorance is bliss.

[ This Message was edited by: Heath 2006-08-26 12:26 ]


 
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Heath
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2006-08-26 8:55 pm   Permalink

HOLY SHNIKEYS!!!
This was way too much like work!!
Okay, I took the time to split the log and hollow it out(sort of)...



Well, okay, hollow enough for now...



Instead of destroying any more of my chisels, I bought these...



And had to use a single-jack as a mallet...



I was curious to see how it would work...



This is what I ended up with, as well as a back-ache from not being able to really roll the log around like I'm used to doing...


I'll keep you posted.



 
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Heath
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2006-08-27 6:29 pm   Permalink

I didn't get a chance to do any carving today, hopefully tomorrow.
Just for a little background, I thought I should post some of my previous attempts.
My first try at a full body. I'm still perplexed at how easy some of you make it look.


Second try, front view.


Second try, back view.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of it finished. Next time I go to Vegas I'll get some.

My mail box, front view.


My mail box, side view.

Note the dent from a round of mailbox baseball from the kids in the neighborhood.

I'll put up some more later.
Thanks for looking.


 
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Tiki Duddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 04, 2006
Posts: 759
From: Manitoba, Canada
Posted: 2006-08-28 10:02 am   Permalink

man the palm is looking good and all your other ones do too. the bodies on those guys are also really cool. too bad your mail box got beat up a bit there.

great work. keep posting
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Heath
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2006-09-07 4:03 pm   Permalink

Even though I'm not working, I haven't had much time to do any carving lately. Too many other projects taking up my time! Anyway, I was finally able to get back to working that chunk of queen palm yesterday. It doesn't seem to be rotting, just drying out. I think it weighs maybe a pound or two less than when I started.

This is what I was able to get done between sleeping in, chores, errands, playing on the computer, and generally being lazy.


Sunlight view.




In the shade.




Thanks for looking.


 
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Tikiwahine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Ontario, Canada
Posted: 2006-09-07 4:10 pm   Permalink

That's a really nice tiki! It's very balanced.

 
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McTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2004
Posts: 1952
From: Sunny Florida
Posted: 2006-09-07 4:18 pm   Permalink

Heath! Your rockin! This stuff is nice nice.


Keep going.

Where do you live?


Mahalo


McTiki


 
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Heath
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2006-09-09 4:06 pm   Permalink

Hi all!
Tikiwahine, thank you very much!
McTiki, thanks to you also, they're not much compared to the work you've done but I'm trying. I call San Diego, well, a suburb of San Diego called El Cajon, home.

Well, I'm fed up with this one so I'm calling it done. Just going to let it weather a bit so the color evens out before I clear coat it. I'm also going to coat the back with a wood consolidant to stop any rot that may show its ugly head.



Another view.



These are the chisels I ended up using to do the finish. So, now I guess I have a set of queen palm chisels.



And if anyone can explain to me how to change the title of this thread, I would greatly appreciate it!

I'll post some pictures of my other stuff soon.
Thanks for looking!


 
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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10358
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2006-09-10 1:01 pm   Permalink

Heath, Excellent stuff and Way too good for only your first few, Really way ahead of where you should be. Well done.
To change the heading of a thread, go to your First post in that thread and click edit at the bottom. Only in this post will you be able to edit the heading. When you are finished, click submit and you're done. Before you finish though go to the bottom of the post and back out any "This post was edited-----" lines. Sometimes they get overlooked and they will be longet than the message itself.

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kingstiedye
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 05, 2005
Posts: 1292
From: sackatomato
Posted: 2006-09-10 1:47 pm   Permalink

beautiful details. keep up the great work!

 
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Heath
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2005
Posts: 608
From: Suburban San Diego (The Drawer)
Posted: 2006-09-10 1:54 pm   Permalink

Thanks Benz! Now I can update when I need to.

More background info...
I started carving about five years ago, not steadily though. I would get frustrated with something, the chisels would get dull, or I would be recruited to help someone else with a backyard project (whoever comes to the left coast oki-oki will see what I mean) and walk away from carving for six to eight months. So all told, I've probably only been carving a total of maybe two, two and a half years.

My first real carvings are on display at The Lava Flow Inn. Just a couple of little moais, maybe four inches tall. I'll try to get some pics.

This is the first palm log I tried.




My buddy said yeah, that's great, don't do anymore.
So to spite him, I looked around online and found some info and pictures.
This is my second try with palm.




I've still got a lot to learn!!
More pictures coming soon.


 
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