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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving a tiki noob's first carving experiences
a tiki noob's first carving experiences
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 13
From: SWFL
Posted: 2007-03-16 1:23 pm   Permalink

I finished my tiki bar in the fall and finally had some free time to tinker with some carvings. (the p alm carvings on front of bar were done by a friend Josh of TerraTiki= http://www.terratiki.com )

Besides pinewood derby cars when I was 8, this is pretty much my first experience carving anything. Please excuse my ignorance - I know next to nothing about authentic carving styles - I just dug in and watched things take shape...

I'm whittling, with a fairly large Buck pocket knife, the first here is out of left-over Cypress from my bar roof.

Fairly simple, but a fun first project. I've got a 5 gallon bucket full of pieces this size and the end-goal here is to get good enough to carve some wicked tap handles.

The second more recent experiment came after clearing out all the areka palms around my bar/deck.

I carved it REALLY green, and enjoyed it a lot - much faster/simpler than the hard cypress. It's cracked some here and there since, but it's pretty much just an experiment for bigger/better things, and I think it just adds character anyhow... The wife says she liked it a lot better before I torched it, but eh, whattaya gonna do...

My main question is what should I use to seal this puppy? I've got varnish left over from the bar, but that would be pretty painstaking and also shift it pretty yellow after a couple coats. I'm thinking of just a simpler aerosol shellac for a small/crummy piece like this?

I've got several 4-7 foot lengths of thicker areca drying in the garage.

I know they're not your typical carving material, but i think they'd make for a pretty cool totem jungle amidst the actual living palm shoots. Anyone have any tips on preparing/finishing palm like this? Also, what would be the proper tools for carving the small cypress?

thx for your time

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Surf tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2005
Posts: 270
From: Va Beach
Posted: 2007-03-16 9:19 pm   Permalink

Nice bar dude! Your carving looks good too. I only hope that you are not flogged for being too "unauthentic". I sat let anarchy rule. Your moai is as legit as any other made in the last few centuries. Seriously, nice bar though!!! Good coloring in the wood and stuff.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2006
Posts: 1769
From: las vegas
Posted: 2007-03-16 9:31 pm   Permalink

those are fun. keep experimenting.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10397
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2007-03-17 8:16 pm   Permalink

For your first ones, these are Mighty nice. Nothing at ALL to be ashamed of. These are a Great beginning. Also, it seems that you have a Nice camera, COOL

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 13
From: SWFL
Posted: 2007-03-18 10:48 am   Permalink

Thanks guys, 'preciate it. Even though I have a WAYS to go before I attempt some of the more intricate stuff I'm envisioning, I was quite pleased with how these first attempts came out. I need to do a lot of reading/studying now so I can do this right.

I think I'm going to try some shellac to finish the areka palm and we'll see how it works out...

Thx, on the bar - she definitely ended up being a head-turner. Can't decide which was/is more fun - actually constructing the whole thing, or sitting here on a laptop drinking some st. patty's day grog. I'm so freaking lucky the wife let me get away with this whole project.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 2999
From: My Island
Posted: 2007-03-18 10:52 am   Permalink

Nice job Noob. Keep playing and experimenting and things will really start to click. Feel free to PM me if you ever want to discuss something especially how to do something with the "wrong" tool. Post more and post often!



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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 13
From: SWFL
Posted: 2007-03-20 5:39 pm   Permalink

Can anyone recommend some reading as far as tiki carving/art-oriented books? I've checked out the BOOKS area of tikiroom and will prbly pick up some of those, but they didn't really seem too carving oriented... I learn from observation and just want to load up on some good resources in addition to cruisin' the forums here...


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2004
Posts: 1962
From: Sunny Florida
Posted: 2007-03-20 7:38 pm   Permalink

Welcome to your new classroom Noob! What do you want to know?



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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 30, 2006
Posts: 749
From: Folly Beach, SC--'Follynesia'
Posted: 2007-03-20 8:04 pm   Permalink

One thing you can do is pick up some books and/or DVD's on carving technique in general. Woodcraft stores have books on various types of carving (chainsaw to chip carving and everything in between)
http://www.woodcraft.com/depts.aspx?DeptID=2174. Gitchya a little inspiration from some of the tiki books, add a little of your own style/imagination, then throw your general carving techniques on it----SLAM!-you're a tiki carver. The more you do it-the better you get at it. (I'm still working on that part).

DVDs are particularly helpful-almost like watching somebody do it, even if it is watching them carve a "Jack-o-the-wood" ---as opposed to reading/looking at pictures in a book.

The Curse of Howland Island

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 13
From: SWFL
Posted: 2008-03-03 07:00 am   Permalink

Heh, well I guess it's been like a year since I've been able to get on here. I have carved these two pieces which are tap handles for my bar.

Since the dremel burned into the one, I thought it would be cool to darken in the inner recesses to give them a lot more contrast and depth.

I tested with the simple one by torching it, but that's not exactly what I was looking for. It added some character, but doesn't really get into tight edges... I'm going to try and sand that off as much as possible and try again with a stain...

The logical method in my mind would be to paint/stain the whole carving and then quickly wipe it off the larger surfaces... My question to you experts is would you recommend a stain - or perhaps a polish of some sort that would be easier to manipulate & wipe off in places?

this is cypress, btw and I'll eventually finish with varnish...

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2007
Posts: 2144
From: Buckley, WA
Posted: 2008-03-03 10:53 pm   Permalink

Those are looking great and what a great idea.
You see all the other tap handles why not a slender tiki.

Sorry no help on the stain I'm still experimenting.
Welcome back from you year off.
Grom Tiki Carver

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2008-03-04 12:58 am   Permalink

The bar looks great The carvings are a great start for a beginner, can see some improvement in the new stuff already

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 13
From: SWFL
Posted: 2008-03-13 08:38 am   Permalink

I stained these carvings with some "dark walnut."

Things went well with the simpler carve cuz I was able to use a small brush to apply the stain and then use a towel to rub/blend it. The intricacies of the second piece made it much harder to keep the stain just where i wanted it, so I basically ended up staining the whole thing and then sanding it all off where I wanted it to stay light. Exactly what I thought would happen with the stain, and why I was looking for some type of polish, but I got impatient and wanted to get these done for a party in a few weeks. The result of sanding off the stain is that it kind of "dumbed down" the outer portions of the carve, so there's essentially less depth to it all...

Oh well I'm learning what not to do.

I definitely like the additional warmth/tone that burning the first one created...

The second coat of varnish is drying now and I'll take photos when they're "done"

[ This Message was edited by: tikinoob 2008-03-13 08:41 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 28, 2005
Posts: 578
From: Jensen Beach,fla
Posted: 2008-03-14 09:40 am   Permalink

Aloha Tikinob!!! Your tikis look really good for a first timer! Just keep slayin the wood and checkin out this sight and youll be getting mch better all the time, Aloha, Mooney

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