Saturday, January 15, 2011

Another Tiki Stump Carving Update

So between Christmas and New Years, since I was off I spent at least an hour every morning working on the tiki carving.  The saw, while fixed, is still not quite tuned right.  It will start up and run and cut for a while, but many times it won't restart and I have to let it cool down. The next day, it starts right up.  I think it's an idle adjustment problem, and I've been tweaking the idle to try and get it to work regularly. It's working a little better, and I'm using compressed air to clean around the air cleaner regularly too.  I mention this just to let you know that I am neither an expert chainsaw maintainer, nor a stump carver.  But I'm having fun and learning, and I'm not afraid to make a mistake.  Anyway, here are a few more recent photos of the progress.

I'm gradually getting the area around the eyebrows and top of the nose the way I want it.

A little trimming above the lower eyebrow - I like the raised eyebrow look, so it's staying.

The top of the head is also starting to take shape.  Once I get the top of the head shaped better, the top 5 inches or so will come off, there's some rot up there from the stump sitting untouched for a couple years, so I'm hoping I'll find solid wood further down from the top.

Here you can see that I'm removing a little from the sides of the face.  I haven't decided what if anything I'll do to the back of the carving.  I may leave it alone and just seal it to keep it from rotting. 

I haven't decided yet what I'll use to seal the carving when I'm done.  I don't want it to be too dark though.  I kinda like the amber shellac color that's on the wall panels of our camper, and I have some of that shellac left over, so I may test it on a piece of the wood to see how it looks.  If I don't like the shellac, I'll probably pick a stain color I like.

Finally, if you're at all interested in stump carving, here's a blog where the carver is obviously top notch!  Check out the indian chief that he carved recently.  Amazing!!!


  1. He's coming along great! How about colored stains or paints? I think he would look awesome with color!

  2. Color is definitely in the mix, Amber. I'm working on a couple of possibilities and maybe a surprise or two. Stay tuned!

  3. sweet!

    you'd want to seal it with something, but i would advise against alot of color, you don't want this cool guy to look too much like a "party city" tiki...

  4. Thanks Johnny, I tend to do a lot of thinking before deciding on something as important as whether or not to color a tiki carving ;-)

    I went to publish your second comment, and blogger gave me an error message. However, through the miracle of cut and paste from my email, I do hereby paste your second comment withing this comment:

    Johnny Dollar wrote: i did a cursory search on flickr - if you search '"mai kai" garden tiki' you get lots of images if how they painted their tikis at the mai kai in ft. lauderdale. the mai kai is like the mecca of tiki. i like this guy -

    That Flickr link is interesting, I don't see me giving it that much color, but it's good to see an example. Thanks again for the interest and input!