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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Palm Wood Experiment
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Palm Wood Experiment
Tiki Den
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 24
From: Fairfield, CA
Posted: 2007-07-11 4:35 pm   Permalink

Hello all TCers,

I'm fairly new to the scene and just getting into carving.
I've done a few lil carvings with basswood and cork, and now going to try a big boy!
But first, I wanted to try an experiment...

This weekend I should be getting 2 6ft palm logs, not sure what kind of palm yet, the arborist hasn't informed me yet hehe. (guessing it might be mexican fan palms)
I'm thinking I might cut them into 4 3ft logs and then try out different drying techniques and post them here.
I plan on letting one dry au natural to see how bad it cracks, and the other three well that is where I could use some ideas! Different sealents for the ends? bark on or off?

Any Feedback would be appreciated!

Mahalo,
Tiki Den


 
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FreddieBallsomic
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 08, 2005
Posts: 628
Posted: 2007-07-11 5:14 pm   Permalink

Welcome to TC!! Id like to see some picsof the pieces you did with basswood and cork..

 
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mieko
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 01, 2006
Posts: 532
From: San Diego
Posted: 2007-07-11 9:20 pm   Permalink

Hey Den! I'm sure some others with more experience than me will chime in, but I'd take one of those 3 foot sections, strip off all the bark, and start carving! It'll be wet, and probably get moldy, you'll want to leave it in the sun to kill the mold, but you can still carve it. I waited till mine stopped getting moldy before I stained and sealed it.

Can't wait to see what you come up with!
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tropicaldesignsbymieko.com

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McTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2004
Posts: 1962
From: Sunny Florida
Posted: 2007-07-12 03:38 am   Permalink

Wet or Dry, palm will be fine to start as soon as it arrives. I live in FL. The humidity accelerates mold as well but, I don't seem to experience it much.

Just skin it and shape it!

Welcome to TC

Looking forward to seeing your efforts!


Mahalo


McTiki


 
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Tiki Den
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 24
From: Fairfield, CA
Posted: 2007-07-12 12:54 pm   Permalink

Wow thanks for all the info all!

I think I will try to carve one of the logs right off the bat, and let the others dry in different fasions!
Of course pics will be posted of my progress or disaster! hehe

A few ppl have asked to see some of the corks I've carved so I made a post finally! hehe

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=24822&forum=7&0

Mahalo,
Dennis


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Tiki Den
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 24
From: Fairfield, CA
Posted: 2007-07-15 2:15 pm   Permalink

Alright! I got the logs last evening, they are logs from:

Washingtonia robusta
Common Names: Washington palm, Mexican fan palm
Family: Arecacea/Palmae (palm Family)

I started hacking away at one, it's a lot more work than I anticipated! but it will be worth it!

I haven't added the seal yet but will try thompsons water seal on one and something else on the other.


These are the tools I have been using



Big log I might cut in half cause it's to damn heavy!



Smaller log, started cleaning off the bark


-Tiki Den




 
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Bay Park Buzzy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2843
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2007-07-15 2:54 pm   Permalink

Hola Tiki Den:
Are you trying to debark those with the machete? Aside from taking forever, watch out that the blade does not bounce off the loose fronds and deflect back into you. I used to try and debark that way, but one time, in fact, the last time I did it that way, it hit a little higher on the frond than I wanted to, the blade bounced off the frond like on a trampoline, and it hit my knee cap with full force. Oh man, that hurt!

This might save you some time:
Debarking mexican Fan Palms

I wouldn't bother sealing either of those. Just clean it and let it sit on end for a while. If you feel the need to be more proactive during the drying process, you could rotate them 90 degrees every couple days so each quarter section gets the same amount of sun, and you could flip them on the ends every week or so, so that they can drain from both ends. Usually the higher on the tree the piece came from, the more likely it will crack. That big piece looks to be from the bottom of the tree and you can just let it dry without doing anything to it.

Lastly, you should cut that irregular angle cut off the end of that big log and make it flat. Leaving it like that will increase the likelyhood that it will crack or split at that spot. Just chainsaw yourself a nice flat bottom for it before it starts to really lose it moisture.
Good luck!

Buzzy Out!

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4WDtiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1871
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2007-07-15 4:03 pm   Permalink

Ditto Buzzy's comments. Don't seal. Cut that end flat. Strip the thatch with a razor knive, one complete circle around the log for each frond. Just doing that much will help it dry quicker, but really these logs can sit for a couple years and still be damp when you go to carve them. I know you can't wait that long, so go ahead and carve them right away if you want. It won't make that much difference.

 
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T_birdman
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 19, 2007
Posts: 269
From: San Gabriel Valley-SoCal
Posted: 2007-07-15 7:27 pm   Permalink

Buzzy showed me the way, it works! Much easier and safer! You just got the same word from 2 of the best carvers I've ever met, so believe it!
The Birdman

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The Birdman

Same as it ever was! (But what looms on the horizon, hmm?)


 
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Tiki Den
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 24
From: Fairfield, CA
Posted: 2007-07-17 2:55 pm   Permalink

Wow Thanks Buzzy!
You saved me a lot of time and work with your dethaching and cleaning techniques! Thank you!




Thatch Cleaned off




Picked up a Ryobi Planer, works great!
Clogs up a lot on me, but maybe I need to work on my technique




Still working at it...




A few hours later it's clean (mostly) and I'm sweating like a dog!



Thanks for the advice so far all!
I'm worried a bit about cracking, already seeing signs of it on the ends a lil bit.
Would it help to saw off and inch or two from the ends?

Mahalo!
-Tiki Den


 
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Savage Daddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 10, 2006
Posts: 165
From: Sarasota, Fl.
Posted: 2007-07-17 3:32 pm   Permalink

My back hurts just looking at those pictures. You may want to invest in one of these back savers.

It's a Burro Brand sawhorse.
www.burrobrand.com

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4WDtiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1871
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2007-07-17 3:52 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-07-17 14:55, Tiki Den wrote:
I'm worried a bit about cracking, already seeing signs of it on the ends a lil bit.
Would it help to saw off and inch or two from the ends?


I wouldn't worry. If it's gonna crack, it's gonna crack. If you saw off an inch or two, it'll just crack anyway. It's not uncommon to get cracks in the center of the log. If you're getting cracks at the surface, where the bark was, either the wood is from a young part of the tree and isn't that good, or possibly you took the bark off too soon. I usually let fresh cut stuff sit around for a few weeks or months before carving.
Either way, it's not rare or expensive wood, so look at them as the free score that they are!


 
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Tiki Den
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 24
From: Fairfield, CA
Posted: 2007-07-17 10:54 pm   Permalink

4WDTiki: Thanks for the info! I got another pic of some of the lil cracks on the 6ft log I split into 2
Flattened the top and bottom fairly smooth too, no more irregular cuts








Savage Daddy: your right my back is a bit sore so I found some saw horses



Now I'm ready to start carving




This is a lil sketch of what I'm thinking of attemping
will probably change around the body, not sure about doing a phallus hehe


Mahalo,
-TD


 
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McTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2004
Posts: 1962
From: Sunny Florida
Posted: 2007-07-18 07:11 am   Permalink

Ahhhh, most ambitious grasshopper.
Fertile and large Ku with teh full head dress thingy goin on. Dayum!

Can't wait to see.

Carve!

Mahalo


McTiki


 
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Tiki Den
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 21, 2007
Posts: 24
From: Fairfield, CA
Posted: 2007-07-20 6:36 pm   Permalink

Progress Update!



Started doing some of the rough forms




Another angle



I wish I could work on it more this weekend but I have to boating and camping, ohh darn


Mahalo,
Tiki Den


 
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