: Caring, carving question


MissGulch
Mar 9th, 2008, 11:31 AM
A tree is being taken down from my property because it has been growing too close to the house, possibly threatening the foundation. It also drops crap onto the roof and gutters constantly, so this has been a problem.

Two guys I hired will finish the work this week and I will be left with a large stump because they don't have stump grinding equipment. I thought it would be nice to carve my parents' names and a pretty graphic onto the stump as a memorial, and add a bit of colouring and shellac it.

Does anybody have advice on how I can proceed with this little project? If Macdaddy can have his back carved, I can have my stump carved. :)

I have no experience in this area.

Dr.G.
Mar 9th, 2008, 12:14 PM
Miss G., that is a great idea. I had the same problem with the house just before this one, and a March ice storm made my decision as to whether to take the tree down or not. I hollowed out the base of the trunk, which was about 4 feet off of the ground, and made a winter bird feeder out of it. Still, your idea sounds better.

eMacMan
Mar 9th, 2008, 12:36 PM
I love the idea although I believe shellac is more of an indoor finish. Whatever you use be sure it has lots of UV blockers. If you get this together please post photos.

kps
Mar 9th, 2008, 12:56 PM
How good are you with a chainsaw? ;)

I always wanted to do something like that. Do a search for "stump carving" on google. Lot's of links and ideas.

After you're finished with the chainsaw, you'll need some finishing tools, so go HERE (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/index.aspx?c=1) and click on "Carving".

MissGulch
Mar 9th, 2008, 01:08 PM
How good are you with a chainsaw? ;)

Not terribly good, and truthfully I'd be skeered! :eek:

Once I have pressing repairs out of the way I may put a query up at Craigs List and have somebody over to do it for pay. I want it to look nice; it's supposed to be a memorial. Stencil outlines for the lettering was one method I considered, but fixing it if I messed up would be nearly impossible.

I guess liquid resin over the finished job would work OK.

kps
Mar 9th, 2008, 02:26 PM
Hmmm, not sure about the finish as the roots are still in the ground and the stump will remain "alive" for years. Sealing it with polymers and resins may rot it from within, but I could be wrong. Perhaps, some sort of natural oil finish, like linseed or tung oil.

ErnstNL
Mar 9th, 2008, 09:11 PM
KPS is correct, the wood is still "green". If it's a maple, it's harder to kill than dandelion.:D
If you can, wait a year to let it dry out, then carve it up. It's going to split and crack as it drys.
A glossy weatherproof finish would be spar varnish. Really durable and made for marine applications.
Oil based stains will need touch ups every couple of years.

rgray
Mar 9th, 2008, 09:32 PM
Since you can never seal the underside of the stump, you are probably best to consider no finish at all. Moisture is going to come up from below no matter what you do and lift off anything you put on. Leave it natural and let nature do magic - the wood will colour and age beautifully, it will grow lichens, fungi and develop subtle colours.

As for carving it, get a couple of decent chisels and a good carver's mallet (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=30005&cat=1,41504). Practice a little and you will find the cutting quite controllable... Enjoy. The kinds of projects can be very satisfying if done yourself - less so when done by a contract 'artist'.

Greenman
Mar 9th, 2008, 10:59 PM
How about appeasing the gods... particularly the Green Man with a likeness

Untitled Document (http://www.andy-hancock.com/contact.htm)

5/27/03, Summer Calendar - Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 34 (http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/v49/n34/sumcal.html)

..he'll look kindly upon you if you do... :D

MissGulch
Mar 9th, 2008, 11:25 PM
Oooh, the person who did the old man carving has a gift. For the record, the wood is pine.