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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving In Ground Queen Palms for Carving?
In Ground Queen Palms for Carving?
Moe515
Member

Joined: Aug 17, 2014
Posts: 4
Posted: 2014-08-17 8:48 pm   Permalink

Hello,
I've been reading previous posts and have been finding many different answers for carving queen palms, some people seem to like them others say they are not good for carving. I have two Queen palms (currently alive) in my yard I wanted to get carved. I talked to two local carvers who told me two different things. I was hoping to find some answers before hiring someone/ carving because Im not sure if they get messed up how salvageable they will be, not to mention the expense.
One person told me they have to dry out for 2 weeks before carving the other said he will cut them and carve (chainsaw) in the same day, let them dry then come back and chisel and burn.
Is there a "right" method or is that subjective to the artist?
I've been reading that they are spongy and stringy, is there a better resin that should be used throughout? right away? As the owner I would like to keep them looking good for many years to come, as they will be NON moveable (in ground) and outside.
Thank you for any tips or advice.


 
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4WDtiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1864
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2014-08-17 10:40 pm   Permalink

It's not clear (to me, at least) if you are wanting your trees to be cut down and the stump gets carved, or if you want the live trees carved.
Queen palm is like a pumpkin, there's a few inches worth of wood on the outside, and the inside is soft and stringy.
Palm takes forever to dry out, so two weeks of drying will only help a little. Wet wood tends to crack and split like crazy after carving, whether it's carved the same day or after two weeks.
The 'right' method is not subjective to the artist, it's subjective to the wood.
I've carved logs that had sat for 5 years, and the center was still wet!
If you want to do things right and so it lasts and looks good, don't rush. Let it dry for 3-6 months minimum. But even then, it will still be queen palm.
Disclaimer: I have only tried queen palm twice, and didn't like it at all.
I carved mexican fan palm for years, lots of it, and now I use coconut palm. Both are more solid and drier than queen. There's a reason most carvers don't like it.

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pjc5150
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2009
Posts: 2299
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2014-08-18 08:47 am   Permalink

well, there's really no sense trying to use a sealer on it immediately if it's full of water... as all you're doing is sealing water IN... and remember, the root structure is still functioning and wicking water to the tree, which facilitates accelerated rotting in some pieces.

and good luck keeping an in-ground palm tiki looking good "for many years to come"... chances are it'll look like hell inside of 5 years. remember, palm is not a hardwood, it's a grass... and although I have done some in-grounders successfully and they still look good, I think I was just lucky. some in-grounders fall apart in *very* short order...

if you want a tiki that will "look good for years to come", go to the sawmill, tell 'em what you're doin', ask them to recommend a species that will hold up outside, buy your logs & get 'em home, and commission a carver. I personally like dip the part I'm burying in tar to seal it a little. if it's worth doin', it's worth doin' right.

as far as "what the carvers are telling you"... lol... there are dozens of jack-leg idiots out there who have carved like, 4 or 5 tikis and are now "self proclaimed experts"... I personally have carved about 4 or 5 *hundred* tikis, and I am still learning. find someone reputable who can show you *A LOT* of photos of their work.

best of luck.



 
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Moe515
Member

Joined: Aug 17, 2014
Posts: 4
Posted: 2014-08-18 10:28 am   Permalink

Ok thank you for the information. They are live queens as of now but I was hoping to cut them and get them carved. Yes they would still have a "root system" I did read- which I could be absolutely wrong that sealing it would it help it dry from the inside out rather then the other way around. Maybe that makes no sense. So out of all this mess, I guess the best possible solution if there is any- is to cut the palm, wait and wait some more, possibly years then get it carved?

 
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pjc5150
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Joined: Jun 01, 2009
Posts: 2299
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2014-08-18 12:57 pm   Permalink

it's still palm, and it'll still fall apart if it's outside... just the nature of the beast.

once again, if you're gonna spend a 3 to 5 hundred bones each to have some nice tikis carved, wouldn't it make sense to spend an extra 50 bucks each to get log that will last 50 years instead of 5?


 
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Moe515
Member

Joined: Aug 17, 2014
Posts: 4
Posted: 2014-08-18 1:04 pm   Permalink

So when you say a tiki that will last longer you mean a different type of wood stump as a different variety of palm? If those are outside as well then would they just weather the same? Thanks for the Info.

 
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pjc5150
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Joined: Jun 01, 2009
Posts: 2299
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2014-08-18 2:40 pm   Permalink

no.

hardwood is HARD WOOD... palm is GRASS...

they are 2 different things.

If I sell someone a palm tiki, and they tell me it's going outdoors, I kinda expect it to fall apart in 5 years, give or take... when I sell someone a tiki made of cypress, I expect it to live outside for decades...



 
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4WDtiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1864
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2014-08-18 7:32 pm   Permalink

Moe, where do you live?
How long a palm tiki lasts outdoors depends on where you live. Jeff lives in Florida, so I would bet they would rot fast. In Southern California, they could, and have, last decades, IF they were carved from a select piece of palm.

I suggest you think and decide if it's important to you that your future tikis are carved with wood that came from your trees, or if that's not that important. If it's not, source some better wood, or have the carver you choose source some.
By the way, how tall are your queen palms that would be cut and used?
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Moe515
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Joined: Aug 17, 2014
Posts: 4
Posted: 2014-08-18 7:41 pm   Permalink

I live in Southern California, the queen palms I have are about 12' and 14' tall. The are currently in a planter and a Tiki carver told me years ago whenever we decided to take them out (if they got too big) they would look nice if we got them carved. We are at the point where they are pushing the planter and so I started looking into what it would take to get them carved instead of just cutting them out all together. For many years now we've had Tiki masks sitting "on top" of the two trees so we thought it would be really neat to bring those masks to life . The palms are about a foot in diameter as well.


[ This Message was edited by: Moe515 2014-08-18 19:42 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Moe515 2014-08-18 19:43 ]


 
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AlohaStation
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Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 2146
From: So FL
Posted: 2014-08-19 07:04 am   Permalink

I have seen queen palms carved that have lasted for years (these were in southern cali and other arid regions). Queen palm do not last in moist environments so if they stay relatively dry they could last indefinately. You can carve a palm the day its cut or you can wait for it to dry - the results are as variable as the quality of the wood. I have let palm wood sit for months, only to find the inside had rotted. and I have carved fresh logs and found them to be very nice to carve and had no problems allowing the carving to dry. An experienced carver will know how to proceed - there are no set rules (too many variables).

If you want them carved, do it - only time will tell if they last (if they are kept inside, they will last decades). Keeping the wood dry after carving is the best way to preserve them. FL Queen palms are trash - they store too much water and eventually shrivel away to a mass of string. Palm is similar to cactus - they store water inside their trunks for the dry season. Getting the water out is the trick.


 
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4WDtiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 03, 2004
Posts: 1864
From: Omao, Kauai
Posted: 2014-08-19 08:52 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-08-18 19:41, Moe515 wrote:
I live in Southern California, the queen palms I have are about 12' and 14' tall.


That's too young and short to have any carvable wood to them, IMO.
Even with fan palm, which is a better carving palm, I learned early on that a tree that size is unusable. A palm needs to be a minimum of 30' or so before there's any good wood at the bottom of it. The taller the palm, the better. 60-90' palms are what I look for.

Since you're in SoCal, I strongly suggest you go with Mexican Fan palm, it's everywhere there.
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pjc5150
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Joined: Jun 01, 2009
Posts: 2299
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2014-08-19 09:01 am   Permalink

hmmm.. well I have never been to Cal so I didn't really consider the arid environment dynamic...

and that queen palms are different there... here they're total crap... lol...


 
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