Notes From the
By Mike Bloomquist, with Doug Evans
and Loren Woodard
Email Mike at m.bloomquistATverizonDOTnet or visit his web, Wooden Dreams Woodcarving
I thought it was slow on the Woodcarver's Lists during the months
of the last issue. This month was real lean, but there
were some good generic topics out there. Read on!
Casting Your Carvings
Tom Buggey caught a reference
to Sculpture House on another thread and wondered about casting
products and techniques.
The link to the SculptureHouse site was very useful. I ve long
wanted to do a casting of some of my coin carvings = big counterfeits.
I purchased some of the casting material and I was wondering if
anyone has made molds before? I know I will have to seal
the carving very well. Here is my second question: Is there a
sealant/varnish that will not yellow or darken the wood?
Thanks for any assistance,
Joe Dillet replied to Tom's
second question with...
Water-based varnish is about the only sealer I know that will
have almost no color change. However I don't know how its color
will change over time and exposure to UV.
I had one unhappy experience with a large mold I was making when
something went wrong (operator error I think) and I covered the
inside of our cooking oven with black soot. It was very hard to
The Carving Shop
poly acrylic seems to do the best sealing with the least yellowing/darkening,
just my opinion.
carvin' in nyc
Vic Hamburger came in with another
There are casting discussion groups on Yahoo groups. I am not
a member of them, but I am told they are very helpful to newbies
trying to cast stuff.
I assume our coin carvings do not have any undercuts. Given
that, I am sure just following instructions will give you good
results. Are your carvings two sided? If so, you will need
to make a 2 part mold, and that will be a challenge at first.
Basically, you make one side of the mold, with alignment pins,
then once set, coat the new mold and carving with release spray
and pour the second
side of the mold. You need to include a sprue to pour the
final material into the mold. Once the mold is done, it
should release both the carving and from each other if you were
careful. Then clamp the two parts together and pour your
new casting. It is a bit more complex than that, but
it is not rocket science from what people tell me.
Sealing the carving with a clear finish. Several have already
mentioned the water based polys. Use multiple coats, with
a careful light sanding/cleaning between coats. The final
coat should go on smoothly and seal the wood completely for you.
Good luck with it! Vic H
Yahoo groups has a lot of very
helpful special interest groups. Check them out!
And then I reached waaaay back
in the files (2002) and found this thread...
Does anyone have any know where I can get some
info on making a mold and casting some small carvings. Something
that I can paint.
I have some Santa ornaments I would like to try it on.
Hamburger replied with...
for a line of 1:1 ratio casting resins and mold making supplies.
also try http://www.polytek.com
for supplies and materials. I have not dealt with polytek personally
but Micromark sells good stuff and is easy to deal with. Lastly,
the folks who brought casting to the home studio is Alumilite,
Also good material that has been
around a while.
had a good description of one process.
Have a good look at the Santa you want to mould check it over
for under cuts, they will not mould, put the model on the bench
face up level out with plastacine and determine the joint line,
you can do this by putting a square up against the model and work
your way all the way around marking with a felt tip the high spots,
you will find when all the marks are joined up that it is not
level, this is your true moulding line, you then construct a flange
all the way around keeping the top of the flange level with
the centre of the high spot, putt a box around it deep enough
for the resin to cover the model, wax the hole thing really well
you only have one go at it, remember the resin is harder than
the model it will not bend when you come to take the model out.
when the resin has set turn the model over take off the box and
flange being careful not to dislodge the model, that's the hardest
part done, you are now left with half of the model sticking out
of the block of resin, put a box around it,determine ware you
are going to pore the resin in to the mould when complete, normally
the lowest point, make a cone out of plastacine and place it in
the position you have chosen (pointed bit to the top) on the highest
point do the same again this will let the air pressure out when
you pore the resin in the other end, when complete wax thoroughly.
If you don't think the model will mould due to under cuts, use
a rubber type resin for your mould, this will allow your model
and your hard resin casting to pull out. If you want me carry
on let me know. Hope this helps.
NOTE: Some undercutting may not be a problem with flexible,
silicon type molds. Also, there were many references to
www.lumicast.com , but from
what I could see at there present web site, they
no longer sell supplies only casting services and classes.
Hickory and Pecan, or "You must be nuts to carve that!"...
Hickory and Pecan Wood
back (2001) Mike Parker posted a great knowlege-base on wood...http://www.woodweb.com/KnowledgeBase/KBLMBPLY.html
, which launched the following. It's still up.
Thanks Mike for sharing that site with me/us. You
are right, it does have a lot of interesting info. For example,
I didn't know that
Hickory and Pecan are the same wood. I do now. Thanks
Which prompted responses
from our local knowlege-base...
Like you said " I didn't know that Hickory and Pecan
are the same wood". Well here in Kansas there is a big difference
in Hickory and Pecan. They may be related in the Nut tree family.
But they are not the same wood. Pecan is good to do woodworking
with, and Hickory is use in handles for tools, and switches. Pecan
wood is a Lt to dark brownish wood and finish well. Hickory is
a Lt cream color wood, you can finish it but hard to work with
furniture, or carving, and pecan no fun carving but looks good
if you have the time to work it. I seen it more used in making
furniture. Here is Kansas we have two types of Hickory smooth
Bark and ruff bark. The Pecan that I have here on the ranch
is a smooth type bark. About the only thing I can think of that
they have in common is the produce a nut crop each year. Just
my thoughts, I may be all wet. Ivan KansasRancher.
From the KansasRanchers
Ivan & Pamela
...And a little clarification.
That's a misquote. Hickory and pecan are not the same wood.
They have a similar hardness and workability, but they are not
the same species. If you're still not sure, try a slice
of hickory nut pie instead of pecan...
Here's the actual quote:
Pecan lumber is almost always sold as hickory -- this is legal
and is traditional practice. There are four pecans and four true
hickories that are sold as hickory lumber.
At your service,
A votre service,
Robin Edward Trudel
Jeff Ertle step in with....
Just for the record. Hickory and Pecan are both in the Walnut
Butternut and Walnut are in the Juglans genus as are four lesser
walnuts in North America with a total of 16-20 species worldwide,
mostly tropical. The wood is excellent for cabintry and , of course,
for carving. Not as hard as most of the Hickories.
Pecan and Hickory are in the genus Carya. There are 15 species
of Carya in the world, 11 of those in North America and the other
4 in Asia.
The pecan, in the early days of the U.S. was called the Mississippi
nut or the Illinois nut because they were brought back east from
those territories (its native range is primarily the Mississippi
River Valley) by trappers. Thomas Jeferson gave some young 'Illinois
nut' trees to George Washington in about 1786 and they are the
largest trees at Mount Vernon today.
A large mature Pecan can produce over 1000 pounds of nuts and
the early harvesting method was to cut down the tree and then
send in a pack of boys to gather the nuts.
They weren't really cultivated until around 1900.
Hickories are one of the major culprits of spring allergies as
they produce extremely abundant quantities of pollen. The
cord of thewood of some of the species produces almost as
much heat as a ton of anthracite coal. Because of the resilient
qualities of the wood has always been in demand for handles of
striking tools and was used to make wagon wheels.
Probably more than anyone cared to know so I'll stop here
Bill commented on Ivan's
carving either one, and plugged his precious white birch... again
You gotta' be NUTS to carve Hickory, but even MORE NUTS to carve
in Pecan. I have carved reliefs in both, and Pecan is VERY hard
on the edges of relief tools. I'll stick with hard maple... much
nicer, but not as nice as WHITE BIRCH. Did you all see the article
in the latest WCI magazine on "White Birch"???? The
truth be told, we Canadians will ship our American friends our
natural gas, our electric power, and maybe even some water...
but the White Birch STAYS HERE!!!!!! <big grin>
Robin returned with...
I've heard tell that there's a fella in Vermont that ONLY carves
little figures from Hickory. Legend has it that his forearms
look like Popeye's!
At your service,
A votre service,
Robin Edward Trudel
More recently Glenda asked
cut down a pecan tree and was wanting to know if it hardens as
hard as an oak .
Your Welcome to visit some of my art at:
Bill Smith replied...
Hi pecan is a really great wood to carve it does get hard thought
and make some of the nices carvings u can
...And Joe Dillet offered
Pecan is a wonderful carving wood. Tight grain, beautiful color,
takes finishes well and not as hard as oak. It is harder than
butternut and about the same hardness as black walnut.
The Carving Shop
645 E. LaSalle St. Suite 3
Somonauk, IL. 60552
OK, Gang, until next issue, keep them edges
keen, the chips piled high, and I hope you all are remembering
to carve this summer. See ya next issue.
Keep on Carvin'
Please take some
time and check out the wood carving lists on the Internet. There
is a lot of knowledge free for the asking on all of the list serves.
For information regarding the various email
lists for woodcarvers, visit The Carvers' Companion
Files, or click the links below.
Woodcarver's List - Woodcarvers' Porch - American Stickmaker's - Knotholes List - Fishcarving
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