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Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford

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Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford
All~

As promised here is the Body to go with the Head...a bunch more (70 this time!) images with captions.

https://picasaweb.google.com/.../5866444385701237554

Hope it helps!

SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Last edited by:

Chuck J: Apr 14, 2013, 4:27 AM
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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
Very nice Steve. The link seems to be working to get to the slideshow. I'll copy those photos and text a little later today.

Best
Chuck



"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."


A. Pope
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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
Steve - Great stuff! I appreciate your willingness to share and teach. May God bless you for it!
Pat Gregory
Illinois Waterfowler and Decoy Maker
Duckboat Page Member since 2006

"And when a flock of bluebills, pitching pondward, tears the dark silk of heaven in one long rending nose-dive, you catch your breath at the sound, but there is nothing to see except stars. This same performance, in daytime, would have to be looked at, shot at, missed, and then hurriedly fitted with an alibi."
Aldo Leopold in Sand County Almanac

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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
Excellent!

Thanks.
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Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
1 - Draw profile onto body and bottom board.

2 - Lay out plan view of bottom board; round the stern.

3 - Saw profile on bottom board - leave 1/4" to secure block until later.

4 - Saw out plan view of bottom board.

5 - Bottom board is now ready for shaping.

6 - Saw out body profile by starting with neck elevation. Proceed with profile then plan as with bottom board.

7 - Body ready for marking with reference lines.

8 - Check against plans.

9 - Ready for hollowing bottom board.

10 - Mark upper edge and hollowing area on bottom board.

11 - Mark center line and flat-tish area on bottom board.

12 - Mark lower edge, perimeter, center line and hollowing area on body.

13 - Mark "ridges" along wings and shoulders (scapulars).

14 - Screw hardwood (maple) cleat to bottom board.

15 - Machinist's vise is mounted on bench corner to allow access from many angles.

16 - A nice sharp draw knife does almost all of the shaping.

17 - Make lots of chips, shards and shavings!

18 - The draw knife can take off razor-thin slices.

19 - Shaping is complete - all done with draw knife so far..

20 - Smooth with the block plane - it is always tangent to the curves so avoids digging or hollowing.

21 - Bake the branding iron in the Defiant until it glows.

22 - Burn it deep. Rock it slightly left and right and up and down.

23 - Orbital sander with 40 grit smooths everything nicely for now.




"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."


A. Pope

Last edited by:

Chuck J: Apr 14, 2013, 5:24 AM
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Steve's pictures and text part 2 In reply to
24 - Pad table and set drill press depth - about 1/2" - on a 1" Forstner bit.

25 - I clamp my shop vac intake to the table to get most of the chips. Some need help finding the vac.

26 - Drill perimeter first - just go a safe depth for now. Drill center to full depth.

27 - Rock the bottom board up on its side to drill around the edges.

28 - Bottom board is finished.

29 - Mark neck perimeter and angle of the head.

30 - Mark the edge of the tail.

31 - Mark the"stern" of the bottom board on the body.

32 - Start shaping the body with the draw knife.

33 - Use the gouge around the neck - but leave plenty of "extra" for finer carving later.

34 - Use the gouge to hollow out between the primaries and the tail "deck".

35 - Hollow under the tail with the gouge.

36 - Refine the neck area with a knife - but still leave some extra stock.

37 - Check for "the look".

38 - Mark a reference line on outside of neck twist.

39 - Mark center line on front of neck (even though it's facing the stern....)

40 - Hollow more closely under tail with a coarse rasp.

41 - Lay out wings, tail, side pockets, et cetera.

42 - Sand with coarse grit to final shapes.

43 - Lay out lines for finer relief carving - with smaller tools.

44 - I use Warren Cutlery gouges and parting tools and my trusty X-acto # 22.

45 - Lay out detail areas once again!

46 - Sand to 150 grit. I use coarse and fine riffler rasps along with sandpaper to smooth beneath primaries, at top of side pocket, et cetera.

47 - High-tech "finger gauge" was used to check thickness during hollowing.

48 - Wall is thinner near hole for head screw - the only fastener in the bird.




"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."


A. Pope

Last edited by:

Chuck J: Apr 14, 2013, 5:24 AM
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Steve's pictures and text part 3 In reply to
49 - I use 3 escutcheon pins - solid brass - to keep body halves from sliding during glue-up.

50 - Press them with pliers into the body (not the bottom board) fore and aft - leave them about 1/4" proud.

51 - Snip them off at an angle.

52 - Leave about 3/16 showing.

53 - Then press the 2 halves together - without glue - to check fit. Mark several reference lines around the perimeter.

54 - I use a single padded wood clamp held in my vise. Padding is wrapped with cellophane tape so epoxy will not stick.

55 - I use a marine epoxy thickened with colloidal silica (Cabosil).

56 - I mix to a consistency of mayonnaise.

57 - I drill a pilot hole into the head (slip hole has already been drilled through body).

58 - Spread glue thoroughly and generously on both head and neck area.

59 - Screw head to desired position then spread glue on both body halves.

60 - Clamp firmly - but don't go crazy - so glue eases out and joint appears tight all around perimeter.

61 - Scrape excess off with tongue depressor or putty knife but do not wipe aggressively with a rag because it could pull glue out of the joint. Let cure overnight.

62 - Shave perimeter with an older X-acto blade - no need to dull good edges for this job.

63 - Sand with coarse grit ACROSS the seam - to maintain body contours.

64 - Entire seam should be tight without any gaps.

65 - I leave the neck contours until last. It is the most challenging and the most satisfying. Make sure the curves look fair from every perspective.

66 - Neck view # 1.

67 - Whole bird - starboard view.

68 - Neck view # 2.

69 - Neck view # 3.

70 - Whole bird - port side. ready for sealer....




"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."


A. Pope

Last edited by:

Chuck J: Apr 14, 2013, 5:25 AM
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Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
Chuck~

Thanks for your persistence and willingness to do the drudge work!

Pat and Jon ~

Glad you enjoy!

All the best,

SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Quote Reply
Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
always nice to see someone elses processes steve, thanks for posting!

Are you going to finish it for us with the painting procedure?

https://www.facebook.com/...e=1&l=9abd3a64df
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Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
Again, Great job Steve. I like the idea of the brass nails to keep from things sliding when glueing up the halves.




Go grind some cork you'll feel better

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Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
Bill~

The painting is unlikely for this bird. I'm still learning how to use oils - so lots of experimentation will be going on. You'll probably just see the finished product on "Workbench"....

All the best,

SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
Mike~

The brass is esp. nice because - even though they should never come into play - they'll never corrode and they're soft enough to be sanded flush if they ever pop through.

BTW: I really like your Euro-Wigeon Avatar!

All the best,

SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
great tutorial, thanks for sharing
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Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
Steve, I just glued my first wood birds together and wish I would have known about the brass nail trick. I had issues with the halves slipping and was thinking of a way to help. I will use that tip on the next few I do.

I also learned a few pointers from the head tutorial you did. Thanks again.

R.C.
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Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
R. C.

Glad I could help!

All the best,

SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Quote Reply
Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
Don't get too big of a head Steve....lol. At least 50 of the views are from me alone!! All kidding aside...I have found both of your tutorials to be most helpful. I do look at them several times a day. I am trying to visually imprint the process in my head! Thx -Jon

Disclaimer: I am an amateur. I also am very limited in the tools that I have. Please understand that I am quite aware of this, and know that there is probably an easier and more efficient way get the same result I have struggled to achieve. Please don't hesitate to share it with me. Thanks!
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Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
Jon~

Thanks - I've kept my old, smaller hat - just in case my head swelling ever goes back down....

Glad the pics are helpful. Chuck's original idea was that these tutorials would be posted on the Carving part of the site on a long-term basis.

All the best,

SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
Steve,

Beautiful work...One question I have is the wood type...I am not expert on woods but is that just white pine?

Regards,
Kristan
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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
Kristan~

Funny you should ask....

The head and the upper half of the body are from a piece of what is supposed to be Sugar Pine. A good friend bought it for me - and I know it was very expensive - but it has really strong grain; I cannot sand it truly smooth because it has hills and valleys between the hard and soft rings. I've carved Sugar Pine before and it was much more uniform. My guess is that it's really Western White Pine.

I use alot of Eastern White Pine - and never have the grain problem. I generally prefer it to basswood because: it sands more easily (basswood can "fuzz up" when sanded), smells better, and is more of a traditional wood for gunning birds.

The bottom board in the tutorial is a wonderful piece of basswood.

As it is for lots of carvers, finding a good supply of wood is a constant challenge.

All the best,

SJS
Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
Steve, great set of pictures. Thank you and chuck for taking the time.
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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
Awesome tutorial! Thanks for putting it up. I learn a few different techniques each time I read one of these.
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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
wow thanks for being such a great contributor to the site.
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Re: Body Carving Tutorial - Steve Sanford In reply to
Nice
D Monet
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Re: Steve's pictures and text part 1 In reply to
Great overall photo quality and ease of explanation.


Terry