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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Secret Squirrel Tiki Carving
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Secret Squirrel Tiki Carving
Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-10-29 6:14 pm   Permalink

Hello everyone. I'm new to wood carving but I've done other woodworking most of my life. My interest in the tiki culture started when some of my family went on a trip to Maui Hawaii. They brought me back a hand carved tiki from a Tongan carver named Mani. Several years later I made my first trip to Hawaii and have been slowly building my tiki collection when I go to Hawaii or when my family travels to the islands. I recently decided to try and start tiki carving. My approach to carving was to use basic tools. Just like the carver that I get my tikis from. Instead of buying wood carving mallets I made my own out of lignum vitae. Then I started buying some basic chisels. For my first tiki carving I used a basic set of five flat chisels, and two good Swiss V-parting chisels. A 12/20 and a 12/6. I also have a small five piece set of palm micro chisels that my dad gave me. Here's a picture of the mallets I made. I made three of them to have different weights available. The two larger mallets where made from a solid block of 12X3x3 lignum vitae. I use the medium size mallet and the stick mallet the most.



[ This Message was edited by: Secret Squirrel 2013-11-17 21:02 ]


 
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Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-10-29 6:24 pm   Permalink

Then I decided it was time to start carving. I wasn't sure what kind of wood I wanted to carve. I have always liked purple heart wood but have never used it on a wood project. I read that it was difficult to carve and not used much. I had a nice piece of 12X3X3 purple heart laying around. I cut off one of the corners and rounded the front by sanding the blank to make it look like a piece of 1/4 sawn log. Here's the blank and the cut off that I kept to test finishes on. I knew this was going to be a challenge but I wanted a unique tiki.




[ This Message was edited by: Secret Squirrel 2013-10-29 19:09 ]


 
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Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-10-29 6:32 pm   Permalink

I didn't take a lot of pictures of the very beginning of the carving process. I started out by figuring out what kind of facial features I wanted to use and drew them on with a pencil. After some more debating I started at the top of the tiki carving the V groove in the forehead. Then I carved the eyes, nose, and the mouth. Purple heart is difficult to work with. It's very hard in places and soft and stringy in other places. You really have to be careful with the softer areas because it wants to tear.



 
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Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-10-29 6:37 pm   Permalink

This is where I'm currently at in the carving process. I finished detailing the teeth and took some wood off of the upper cheek area below the eyes. Next I'm going to work on the area just below the mouth and the foot platform area.


 
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pjc5150
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2009
Posts: 2234
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2013-10-29 7:17 pm   Permalink

sweet!

I hope he's gettin' a killer head-dress...


 
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Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-10-29 8:03 pm   Permalink

Thank you. Adding decorative carving to the head and other areas is something that I've been debating on. Due to this wood having difficult carving qualities I'm afraid that trying to detail carve it would be a bad idea. I tried some decorative carving on that test piece of wood and even with super sharp chisels it wants to tear in softer areas and chip on curves in hard areas. I would really like to put a flower or grass pattern on the forehead but I would hate for the wood to tear out. I have already had that happen in the main carving. To avoid those problems I used shallow cuts and stop cuts along with sanding. I won't be able to fix problems like that in areas that have detail carving.

 
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El Jefe
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Mar 13, 2012
Posts: 241
From: The Third Coast
Posted: 2013-10-29 9:12 pm   Permalink

I have always like purple heart as well. Very cool. Something a little different. Look forward to the updates and other work.

 
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Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-10-29 9:19 pm   Permalink

I'll post more pictures when I get some more carving done. I'm still thinking about how I'm going to carve the lower portion and under the mouth. I have some ideas in mind. It's going to be fairly traditional.

 
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AlohaStation
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2135
From: So FL
Posted: 2013-10-30 06:28 am   Permalink

You certainly chose a unique wood for your first carve. I've used PH and it is no pleasure to hand carve. If you have woodworking experience, you know that there is the right tool for every job - rotary or power tools work great on PH. Some exotics are known to be toxic or cause allergies, so wear a mask when sanding or grinding (I can't use PH due to allergies). The results are unique and beautiful when you're finished.

 
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3750
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2013-10-30 09:18 am   Permalink

Great tools
Great color wood
Great start

Jon


 
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Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-10-30 09:41 am   Permalink

Thanks everyone for the compliments. It's nice to have others see your work and give their opinion on it.

 
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3750
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2013-10-30 7:46 pm   Permalink

Reminded me of the Tiki Bar TV mug





_________________
Worst sound ever, slurp of an empty tiki mug through my straw!!!


 
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mieko
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 01, 2006
Posts: 532
From: San Diego
Posted: 2013-10-31 1:23 pm   Permalink

Looks great! super impressive for a first carve with a difficult wood. You'll be ready for palm in no time.

 
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Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-10-31 5:23 pm   Permalink

Today I carved a channel below the mouth that will flow into the foot or base of the tiki. I think this helped the look of the mouth. Next I'm going to carve the V portion on the base.


[ This Message was edited by: Secret Squirrel 2013-10-31 17:25 ]


 
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Secret Squirrel
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 29, 2013
Posts: 42
From: Midwest USA
Posted: 2013-11-03 11:21 am   Permalink

I finished carving the lower portion of the tiki and did some finish sanding. I think I'm done carving. I just need to wait a few days for the purple color to even out and then I'll apply the finish. I took this picture with a halogen light and it deepens the color. This is similar to what the tiki will look like with the finish on it. It will be a purplish blood red color. I tried to carve this tiki as correctly as possible. I did run a little short on room at the bottom. I left out the collar and shoulder portion and just put the traditional base on it. I have two double headed tikis that are like that so I guess it's acceptable.



 
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