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Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Tiki Carving » » Trying to carve my first Tiki
Trying to carve my first Tiki

Joined: Jan 26, 2007
Posts: 2
Posted: 2007-01-26 08:18 am   Permalink

Hi everyone

I have been reading through some of the past posts and found a lot of useful information (safety) but I still a few questions I thought I would post.
1. Are the any “how to” instruction on the web or books that are worth getting?
2. Are chisels and a mallet the only tools I will need to start or will I need some power tools?
3. What is a good size to start with?
4. Where should I look for a log? I live in the metro Boston area so I figure Pine is my best bet.
5. Several post recommend sealing both end of the log. What is a good sealant to use that won’t affect the end finish?

Any help would be great.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2006
Posts: 1423
From: Meudon, France
Posted: 2007-01-26 09:53 am   Permalink

Welcome on TC.

I can answer to 2 of your questions:

You don't need a power chisel to start carving. Chisels, gouges ( V-scorp too) and a mallet will be your best friends for your first tries.

There are no best size for me. You can start with 2 tikis: one big and one smaller; the smaller will help you to reach the steps faster in order to avoid mistakes for the big one ! It's only my point of view

Show us your pictures as soon as you can.
Good luck.

Tiki Tribe Paris
Tiki stuff

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Joined: Jan 15, 2007
Posts: 10
From: Chicago, IL
Posted: 2007-01-26 10:03 am   Permalink

Micco, I am with ya! I want to give it a shot too. I have an ADDITIONAL QUESTION:

What is the best chainsaw to use to both cut down logs to size, and to carve with? I read a little about carving saws, but could I use that same saw to cut through logs or will it wreck the smaller size chain/bar?

I'll probably use chisels mostly, but need to trim down fallen logs with a chainsaw.

Thanks all!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 01, 2006
Posts: 532
From: San Diego
Posted: 2007-01-26 10:51 am   Permalink

Welcome! From my (limited)experience, here's what I know.
1. Don't know of any books or web stuff that cover the size of tikis that people normally carve. I found a book on whittling, but it's for smaller, handheld type things.
2. I did my first 2 tikis with a cheap mallet, and 3 straight chisels (1/2", 3/4" and 1") that run $10-$20 from home depot. Power tools might be useful for getting a log to the right size, but other than that are completely optional.
3. Depends on your tools, but with the sizes above, something 18-24" and do maybe just a face, and it should be pretty easy to tackle.
4. No clue on that, over here we look for people chopping down trees.
5. I wouldn't worry too much about sealing it until after you've carved it. I haven't done it ever, and I think there's a lot of people who don't.

Some starting tips that I found useful:
Most of the cuts you make are going to be V's. Cut one side down, then cut the other, having them meet in the middle. Depending on how you hold the chisel, if you hold the flat side against the "outside" of the V, you'll usually get a much steeper cut. Hold the otherside, and it's easier to get an angle.
If you're even with your tapping, you can count your taps to make most cuts the same depth.
Draw first! Find a center line and draw that out, then sketch out what you want. (lumber crayons are great) The more you draw, the better it'll come out.

Maybe I'll try to get some more in progress photos, especially of the early stuff, it was really hard for me to start, I was lucky to find classes.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10397
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2007-01-26 7:02 pm   Permalink

Have you guyz read through the "Carving Post" At the top of the page? There is some Great how to's in there. Also use the search area for lots of info on Carving, Tools, Finishes and different woods.
Hope this helps.

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