Small Cardinal carving in firewood

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BillK
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Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by BillK »

Like many of you I’ve been very inspired by scottp55’s tiny carvings into firewood. If you haven’t seen it yet check out his classic https://forum.vectric.com/viewtopic.php ... branch+owl or his latest https://forum.vectric.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33674.

Also like many of you, I’ve been inspired to give it a try. I feel there are a few rules to observe though.

1. You should use firewood, or wood that has not been milled. A branch from a tree etc.
2. The carving should be highly detailed.
3. The carving size should be small.
4.Careful attention must be paid to the depth of the carving. Scott is an expert at this. I can tell you from a few feeble trials that this is not easy, its an art form unto itself. Trying to get to just the right depth to expose the changing color and grain features is worth the patience it takes for sure.

So here is my feeble attempt. I took my Cardinal model that you can see more of here https://forum.vectric.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=33280

I added a branch for him to sit on and some foliage texturing for the background.

The one on the left is in red cedar. The one on the right in an apple tree branch. I ran several starts to the roughing tool path. The high point was my control and I advanced by 1/16” until I got to where I wanted to be. Not perfect as I exposed a small split in the cedar in a visible spot, but overall I’m pretty happy, 1/8 end mill for roughing. 1 mm tapered ball mill for finishing. The natural features of the outer parts of these piece really set off these. The finish is just oil and wax.
BADE32E9-3AB3-4A32-B5D2-4401F96B7B3C.jpeg


Oh, and I guess rule no. 5 is to make sure you get a picture with a penny.
BFB770C1-2A14-4F32-B188-96BD586EF2C1.jpeg
Lol, these are actually about 2.5 to 3” wide.
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highpockets
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by highpockets »

Beautiful Craftsmanship!!! Anyone who has tried making something that small can appreciate the skill that goes into such a project.

Thanks for sharing!

Scott, you're being called out!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by mtylerfl »

Great carvings (and models), Bill! I’m lovin’ the “tiny stuff” and need to make the time to do some myself! Beautiful work!
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scottp55
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by scottp55 »

Darn Bill!!
You found out my secret...I had MY custom penny made the size of a silver dollar YEARS ago :D :D :D
(John...just so long as Bill doesn't come "gunnin'" for me:)

You hit those pieces depths perfectly Bill!!
Normally I'd like the Cedar for the red color and "Fall like" leaf color, BUT the Apple has that branch color perfect and the shape is funky!! :)
It really is neat how much of a color change even a .05" pass will make!
Sometimes I'm all ready to Nudge my Z-Zero down and cut again...and then stop myself, give it a hair of finish and look at it for a bit...
You can't add the wood back on!
My step-mom's little Owl wouldn't look half as good if I hadn't left the "Punky" layer on it, and gone all Oak color!

Kinda like your interpretation of my "Rules"......as I don't HAVE any! :) :)

NICE pieces Bill!!
Congrats:)
scott
"One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions"

GMH


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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by BillK »

What can I say besides Thanks!

Oh, and, I knew Scott would catch me at my trick. At least they are a lot smaller than the original.

That 1909S is very rare!
A44E24F7-6C5D-4CE0-AB93-1EF892CDB26F.jpeg
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by scottp55 »

Not as Rare as those One Of branches Bill :)
"One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions"

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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by BillK »

Doing some experimenting today. Carved another one of these into another piece of apple branch.

This is 65-70% smaller than the original. Increased the height of the bird, branch, and foliage background, lowered the stepover a notch or two, and added a curved background which I find visually interesting as I turn this in my hand. This piece had a little more spalt to it.

Basically I want to harvest all the branches on the ground I can find now. Love the way these look. Need to add more oil to the cedar. 1st apple one has been given a home.
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Camera rotated left
Camera rotated left
Camera rotated right
Camera rotated right
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00A147F1-6AB8-4343-801B-98B58787FA75.jpeg
Thanks!
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by scottp55 »

NICE experimenting Bill !!

I can just see you gathering Apple branches in January :)

The increase in model height in spite of the of the proportional size reduction, gives the Cardinal a better body shape and seems better detailed!! :)
What percentage did you make it higher, or did you increase it based on cutter length like I do sometimes?
Reduced stepover gives it a better look close up! :)
Carving Offset this time? Or is the smooth sidewall just the reduced stepover?
Seems tailor made for an Offset toolpath if there's only one plunge....conventional seems to work best for me.

Is that the mineral oil bath that you used on your Christmas Spoons....and just waiting for it to soak in before wiping off and waxing and blacking the eye?

Seems like the curvature helps you stay within color layers better, and a more visible profile from wider angles.
Was it easier to choose a color pattern as you went down compared to the flat one before?
(at first quick glance, that spalt makes an impression of a tree trunk, and THEN you see the leaf surface :)

I can see why the first Apple one didn't take long to find a home!! :D
(I think YOU ought to keep this one for the house!!)

Keep Playing!
scott
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by BillK »

Scott,

I increased the Component model heightS between 10 and 15%.

Smoother side wall is the result of correcting “model fuzz”. Sometime when you build a model in layers you get a fuzz around the edges. In the first cuts I let it fly, not a good approach as it does add cutting time. So how I usually get rid of it is to slightly offset the outer vector, in this case the ellipse, inward a small amount then delete the fuzz outside the ellipse.

I did do a mineral oil bath for an hour after machining. It seems to do a good job on the outer surface. Then I add carnuba/bees wax/mineral oil to outer surface. For the carved part I used danish oil. Two coats now on the cedar, one on each of the new apples. The last of the apples was very funky, load of spalt, so I just stopped and let it be. I like its effect.

A couple of LED lit shots.
2 coats DO, cedar, 1 coat dry middle, 1 coat fresh right
2 coats DO, cedar, 1 coat dry middle, 1 coat fresh right
The backs. Beautiful wood.
The backs. Beautiful wood.
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by scottp55 »

Thanks Bill!!

Glad it's Danish Oil on the carving...not too fond of non-drying oils for a detailed carving....mineral oil "butter" looks good on bark though :)

Yep..about like I do it, but VCP can't actually crop a model:( ...so just use selected vectors.
Be NICE to actually crop frames on models and such with my 5.5"Z !!

Thanks again for the pics of the back!!
Some people have never seen how a tree/branch is put together...I'm always surprised at that!
So besides ease of jigging, and having a clue as to the nature of the wood...I'd do it just so people can see it:)
That Apple is worth saving!!
(I'll have to bribe someone to go across the beaver pond and snag some from the natural orchard that grew up after the fire from ground dropped apples :)

Loving the pics!
scott
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by BillK »

About 15-20 minutes in the back woods. Cedar, Red Oak, Apple, and some interesting unknowns. The Branch office is Open.
The branch office is open
The branch office is open
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by scottp55 »

NICE haul Bill!
And you have to love the price tag!! :)

Should keep you out of trouble for a bit :wink:
Seal, Seal,SEAL! :)

Are all these cut with the short .5mm TBN, or did you pick up some long 3" ones?

I see you ran into some spalt on that third Apple one....Still looks good though:)
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by BillK »

Yes, I have them all standing up inside now. Will seal later today.

I do have the 3” .5mm rad TBN. Used it on the spoons and 4 of these. Still cutting clean.

The cedar one pictured is off to its new home.

I tweaked the model, again, hope to give it a try this afternoon. Also got some solid time in on owl model yesterday, coming along.

8)
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by scottp55 »

Thanks Bill:)
Yep, pretty much need the 3" long one for branches.

Still loving the wide range of colors and figured heartwood in the Apple.....but the Cedar contrast....I can see why it's gone! :)
Will love seeing the Great Horned Owl model I saw the very prelim pic of:)

I cut one section of Sugar Maple blowdown into very small lengths, and even sealing the day afterwards...I was too late and cracks kept growing :(
Not long enough for me to trim back checking:(
GOTTA remember that in Spring when I cut 2 more 6" Maples that have come down!
scott
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Re: Small Cardinal carving in firewood

Post by BillK »

Another day, another iteration. This is carve no. 5 if you are counting.

Tweaks to the model: The first design included an elliptical dish that the carving sat in. The second iteration added the curved back, keeping the dish. In this hopefully final design I eliminated the dish. It gives a smooth cut at the top and bottom.

The main 3D carve was raster left to right. I changed it to up and down. Then I added a very small offset tool path cut around the model. This smoothes out the inner sides eliminating any steps. It came out really well on this one. I just tacked it on at the end of the other using the 0.5mm rad TBN. By doing this things the cutting time dropped by 1/3.

On this one I used a thicker cedar section. I also prepared the outside a little diferently, peeling off almost all the bark layer with a spoke shave exposing the sap wood and some of the red giving the whole outside an interesting look. Finally I probably should have and could have gone deeper. But I don’t regret not doing that. It’s always a neat effect to have the differences in there. This will look a little different in a couple of days with some wax and more oil. I could see it changing as the oil was drying.

Thanks for looking!
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