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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Coconut Wood
Coconut Wood
nickyr2009
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 02, 2009
Posts: 12
From: South FL
Posted: 2009-01-12 12:06 pm   Permalink

Coconut Palms - McDougall, Been carvin coconuts from 2-4 ft. I let em dry 4-6 months. Some are still wet when i get into the center. Some are as dry and as light/firm as cork. Some had insect work, some leathal yello, some pure. I'm finishing with satin poly, 3 coats with sanding. I find any detail below 1/4 is hard to maintain/carve. I use chisels & mallet mostly as the power stuff is too quick for my level of experience. The wood is beautiful when finished and the water damage from insects/disease makes for some interesting effects. Cracking isn't too big an issue. Big carves are a lot of work! For pics check out my post - cocoa beach tikis. Where can I find some pics of your carving?

 
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2156
From: So FL
Posted: 2009-01-13 06:27 am   Permalink

I recently had a piece of Coconut that I let dry. After several months being stored in my wood shed, I tried getting it ready to carve. When I peeled the bark off I found the wood stringy and spongy. The other half of the tree immediately turned into a wad of string right after cutting it. Apparently the difficult part is finding a coconut stump that has cured naturally. Good luck.

 
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Tikilizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 19, 2006
Posts: 373
Posted: 2009-01-13 11:37 am   Permalink

The best way to carve palm is right after you cut it. The only way to let it dry is to seal the ends with a end-grain sealer, like Sealtite, and let it dry through the bark. Palm pulp is so spungy compared to the bark so it dries very unevenly.
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nickyr2009
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 02, 2009
Posts: 12
From: South FL
Posted: 2009-01-14 07:19 am   Permalink

Tiki Lizard - Thanks for the info. Does that apply to all Palms?

Most say' "Forget about Queen Palm."
Royal Palm - Nice wall wood. no inside.

(Maybe a quick summary on all palms would help us Palm wood carvers!)


 
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BUFFBAD
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 54
From: Boca Raton, FLA
Posted: 2009-01-19 3:27 pm   Permalink

Coconut palm blanks can be a real challenge to work with. I do like working with fresh palm because is so much easier to cut and the outer wood is usually dry. I had a problem with being too hasty to finish a Tiki for a neighbor ( See Buffbad-tiki redo). My current two Tiki projects have the same problem of a wet core wood when the ends look dry. Now I routinely drill a hole, (with a 1/2 inch - 16 inch long hole cutting bit) in both ends of the project palm blanks to facilitate drying. I have tried to stuff cloth into the hole to wick out the dampness, used a propane torch, hot poker heated on grill, hooked up an aquarium air pump to blow air into the hole and just waited for many months for the wood to dry gradually. I even poured a cup or two of Thompsons Waterproof Sealer into a fresh cut palm blank, ahhh DO NOT DO THIS >> it turned the wood to oily mushy wood. Bye Bye blank palm wood. So palm wood is a problem to work with but most times it is worth it. My usuall routine is to carve the Tike, drill the holes and then wait for the project to dry and then stain and finish with polyurathane.

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[ This Message was edited by: BUFFBAD 2009-01-30 10:53 ]


 
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