Tiki Chess Set, Beginner’s Carving Project

irish_tiki_0051Step 20: Mark two half-circles into the sides of the face, starting at the top edge of the eyebrow ridge and running to the side of the mouth. With a v-gouge cut a v-trough along these lines.

Use your bench knife to lower the wood on the side of these v-gouge lines on the outside edge of the face. Round over the raised edge of these half-circle decorations using the bench knife.


irish_tiki_0054Step 21: My favorite v-gouge is from the micro set made by Ramelson. It is a very small – 1/16″ – v-gouge that makes a narrow shallow cut. While I have it on my table I am cutting along each of the stop cuts in the chess piece. This cleans to lines of any remaining wood fibers and gives all of the edges a neat, trimmed finish.



irish_tiki_0055Step 22: The main carving on the face is complete so this is a good time to continue with a quick clean up. I use 220-grit sandpaper, small rifflers, and foam core fingernail files to dress out my carvings. Foam core fingernail files can be cut with scissors to make small stiff sanding boards for tight spaces. When the sanding step is finished I use either an old toothbrush or stiff paint brush to remove the sanding dust.



irish_tiki_0056Step 23: To create the nostrils I up-end a small round gouge. Holding the gouge at a 90 degree angle under the nose shelf cut a deep half-circle cut. Use your bench knife to slice along the top edge of this half-circle to remove the wood



irish_tiki_0057Step 24: With the facial featured finishes you have the basic steps, cutting strokes, and shapes used in Tiki carving. In the photo you can see two Tikis chess pieces – the one we just carved and a second sample. Note that both use the exact same carved shapes, just a few changes as adding a lower eye lid, carving the upper teeth, and adding a half-circle decoration at the brow makes the second sample a totally new Tiki.


Celtic knot pattern religious cross patterns by Lora S IrishCeltic Crosses and Panels
Everyone loves Celtic patterns with their intrigue knot work. Well here is a pattern package devoted to just this theme. Includes Celtic Crosses and panels for both the experienced and beginning carver … check out the “Book of Kells” crosses for Saint Mathew and Saint Peter.


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  1. Pingback: Wood Carving Techniques | LSIrish.com

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