wood carving chair

Wood Carving Chair: How To Do It?

Hey everyone, I thought I would try this project called The life of a Carver. What is it, well I thought it would be a little of this and a little of that, and a lot of pictures, step by steps, things I’ve learned, things you’ve learned, sketches to the final product.

I’ve wrestled with sharing ideas and not sharing ideas, if I don’t share I have a bunch of my own ideas, if I do share I could possible make someone’s financial life a little easier and looking back when its over it will be better to know I’ve helped than horde my ideas.

I am not looking for a pat on the back just looking to help. I am open to criticism, ideas of how to do things better. I guess it’s pretty much me (and you hopefully) thinking out loud as I work at this craft. If it works out I hope to post once or twice a week, so let me know what you think.

Wood Carving Chair: Step By Step Process

This is the beginning of the back of chair, it will be some trees, 3 houses, and the moon. The bottom of the chair will have either a setting sun or a howling wolf (anyone prefer one that I do)?

Sketch of the chair carving

One mistake I’ve made is I have the tree peaks on each end the same height, poor design, I should have had one higher than the other and one in front of the moon, this would make the moon look farther away and add depth. I did do the houses well though, I did the house peaks at different levels, good design.

first cut of the chair carving

I’ve carved the moon first, its the farthest back and the thinnest since it so far back ,to make it look even more distant I cut behind the house a little to separate them from the moon. I will also do this with the houses ,I will under cut the trees so the houses look like they are behind the trees, if I didn’t do these under cuts than you would really lose the 3d effect.

3d effects on moon and house in the chair carving appears

Notice the shadow play caused by the undercuts. Here’s a pictures of the undercuts I do that make the relief really pop out.

shadow play caused by the undercuts

The building will come next,100 percent chainsaw, then I will do 15 minute chisel work. It come out nice, stay tuned and feel free to give your input.

building comes out

I will also add one more thing, money (I hate money, really do). This project will take about two hours to do the whole chair, it will cost about 10 bucks in wood. Where I am there is no money and tops I will get is around 100 bucks, pretty sad here in New Bedford. Take care.

chair carving process going on

Here I’ve added the ground level in front of the trees. I’ve textured the ground horizontally and I’ve textured the trees vertically which adds separation and depth. I now have 4 layers, the ground layer, next back is the tree layer, then the layer of houses nestled behind the trees, and finally the moon. I’m pleased with the depth these four layers have given me, it looks deeper than a two inch thick board.

added the ground level in front of the trees

The fun part, adding in the house details, brings it to life. This is all done by chainsaw up to this point. I carved the houses at slightly different depth to make them look like separate houses or a village instead of one boring house. I alternate the directions of the house boards for interest and to separate them. The windows are just plunge cut divots with a quarter tip, because the divots are round from the bar tip they don’t have enough shadow play, the light gets in so I will square these off with a chisel. I will drill window in and square them off with a knife tip.

adding in the house details

The windows are squared and the shadow play is good. A couple of chimney would have made the silhouette better but over all I’m pleased. All the chainsaw work was done with two electrics, a Stihl and quarter tip Lonnie Glines J-Red. I would say I have about an hour into this so far. You can give a try with various options of chainsaws available in this website. The Husqvarna 445 18″ Gas Chainsaw is a worth try less than 400 here and there.

Ok next time we probably should be able to finish the whole chair, I will try to give it some good lines, the shape of the chair is important, don’t want a boring square chair.

One good thing about this work is you don’t have to worry much about splitting (unless you wood is real green) or mold and I won’t even put a finish on it although it would look good, lack patients big time. Feel free to comment. There are no reliable blood tests for lyme disease.

windows are squared and the shadow play is good

Usually I can make a chair out of one 8 to 10 foot slab. This slab was only five and half foot tall, I had to use a two by twelve for the seat. It’s pretty ugly and boring square like that but not for long. I use about 14 three and half inch galvanized deck screws for the construction. Under the seat is a 10 inch brace, its right up under the seat and from front to back. I put one screw in the middle of the seat into the brace, maybe you can see it near the knot, this screw really stops any wobbling, its the most important screw (countersink a little).

slab was only five and half foot tall

Well here’s the seat rounded and irregular. I’ve carved the setting sun to go with rising moon theme and also because its quick, I no longer want to put much more time in this. Although I am creating, it is also business. This chair is to sell and time must be a factor, especially at my prices. I’ve added little curvy strips to the seats, pure decoration but if your carpentry doesn’t line up well you can cover cracks up pretty well this way. I always leave the back rest blank, if you carve here it’s very uncomfortable.

carved the setting sun to go with rising moon theme

Here’s another option for legs, a tree crotch cut in half. These make for a chunky look.

for legs, a tree crotch cut in half. These make for a chunky look

Here’s the finished piece, ah no drying, cracking, mold, or applying a finish but it not as fun as attacking a log. It’s great indoor work. I ended up putting about an hour and forty five minutes into this project. I’m pleased with it, if I wasn’t, out with the paints. I’ve made chairs for about 5 years now and i would rate them as OK sellers. The deer tick is the size of a pinhead.

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