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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Bosko patio project- 07-07-10 update
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Bosko patio project- 07-07-10 update
TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-16 11:10 am   Permalink

UPDATE 08-04-08- I've revised the title of this thread to more accurately reflect the random projects I'll be posting here. The "end goal" (if it ever ends) is a tiki-themed patio and pool area.

Hey all, I searched and tried to find this specific info on these forums already, but didn't have much luck. I'm going to be making a wall sconce and plan on doing raised grain on it similar to a Witco piece. I'm not trying to duplicate the Witco look and probably couldn't even if I wanted to, but I am trying to get that raised grain appearance. I've been playing with some scrap poplar, the best results I've gotten so far were from burning with a torch and then hitting the wood with a cone shaped wire brush ("fine" version) chucked in a hand-held drill. It raises the grain pretty well, but the wire brush leaves behind a lot of scratches in the wood. I tried following this up with sandpaper, but due to the raised grain it's not possible to sand down between the grain and remove the scratches. I would appreciate any feedback from the many masters around here Thanks!



[ This Message was edited by: TikiTres 2008-10-13 13:18 ]

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTres 2010-07-07 13:19 ]


 
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JohnnyP
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Joined: Nov 23, 2005
Posts: 1689
From: Attica, MI
Posted: 2008-07-16 11:44 am   Permalink

You could try a power washer to remove the softer grain, the harder grain will remain raised.

Or you could try a sanding mop, similar to page 14 of the tools carvers use thread, to remove the wire wheel marks.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=10451&forum=7&start=195&231&PHPSESSID=e59ed8f741f0b4768d34c208b638de02

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4WDtiki
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Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1879
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2008-07-16 1:24 pm   Permalink

Sandblasting. At work, we on occasion bring new fireplace mantels to the local sandblaster, and it works great!

 
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-16 1:40 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the tips!! I actually looked for a sanding mop when I was at Lowe's yesterday (having seen it in that thread), they didn't have one so I ended up getting something that looked close to it. But it didn't work. I'll try the powerwashing, I can get my hands on that whereas a sandblaster is just one other thing on my long-term wish list

 
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bamboo stu
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Joined: Sep 18, 2007
Posts: 130
From: Spam Leandro, CA
Posted: 2008-07-16 2:09 pm   Permalink

Part of the problem is with the poplar you're practicing with. It has a very homogenous grain, by which I mean that the growth rings that alternate hard and soft aren't very different. A wood that might work better is douglas fir because the darker rings are hard and the lighter rings are quite soft. Find any old dry fir 2x4 and go nuts.

You might try the blowtorch again, and see if the soft grain burns faster than the hard grain, and then brush away the charcoal with a wire brush.
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-16 3:48 pm   Permalink

Thank you, I was wondering about that. I have some scraps of cedar that I was going to play with this evening just to see if it is easier to work. I'll try some fir too. I have some pine, but the grain is too far apart for the look I had in mind. I appreciate it!

 
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-16 6:01 pm   Permalink

Well since I started this thread I'll toss my test runs into it in case anyone else decides to give this a go. I did a cedar sample this evening and it is much easier to work than the poplar. The grain relief is deeper and the raised grain stands up to wire brushing/ sanding better (doesn't scratch). The softer wood between the raised grain still scratches, but it's an interesting effect. The left board in the pic below is the cedar (piece of an unused fence picket) and the right is the previous poplar test. The cedar has the following sample finishes (single coat):

Top- Behr "cedar naturaltone" sealer
Middle- amber varnish
Bottom left- clear varnish
Bottom right- Maple stain

The stain completely covers the darkened raised grain, so that's out. The others are all decent, but not exactly what I had in mind. I'm going to get some darker toner sealers tomorrow and try some more tests. I'm also going to put a 2nd coat of each on this evening to see what that does.



The poplar has 4 test finishes as follows (all 2 coats):

Amber varnish
Amber varnish overcoated with clear varnish
Maple stain
Maple stain overcoated with clear varnish

I'll also get some pine and fir to try out. Might as well get them all tested before I jump into the sconce project

UPDATE 07-19- Here's another set of finish tests on cedar:

Upper section is clear semi-gloss polyurethene (1 coat left, 2 coats right)
Middle section is Storm Gray semi-transparent stain (w/ 1 coat semi-gloss poly on right)
Lower section is Clove Brown semi-transparent stain (w/ 1 coat semi-gloss poly on right)

Surprisingly the gray stain looks very gray on the brush and not the least bit gray on the wood. These stains were small samples from Lowe's I decided to try, but I still don't like stain (makes the wood too dark). I'm going to stick with just clear semi-gloss poly for this project.



[ This Message was edited by: TikiTres 2008-07-19 15:44 ]


 
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-17 6:48 pm   Permalink

OK, here's some more testing (I didn't find fir yesterday, so I didn't try it). The left board is pine, the middle is red oak and the right is cedar. The pine grain is too far apart and burning doesn't soften up the wood between the grain very well. The red oak grain is way too tight for what I wanted. Cedar it is!



So I went and bought a cedar plank for my sconce project. First step was to lay the pattern on tracing paper. I struck a centerline so I could fold the paper over and trace the pattern from one half to the other to keep it symmetrical.



Here are the pieces cut out, note the totally intentional knot location in the middle of the forehead (evil eye effect):



And here they are routed and sanded, ready to burn:



That's as much as I could stand to do in the 95 degree evening heat! Plus I had to wash my car. As soon as I finish posting this I'm jumping in the pool!

The sconce will be mounted to a center frame that will space it off the wall. There will be lights in each eye and another just above the mouth to project light through the mouth. The bulbs will also cast light to the sides of the sconce. The idea came from a person that posts eBay auctions for wood tiki-themed sconces, I really liked them but unfortunately the ones he makes are twice as big as what I can fit on my patio.

More to follow


 
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4WDtiki
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Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1879
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2008-07-17 7:33 pm   Permalink

That looks great already! Can't wait to see what you'll do with it.

 
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-17 9:29 pm   Permalink

Thanks Bill! I've really been inspired to try something by your thread and the many others on these forums. I actually tried carving a small tiki out of an old 4x4 and let me tell you, it's a quick way to gain appreciation for just how talented you guys are, LOL! I'm really amazed at how fast you can crank your tikis out!!

 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2008-07-18 03:07 am   Permalink

TikiTres, Thanks for taking the time to post your question, your findings , and your project. I Love your thought process and how you have tackled your questions, and your tiki sconce project is Really neat. I can't wait to see the finished piece and I have a feeling these little guys will be showing op in a Lot of TC'rs homes soon. It's great that you didn't just "Make do" with the first wood you tried and that you Knew the look you wanted and weren't going to stop until you found the wood that could provide it.
Excellent Job!
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TheBigT
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Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 1314
From: Fabulous Houston
Posted: 2008-07-18 08:44 am   Permalink

I always wondered how Witco did this. Thanks for posting!!

 
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surfintiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 30, 2004
Posts: 1574
From: S. Chatham, MA
Posted: 2008-07-18 6:43 pm   Permalink

Yes! I really appreciate when peeps do this kind of thing, we ALL benefit off your wood tests. Thanks! Keep 'er coming.

 
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TikiTres
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 263
From: Forney, TX
Posted: 2008-07-19 3:57 pm   Permalink

Benz, thanks for your kind comments! I hope this sconce ends up being worthy of all the praise it's currently getting, LOL!

BigT, it's my pleasure! I've tried digging up as much Witco finish info as I could, but it apparently was a pretty closely guarded secret as no one seems to know exactly how it was done. They probably did burn the wood, but beyond that I suspect they either power-washed or sandblasted. I'm sure they didn't brush it like I'm doing because it would have been far too time-consuming for the scale of their projects and it's difficult to get consistent results. Ken Pleasant probably knows more than anyone about how it was done. I have one of his pieces and it is truly beautiful, it's nicer than the Witco I've seen so he may even have figured out how to improve upon their process!

Surfin, thank you! Since you guys are so encouraging I'll make sure to take pics of the rest of the process as well.

Speaking of which, I got to spend a little time on it today burning and brushing, here's a progress pic:



The nose and brow pieces are cross-grain to the face, I thought it might add some interesting texture variation. I left some of the burn in place around the edges, in the eye sockets and on the bridge of the nose to (hopefully) give it some character. I've got to run and buy some construction adhesive and the electrical components after while. I'll glue it up, then put the poly on it, then wire it up and it'll be done!

If anyone's curious, below is a pic of the tools I'm using, all simple stuff. An inexpensive portable torch that I've had for years for solder work, a 3" wire brush in a cordless drill and of course a dustpan for all the sawdust, LOL!








 
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4WDtiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1879
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2008-07-19 4:13 pm   Permalink

I wonder how Witco got the deep grain, too. I use a wire wheel, and it takes forever. I've never used cedar though, just doug fir. Cedar is supposedly softer? I've seen 4x6 beams of doug fir after sandblasting, and it does 'witco-ize' it.

 
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