Notes From the 'Net
By Mike Bloomquist, with Doug Evans and Loren Woodard
Email Mike at m.bloomquistATverizonDOTnet or visit his web, Wooden Dreams Woodcarving


Hope your summer is getting off to a wonderful start and your managing to dodge the worst of this severe weather we're seeing this year.  Across the Net I'm reading about some creative ways to combine woodcarving with the usual summer activities.   There's one woodcarver/angler I know who has a rod holder with a fish-on alarm so he can make wood chips while waiting for the fish to co-operate.  I always thought camping and woodcarving was a natural.  Woodcarving and mountain bike camping is my favorite combo.  No, I don't carve while I ride... but there is a lean-to at Woodhull Lake (Adirondacks) that has a couple piles of woodchips around it that didn't come from an axe (hmmmm, that would make an interesting caricature carving though).

Another woodcarving activity that isn't limited to summer, but really peaks during these months is the woodcarving get-together sometimes referred to as a "gathering", a "roundup", a "retreat" or a "carve along".  You will need to research it, but there's probably one not too far from you.  Accomodations run the gamut from tent site to cabins, lodge rooms and local hotels.  Fees can vary widely as well from just "bring your tools and buy a blank", to per instructor pay-as-you-go, to a flat fee for room-board-tuition & pre-registration  required.

Meanwhile, re-fill that lemonade, or ice tea, or whatever and lets look at some Notes from the Net...

A Vise for Your Favorite Vice

Steve Lankerd Sr. has the lead question again this issue.  Keep those great questions coming Steve....

Hi All...
This has probably been discussed in the past, I am looking for some sort of carving vise that would hold walking or hiking sticks and canes.  I plan on carving wood spirits of sorts and I figured holding steady the piece you carve would be a good thing.  Either plans to make a vise or a ready made one would be great.
Thanks for the help...
Steve Lankerd Sr
Metlakatla, Alaska

Woodbutcher answers...

Steve I use my regular bench vise I have 2 pieces of wood 2x3x6 and I hollowed both out to some degree and put them around my stick held in place with an elastic band than I place  them in the vise and tighten gently this way you can move the stick up or down to a desired hight for easy carving

Happy corvin' to ya
        Woodbutcher Jan
You are invited to check out my website..
Also take a look at my picture trail albums ...

Then Denny found a good link....

Here is a site that was referred to on the SCWW (Stick Carvers World Wide) group.  It shoes how to build a shaving horse that will hold canes as well as other items



Matt had something closer to home...

Steve -

There are links to a number of different workholders and vices in the Carvers' Companion Reference Files here:  http://carverscompanion.com/NewCarverFiles.html

Once there click on the "In the Shop"  link.   In particular,  look at  Richard Rombold;s double-headed shaving horse -  has a stick holding vice at one end.

Carve On!


Then the Whizz himself added another...

Here a simple one, just a couple of 2 X 4's http://home.rochester.rr.com/dmatthews/shavepony/
Richard L. Rombold
489 N. 32nd. St.
Springfield, Or .97478
 Take a look at my mess and work.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup"

(Gotta love the signature line... make sure to check out his PictureTrail gallery, but don't get lost.  There's more NFTN)

And Hugh wrapped it up with a great recommendation from a fine supplier...

heh there Scrimmy---about the "VISE"---I use the Veritas woodcarvers vise from Lee Valley which I find very versatile---Leoard Lee is a great Canadian and deals with hi quality tools---his vise  # 05G20.01--$109 CDN----addy is--:PO Box 6295 Stn J.Ottawa Ontario,K2A1T4---the "E" addy is www.leevalley.com and also ask them to be on their mailing list and to "now" send you the Fine Woodworking Tools catalog---they are a great company and stand by their products 100%----good luck and I hope this helps---Spring has finally sprung here--warm regards--Hugh(aka skincarp)

Now a little discussion on habitat...

Carving "Boss" Moss...

Merryl Bustin asks....

I am trying to make a habitat scene for a bird carving to include a mossy forest floor. Can someone give me a hint on how to create this? I've been trying successive layers of spray adhesive and sawdust, but with limited results. Any help would be appreciated.


Merryl Bustin
Nova Scotia

Gene Bremmer answers...


I don't know about your case, but, I know some fish carvers who use ground up cork to use for ground in their habitat. You can get it in fine and coarse ground and gives a good texture I am told. I know one such supplier is Hide and Beak Supply at Saginaw, Minnesota. I am sure other suppliers might have it also. Just a thought.
Also, some type of moss that you can buy at hobby shops might help you out or work for you.


Ivan Whillock has a caution and a suggestion....

Some shows, and even some artists who don't compete, expect that the habitat be made of wood. If that is your case, I've seen some successful moss made with drill shavings, which, unlike sawdust, have a "curl" to them.
Ivan Whillock Studio
122 NE 1st Avenue
Faribault, MN 55021
Visit my website at
Visit my Picture Trail album at

Ned brings a suggestion from a previous hobby....

Browse through the materials used for making scenery in the model railroading section of a hobby shop and you are likely to find some things you can use.

Ned Megargee, recovering model railroader 

Lori Corbett has another technique...

I don't know if it's too late in this case, but I have had good results by carving my own moss. You have to plan ahead for it, obviously, so there's enough wood to to do it.  I carve the shape of my mossy patch, then take a long flame shaped diamond point in my micro-grinder and poke it into the wood randomly, and at random depths. I use successively smaller flame points, which gives the moss a nice spongy look.  Plus it's FUN :-)
Hope this helps...


Please visit my website:
Whispering Eagle Studio

And a final one from Don...

I at first used my Ram and a couple of different sized pointed bits to make holes in the wood base to look sorta like moss that is on rocks. I found out recently that to make the moss that is on the forest floor, to get one of those green scourer pad and pull it apart to get the look of moss.

Don Anderson

OK, Gang, that's all for this issue.  Keep them edges keen, the chips piled high, and enjoy the summer. 

Keep on Carvin'
-Mike Bloomquist->

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 Resource Files, or click the links below.


Woodcarver's List - Woodcarvers' Porch - American Stickmaker's - Knotholes List - Fishcarving List2


Editor's Note: Disclaimers and Cautions