Raccoon Step by Step by Joe Rego

Raccoon Step by Step by Joe Rego

Raccoons for some reason are tough to carve. I was just discussing the other day with another carver how we struggle with them. To me its just the same as bear cuts but more pointy, pointier head, ears and nose but for some reason the raccoon is just harder. This raccoon took about 20 minutes to carve and another 20 minutes to paint. It is 98 percent chainsaw carved, all electric chainsaws. I will probably get 40 bucks for him, again there is no money where I am. Let me know what you think and by all means if you have any tips or criticism feel free to let me know.

    I have an easier time carving standing over a log, I can just see the carving come along much better this way. I don't carve as well standing up the log. I also find it easier on my back to carve this way if you have your log at the right height, my stand is just above knee height .I've pinned the back of the log down with two nails and the side overhanging will be the raccoon, its overhanging so I can carve it freely without hitting anything.

I next cut in the profile.

I cut in the ears and up the side of the head.

I cut his nose in and remove the wood from both side.

  Here's what we have so far.

 I make a small cut for the bottom of the paws and then a cut to divide them .I then cut in the line that will be the top of his arms. This cut does double duty, it also creates the neck line.

From the end of each paw I plunge cut into the log to give him the appearance he's in the log.

 I carve in the nose and a hint of a chin.

Some indentations for his eye sockets .I also run the bar along his nose, creates some cute jowls.


I come in under his neck a little to create a shoulder. He's ready for painting, those steps will be next.

This carving is a half log but I still run a series of kerfs in the back Here's my theory, The kerfs go in an inch or two, this would give me ten more inches at least of surface space to dry the wood more evenly and maybe relieve some stress. These kerfs have never hindered sales one bit but I can tell you a big crack down the front of a carving has. Works for me.
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I usually use marbles for the eyes but for this piece I am going to use this hollowed out Dremel grindstone for the eye.

30 seconds later and you got eyes.

 I've been using the cheap craft paints for years and I'm amazed how well they last outside, except for the flesh color which fades fairly quick. I get them on sale for 25
cents .I've put oil based deck stains over them and it has a nice antique look.

Here is the first color, it is called safari taupe, its darker than in this picture.

 I've added the black in. This is a better picture of the safari taupe color.

The white is added and the piece is done. I usually tack on a welcome sign under his paws or hollow out a little log for flowers to sell with the raccoon. I bought some two
part epoxy and may try it on this guy, Cheryl if you are out there do you think it would work on him.