Saturday, June 23, 2012

A commission/trade

Sometimes it seems what we want does not have to include money. This wood carving was created as a commission for a new found friend. We both had something each other wanted and we decided that a barter was in order.
This is one of my Santa ornaments that I like to carve. It was made specifically for my friend. When it arrived he was more than pleased with his new heirloom! Carved in basswood, And done in my usual finishing ways. Painted with acrylic washes and given a coat of Howard feedNwax. Hope you enjoy taking a peek at this guy :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stump boy #2

Hi folks,
Here is the next and last numbered Stump boy in the series. He is #2. I decided to only do 2 as the launcher of these carvings. This allows me to have total freedom on making and even remaking one if someone would like to buy one. As before this series is tons of fun since the imagination can run wild with ideas!
 He was carved from a 2 inch square block of basswood. He stands approx 3 3/4 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches at it's widest point. Painted with acrylics and followed up with watco danish oil then sealed with Deft and a final coat of Howards feedNwax.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stump Boys

My latest creation is a series I am selling on my Etsy account
This is a super fun series, And I may continue it after the numbered series is done. There are so many ideas you can do with such a project. It allows the creative juices to flow. Wood carving is about the adventure not so much the destination, as a good friend told me :) And every carving I do takes me on to another adventure allowing me to express my thoughts and ideas through the wood I use.

Wood carving is only limited to the imagination of the carver. Each piece of wood is a blank slate waiting to be carved out, and I think that is why I love carving wood. No two pieces are ever exactly the same.
This piece was carved out of basswood and stands approx 3 3/4 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches wide.
Sealed with Watco danish oil, then painted with acrylic washes and finished with deft and Howard feedNwax.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I am back!

Hi folks, Sorry I have been away from carving for the past week or so. But I am back now with a new update. This little guy I carved the other night and just got him painted today. I just love doing wood spirits. He stands 3 inches tall and is 2 inches wide. Hope ya like him. Stay tuned as I will be adding another carving I done in the next couple days. He is part of a Series I am doing Called Stump Boys. Remember if you have any questions or things you would like me to write about please send me an email with the title Seans Blog. Thanks for stopping by.
Have a Fantastic Day and God Bless!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cool tools

Every once in a while you run across a tool you just can't live without! Be it a wood carving tool wood working etc..
Well I have found such a "tool" The one thing many newer carvers, wood workers have problems with is sharpening their tools. Be it knives, gouges, v-tools etc... I had a horrid time when I first started out trying to get my knives and other carving tools sharp, and keeping them sharp.  Now I am not saying this tool will make you a super sharpener or honer, but it sure will help in a gentle kind of way.

Let me introduce you to Tomz Knife Massager. This machine runs at 34rpm! So you never have to worry about burning the blade/metal, thus ruining the temper. The tool is reversible which is really cool! The tool comes in two different shaft types. Dual and single. Each machine also comes with  1200, and 600 grit diamond discs, leather stropping disc, and a tube of the Tormek honing compound.
 I am not affiliated with the maker of the Tomz machine, this is just my humble review of a excellent sharpener/honer.
I use this all the time, especially to hone my blades as I carve. Want to get rid of all those little fuzzys when carving? Well a sharp blade will help you get there. Toss a little Tormek on the leather strop disc, spread it around, and get to stroppin! I found I do not need to add compound each time I use the machine, it will last a bit on the disc. I usually add new once the leather starts to turn black, which is the metal transferring to the leather from the blade. When the blade gets to the point of needing touched up just use the 1200 grit wheel. For tough nicks and breaks, or a blade that just needs to be redone, use the 600 and then move to the 1200. 
 So, if you are in the market for a sharpener/honer, contact Tom and get ya one of these excellent machines.
Her is a link to the you tube video where he shows a demo of the machine.
and here is the Email to contact Tom. Please make sure to put Tomz sharpener in the email header.  Just copy and paste. 
Below is the WCI  classified where he sells the most times.
 Hope you give it a look, you wont be disappointed.
There ya have it my 2 cents worth on an amazing simple machine.
Sean Reynolds

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Here is my latest wood carving. I decided to try a Wizard this time 6 1/2 inches tall be 3 inches wide. I like how he turned out, I tried a different approach on the beard and mustache, I think with some more practice this will be the way I try to do them from here on out. Any questions or comment feel free to shoot me an email at    make sure to put in the topic that is about wood carving. Thanks for looking!
Sean Reynolds

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New to carving? Or thinking of giving it a try?

It seems the more I read my favorite carving forums, the more I see new carvers asking what and where to get info on what type of carving to try, and what tools you should buy. Well let's set down and look into this a bit.
Types of carving... There are several types of wood carving out there. From Caricature, Flat plane, Relief, Chip, Realistic and so on. Each of these to me are fascinating, but I do not have the interest to pursue them all. When I got into carving I decided to research and see what types interested me.
 After a LOT of research and looking at finished carving pictures I chose Caricature. I liked the fact that I could be semi realistic and also add caricature aspects to each carving or vise versa. So now that I had my type of carving I was interested in, next came tools. Wow what a mistake I made on this part. I rushed in my excitement to the first online carving store I could find. Which by the way is an excellent store.
 And bought a bunch of tools, not knowing what I would need ahead of time. What a mistake !! Too often new carvers will get excited and rush off to buy those tools! What you end up doing is buying huge amounts of tools thinking, well I will use them all. But how do you know what you will need before you even start? You don't!

Let's explore this a bit more. Wood carving can be a tremendous amount of fun with the right tools, or a huge headache after you realize you spent hundreds of dollars on tools for a hobby you find out is not for you. So when starting out think small. Buy as good a quality of knife as you can easily afford.
 Some great brands are Helvie , Ralph long, Drake, To name a few. On a side note Drake also makes some excellent gouges as well, and as of this writing is my preferred brand of gouges. I am in no way affiliated with Drake knives, I just like the look and the quality of the tools and how they fit my hand, as I use mostly palm gouges.

 Which leads right into my next topic. Gouges, V tools, Veiners etc...
Let me start off by saying there is darn near a gouge for just about every cut you want to make in a carving, and if there is not one you will find the gouge that can do it for you with a little ingenuity.
Now gouges are not for everyone. My teacher Don Mertz rarely uses gouges. And if you study his work would swear that he uses them all the time. I can vouch that he does not :) He is just that good with a knife. Although Don rarely uses gouges, I find myself really enjoying using them. I like the versatility they give me. There are some pros and cons to gouges though.
Great help for certain cuts
Great way to outline
some work as good as knives (V tools)
come in a vast amount of sizes and shapes
really enhance details to clothing, beards, hair etc...
This is just a small list of pro's, as I am sure there are many more, I just can't think of them at this time :)

Difficult to resharpen. and hone until you get the hang of it.
Price, Some tools can get very expensive. But with the old adage you get what you pay for is really true in this case.
Addicting :) You can never seem to have enough f them. When you get to using these types of tools you will always see another that would help. ( maybe it's due to me being a tool addict)

As you can see the list is short. This is by no means the end all be all of a pro/con list. Just my opinion. But what I did find out is that by buying most "beginner/starter" gouge sets you do not get the tools you will use the most, so it is better to start out using the knife and if you get into a spot where you think, WOW if only I had a tool to help here? Well now you know what you want to buy and you go find it. And by doing this you save yourself a lot of money. Trust me on this.
However there are a few places that do sell a nice starter set of tools, but ask around before you buy.
Which leads to the last topic, forums. I myself only use one and it is  I have never really ran into a question that was not easily answered here. Either by asking it or just searching for old posts. Give it a try, it's a great place to hang out.
Well I hope this was some help to someone out there :) I will leave you with a post I made today to a new carver who is wanting to get into the hobby , but had no idea what he/she wanted to do.
 I think it is some good advice for someone thinking of getting into the hobby and not quite sure what to do.
 Hello Blue, First off welcome to the forums. As for what type of carving? You will get a lot of different answers there. You need to do some research and see what appeals to you. When I decided to get back into carving, I read a lot on this forum and also did some internet searches for pictures of various types of carvings. And once I found what I really liked I started to pursue it.
In these forums are different sections of the types of carving, Pyography, chip carving, relief and so on. Look inside them, read some posts and look at some pictures of completed works. This should help you decide what interests you.
Once you decide on a type of carving you want to go for, really research it, ask questions. And don't run out to the store and buy the first tools you see. Ask carvers, and search for threads on what types of tools you will need and what types people like. Again you will get a plethora of answers. But in the end you will have more knowledge on what you want to try.
Start out with a small amount of tools until you get used to them and carving. Then you will know more about what types of tools you feel you need to get the job done. And with that you will spend less money on tools you never use.
I hope this helps.

So if you read this blog and have more questions please feel free to email me and I will try to address them here. And I hope this helps someone out there who is wishing to get into the wonderful world of wood carving.