What I started with - a tulip poplar stump
Where I last left off before the chainsaw took a leave of absence
When we left our subject, he/she was getting a nice set of puffy lips. I'm working now on getting some appropriate scaffolding arranged so I can get up higher to carve around the head and eyes. I can't just prop a ladder against the stump, because then I'll have to reach around the ladder, and that's not safe. I have some old tires and wheels (being a car guy, I have too many old tires and wheels, but we won't dwell on that fact).
Anyway, I thought I could stack the wheels and then stack lumber between them to get me up higher. I will probably use them somehow, but now trying one of these ladders that you can fold in different ways and see if that will give me a sturdy perch for carving higher up. So far, the ladder is working, and I'm using it and a tire stack to stand on.
Conditions were less than ideal. It's cold, and very windy, and the wind loves to blow saw dust into my face, despite the safety gear I'm wearing. The sun was in my eyes, and the dust mask, eyeglasses, facemask combo fogs up my glasses frequently. But, I spent about 90 minutes with the saw, and it's cutting a lot better. Funny what a tune up and blade sharpening by professionals will do for you.
So, here are the current shots. I've been whittling away at the lower lips and the gap between the lips.
I also did a lot of carving along the edge of the nose, and also along the side of the face to cut away more excess.
I noticed I've started cutting one eye opening higher than the other, but I kinda like that expression.
On another day, after my tired arms had recovered, I used the tripod ladder to get high enough to start whittling away around the top of the head. As you can see, I'm cutting parallel lines vertically and horizontally, and also diagonally. I'm trying to watch how deep the saw goes, but that's pretty tough to be consistent with when you're standing on a ladder with a deadly chainsaw!
Once I get a bunch of cuts made, I shut off the chainsaw and use a 24-inch pry bar to get between segments and pry them out one by one. It's slow going, but I will just work on it as I find the time and keep chipping away. I'm hoping to have it pretty far along by spring.
UPDATE: A big thanks to Pam over at Retrorenovation.com for featuring this silly project! And welcome any first time visitors! I'm still mastering the intricacies of some of the more subtle blog linking tools available to me, but here's a quick link back to earlier posts on the stump carving topic. I'll have another stump update soon.