Posts from the ‘Carving Techniques’ Category

*Gene Webb’s Beginner’s Lesson on Carving a Mammal

Renowned “Lifetime” Woodcarver/Teacher Gene Webb, from the Townsend TN area offers instructions on carving animals, Part 1

Oct. 5, 2013   Since I’m very interested in beginning my first “Mammal” carving project, Gene Webb comes to mind as a good source of information on technique. Hopefully, I will find additional contributions of this kind by Gene.

Wilflife is for Carving, Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3


*K. J. Thurgood Carving an Owl

Yes, I definitely learn by watching.

Happy birding and carving, Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*Product Comment about Cool-Chem & Repairs to Carvings

I’ve used “Cool-Chem” in the past as an alternative to using epoxy or solder in the construction of feet for birds; i.e: song-birds. It’s been years ago and I don’t have a clear recollection of how it worked-out at that time.  I do recall that I discontinued it due to it’s expense.

I’ve order a small quantity this morning on-line for a specific project. I’ve previously mentioned that I’m currently re-pairing broken carvings for about four people. They found me, I agreed and now I’m endeavoring to get it all behind me and never agree to do it again. They had such high hopes and I weakened!

Case in hand is a lovely Bluejay which is an excellent carving by someone whose Carving Book I own. Weird, eh?  The beak was broken, a leg split (2-wires), looking like a “wish-bone”, and detached from the wire stem of the base. The foot (cast) was broken and 2 toes missing.  Metal leaves had been epoxied to wire stems, as well and are now 80%  needing to be re-attached.  Well, the stems are epoxied, as well, for texture, etc.

Solder is “out” due to the branch y configuration of the base and epoxy. I hope to be able to use the “Cool-Chem” to re-attach all of the above. I was first referred to this product by Bird-carver Walter Thompson. He said it had replaced solder as his medium of choice. So, here I go again.

I’m hoping to hear from one of you if you have some insight on this product or, on this project.  The beak, foot and leg are now repaired. A stem of leaves is reattached using ribbon-epoxy. I’m now waiting for the Cool-Chem to be delivered.  Watch for a critique in the future on the culmination of this and the other repairs.

This can’t be what I retired recently from teaching to do; can it?

Happy birding and carving,   Bill

Bald Eagle #3

*Kenny Vermillion’s Habitat Workshop

K.Vermillion’s Chickadee
Kenny Vermillion
Sam Hudson and Bob Hewitt
A Section of the Work-Spaces


Carving Buddies Sam Hudson, Bob Hewitt and I left Dayton, OH at 6a.m. Wednesday to attend a “two-day-private” Habitat Workshop presided by World Class Carver Kenny Vermillion.  Kenny and I have discussed my visit to his home in Terre Haute, IN for several years. Finally, it was our opportunity to do it. I asked if I could bring two of my carving buddies along. We booked rooms nearby and arrived for day number one.  Kenny and I had previously discussed an out-line of topics. Well, he exceeded our out-line and kept the tips and techniques coming.  For two days, we covered techniques and tips on carving, painting, pattern-making, clay models, band-saw tips, power-bit selections, composition, leaf-and twig carving and painting, etc.  Firstly, his workshop is great for teaching. We each had a well-designed, comfortable work-space that any carver would love to have in their own home. Kenny’s Hoosier Hospitality took over and we all had a blast.  And to answer your unasked question, yes, I did “paint” a leaf.   And, yes, I’ll probably allow June to teach me to paint a bird!  Someday, maybe…Like the old sentimental travelogues of old, we finally reluctantly drove away from Kenny’s Winter Wonderland and into the cold, snow-covered expanses of the express-ways, headed home. Bob drove his SUV and we did very well; no mishaps.  A last word about the “paint”!  I’ll simply quote the “Man’s Prayer” from Possum Lodge’s Red & Green Show, “I’m a man and I can change if I have to, I guess”…

Happy birding and carving,  Bill

Bald Eagle #3
Bald Eagle #3

Q&A: How to Sharpen a Woodburning Tip

Subject: Sharpening a Burning-Burning Tip
Hey Bill,
Have you ever had the need to sharpen your burning tip when burning feathers?  If so, how.  Sometimes I feel mine is dulling up.  Thoughts?


To conveniently sharpen my tips in the past, I’ve adhered about 1 1/2″ of fine-grit “Emory” or “Swiss” paper (sticky on one side) to the top of my wood-burner. In this photo, my Woodburner is velcroed on top of my Micro-Motor. Simply “hone” the dulled-tip lightly across the  sanding-strip to taste (?). Not everyone advises this practice since sharp-tips can equate to deeper burn-marks which equate to paint problems when the paint “pools” at the bottom of the burn and reflects excessive-light which reveals lesser realistic effects than desired. With this in mind, I actually never sharpen anymore! You be your own judge!  I think you’re still “on” for “Eagle-Paint” Feb 4th(?)…p.s: we were talking about you just today.
Happy birding and carving,  Bill
Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

*A Basic Question Answered about Riffles on Feathers

Elaine’s Question: (Excerpted)

Read more…

*The Daily Grind

“The Daily Grind” (title of today’s blog) might be appropriate for an article for a Coffee House Blog or for a Woodcarving Blog; in this case, it’s sorta both!  Yes, it’s about carving (habitat) and I am, as you might expect, drinking coffee!  We take our meager exhibit to “Artistry in Wood” Friday afternoon (3 1/2 days from now) to set it up for the weekend show. To freshen-up our table, we want to have a new bird-carving there. It’s status is that the Red-headed Woodpecker is finished except for a little more paint; the base is finished except for some foliage and a lot of paint (from scratch).  So, June will tackle the paint and me, the foliage.

Yesterday, I brought some snippings of Boston Ivy in from the yard and color-copied them on my PC-Printer. Today, I plan to trace them onto mylar (clear-plastic) sheets with a black sharpie and cut-them out for traceable-patterns of several sizes of the leaves.  We’ve done this process before and at the Habitat Seminar I conducted earlier this year.  Using the black-sharpie again, I’ll trace several sizes of leaves on to a sheet of thin brass and cut them out with scissors. Gotta be careful of not getting finger-cuts from the sharp edges.  Using a finger-nail file or, a small sand-paper drum on my micro-motor, , I’ll sand-to-dull those sharp edges.  Using brass or copper wire, cut to stem-length,  I’ll use my upholstery-tack-hammer & small anvil to flatten about 1/2″ of both ends of each piece of wire-stems. Then, I’ll clean each stem by sanding lightly with swiss-paper.  My design for this particular base is to cut approximately 1/8″ copper or brass wire into 2 1′ long vines, grinding a taper onto one end of each vine. Without quite so much detail, I’ll just explain that the stems are to be silver-soldered onto the leaves and then, on to the vines. Veins will be scribed onto the leaves and the  solder-joints all to be ground/sanded smooth and epoxied & sanded again.   These are all still flat and as such, to be painted. Next, all leaves should be fashioned/curled-slightly to resemble the live leaves out in the yard. On the vines, I expect to solder 1″ posts to be glued into holes drilled in the sides of the base.  Hopefully, this can all be accomplished by Friday afternoon.  If successful, I hope a few of you will see the results at the show or later, on this blog’s photo page.

Happy birding and carving,  Bill

Bald Eagle #3

Bald Eagle #3

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