Quick Wood Carving & Pyrography Clamps

Quick Wood Carving & Pyrography Clamps

My Dad, an avid wood worker and gun stock carver, always insisted that nails and screws were only little clamps to hold the wood together until the glue dried!  Words of wood wisdom.

Glue is the agent that gives any joint its strongest bond.  But for the best joint the wood pieces need to be clamped tightly until that glue is thoroughly dried – for many wood glues that is at least 24 hours.

But what do you do when your wood, or gourd shape does not fit any of your regular wood clamps and you don’t want to use nails or screws?

Let’s look at a few quick clamps that can be made out of common household items and that can be adjusted to fit any size or shape.

 

This is a set of 3 pound molds for handmade soap
that I was ‘quickly’ throwing together – too big for my
small wood clamps, but perfect for this Today’s Carving Tip!

 

Low tack masking tape makes a great, disposable clamp.  Available in many widths, up to 4″, the tape can be wrapped multiple times around your project to make a tight tension on the joint.  Because it is low tack it does not leave glue residue to the project surface, which is wonderful when working gourd art.

2 Large rubber bands can be purchased from most office supply stores, usually by the pound box.  They come in a variety of lengths and can be used over and over again.  Look for extra wide bands when you go shopping, 1/2″ to 1″ wide bands are available and provide greater strength.

3 Bungee cords can be ganged to become a flexible clamp for your work.  I use smaller bungee cords, and simply lock one to another until I have a nice tightness.  Spacer blocks, as the  1 1/4″ basswood carving block shown here, can now be slid beneath the bungee cords to give you the tightest pressure.

4 Zip ties have become an every day item around the house and they use as wood clamps is invaluable.  Gang zip them, tighten them a little at a time so each tie is even, and simple cut them off when you are done.

5 Butcher’s string is thick, cotton, two to three ply twist cord which is perfect for really odd shapes, such as a gourd art project.   Wrap the string around your project and tie as tightly as possible.  Repeat, so that your clamp has several independent strings tied around the joint.  Working one string at a time, slide a popsicle stick, tongue depressor, or 1/4″ or wider dowel rod under the string.  Gently twist the stick to wrap the string around the stick’s center.  When you have the string as tight as you can twist secure the stick with a small clamp or with several clothes pins.

Next time you are cleaning those kitchen drawers or odd boxes, make up a quick clamp kit to keep in your wood, gourd, or pyrography studio – on hand and ready to go.

Wood Carving Free Projects, Lora Irish Books

Wood Carving Free Projects, Lora Irish Books

 

 

cane, walking stick, and wizard wand carving
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, Introduction

Wood Carving Walking Sticks – Adding Extras
Wood Carving Walking Sticks – Common Tree Species
Wood Carving Walking Sticks – Harvesting
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, Gluing Your Joint
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, How to Clamp Your Cane Handle
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, How to Join Your Cane Handle
Wood Carving Walking Sticks, Working with Bamboo
Free Mountain Man Cane Carving Pattern

 

 

Twistie Stick Snake Carving by Lora Irish

Relief Carving Workshop by Lora S. IrishTwistie Stick Snake Cane Carving, Day 5
Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving, Day 4
Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving, Day 3
Twistie Stick Snake Cane Carving, Day 2
Twistie Stick Snake Carving Free Project
Walking Stick and Cane Handle Joinery
Wood Carving Walking Sticks

 

 

free walking stick wood carving project
Introduction to Cane Carving

Wildlife Carving in ReliefThe Basic Construction Used In Cane Carving
The Basic Joinery Used In Cane Carving
Adding a Leather String Grip to your Cane Carving

 

 

 

 


Four Methods to Cutting a Wooden Spoon Blank

Spoon, Fork, and Ladle Styles for Wood Carving
The Art of Spoon Carving by Lora S. Irish
Wood Carving a Basic Wooden Spoon
Styles of Wood Carved Spoons
Welsh Love Spoons
Welsh Love Spoons Introduction
Basic Cutting Techniques
Carving A Chain and Ball
Ball and Cage Carving

 

 

Lora S Irish blog Site Map
Wood Carving Fish Decoysfinishing and paintinf techniques for wood

Sun Fish Decoy
Ice Fishing Decoy Gallery Two
Ice Fishing Fish Decoy Gallery

 

 


Mule Deer Relief Carving Free Project by Lora Irish
Working in Levels – Mule Deer Relief Wood Carving Project
Shaping the Mule Deer – Mule Deer Relief Wood Carving Project
Wood Burning the Mule Deer Details
Dry Brush Painting – Mule Deer Relief Wood Carving Project

 

 

 

Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project
North American Wildlife Patterns for the Scroll Saw by Lora S IrishRelief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project, Part One
Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project, Part Two
Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project Part Three
Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project Part Four

 

 

 

Tiki Chess Set by Lora Irish

Great Book of Fairies by Lora S Irish

Tiki Chess Set, Beginner’s Carving Project


Classic Carving Patterns by Lora S IrishRussian Birch Bark Carving

 

 

 

101 Artistic Relief Patterns by Lora S IrishAltered Art Wood Carving

 

 


Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 3
Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 2
Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 1

 

Chip Carving
Free Chip Carving Wood Carving Pattern
Free Chip Carving Projects by L S Irish
Back to the Basics of Wood Carving
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carving – Sampler Layout Pattern
Chip Carved Chess and Game Board
Chip Carving – Straight-Wall, Curve-Wall, Free Form
Chip Carving – Cutting Triangle and Square Chips
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Seminar
Free Chip Carving Pattern
Sharpening Your Chip Knives
Positive and Negative Space in Chip Carving
Chip Carving Shortbread Cookies
Sharpening Your Chip Knives


Carving the Relief Wood Spirit

Wood Grain with Acrylics and Oil Stain
Dry Brush and Rouging the Wood Spirit Face

 

 

 

 

 

More Technique and General Instructions

 

 

 

 

Wood Carved Ice Fishing Decoys

Wood Carved Ice Fishing Decoys

During the  America Depression ice fishing decoys were a major way to put food on the table.  Today they are a fun, delightful carving subject that lends themself to brilliant coloring.  This post will look at a coloring/painting technique called Rouging, as shown on our middle red-orange metallic goldfish.

Below are three samples of ice fishing decoys, all worked off the general body shape of a comet goldfish.  Measuring between 6″ x 4″ to 7 1/2″ x 4″, worked in basswood, the top fish is sprayed with a copper metallic finish.  Our second fish has been roughed using oil paints and linseed oil over the same copper metallic, and the bottom fish is painted using craft acrylics over a lime green spray base.

 

Ice decoys were made from what ever materials the carver had on hand.  A scrap of wood, maybe an old license plate or piece of scrap metal for the fins, and roofing nails for the eye; these decoys are a major part of American folk art.

My carved samples are worked in basswood for the body shape.  The fins are cut from 30 gauge copper sheeting, which can easily be cut using a pair of craft scissors.

To insert the fins into the body I use my shading tip of my wood burning tool on my hottest temperature setting to literally burn a thin trough into the decoy.  While I have my burning unit on the table I can add small details to the body as scales, center lines, and even cross hatch patterns.

Remove any burned dust from your fin troughs then insert and set the copper fins with super glue.  To fill in the small gap between the burned trough and the metal fins I use Liquitex Modeling Paste – an air-dry polymer mixture that dries extremely hard without shrinking.   You can see the white line of modeling paste between the top fin and body, below.

After the decoy was thoroughly dry, sanded and dusted, I gave the fish two light coats of copper metallic spray paint.  Allow that primer layer to dry for several hours. I used t he spray paint as my base to avoid any brush strokes that might come from a hand-brushed primer.

Rouging is worked over a heavily antique project or a metallic base using artist oil paints, boiled linseed oil, and gloss acrylic spray sealer.

Place a small amount of each oil paint on a palette – I am using lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange, and cadmium red.  Oil paints are transparent colors that have no white, black, or gray base.  So as we work the color of the paint will clearly allow the color and sheen of the metallic spray to show through.

1  Lightly dampen your ox-hair brush in boiled linseed oil.  Blot as much of the oil off the brush as you can.  Next, pick up a very small amount of color on your brush tip.  I like to rub the color into the tip on the same area of paper towels as I just blotted the oil from my brush.

2  Gently rub one coat of linseed oil thinned color onto each area of your project.  I use a circular motion where the brush just barely touches the fish … just like applying your make-up rouge.  You should barely be able to see any color application with this first coat.  Let the oil paint dry for about 15 minutes.

3  Now, give your fish a light coat of gloss acrylic spray sealer.  Let the sealer dry for about 1/2 hour.

4  Repeat steps 1 through 3 over, and over, and over again.  And now repeat some more.

With each repeat you add an extremely thin layer of transparent oil color followed by a layer of gloss shine all on top of your metallic base.  The decoy below has about 8 to 10 coats at this stage.

 

The finished technique gives you this deep layering of bright color, sparkle and shine, that also allows the metallic sheen to come through the work.  This is similar to Chinese lacquer ware or enameling, in its effect.

For a little contrast I did add solid acrylic black eyes, black and white dots along the spine, and a little splatter of metallic gold paint to the fin ends.  With one last coat of gloss spray sealer this little bit of folk art is ready to hang.

 

 

 

Free Chip Carving Wood Carving Pattern

Free Chip Carving Wood Carving Pattern

You can add color and paint to your chip carving projects to create a vintage look to your wood carving.  This is especially effective for chip carving projects that developed minor flaws as chip outs, double cuts, and wobbly lines.   Begin by painting a primer coat of acrylic craft paint to your entire project.  Here I am using a loose mix of ochre, mustard, and white to give my primer coat variations in tones.

Chip Carving E-Project at ArtDesignsStudio.com

FREE CHIP CARVING WOOD PROJECTS

removable spray adhesive chip carving patternSharpening Your Chip Knives
Positive and Negative Space in Chip Carving
Chip Carving Seminar
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving – Cutting Triangle and Square Chips
Chip Carving – Cutting Straight-Wall, Curve-Wall, Free Forms
Chip Carved Chess and Game Board
Chip Carving – Sampler Layout Pattern
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carving Shortbread Cookies

 

Individual motif areas of your chip carving can be painted in complementary colors to emphasis the change in the chip shapes, depth, and design.  Again, note that since we want a vintage look I am not working towards a solid, opaque coloring anywhere on the chip carving plaque.

Allow the base acrylic color to dry thoroughly.  You can at this point give your plaque several very light coats of spray sealer, which limits how much of the oil stain can grab into the wood.  For my project I applied one coat of burnt umber oil paint mixed half and half with boiled linseed oil.

With a clean cloth, wipe off the oil stain working with the grain direction of your wood.  You can dampen your cloth with turpentine to remove any excessively dark stain on the high areas of the chip carving.

 

Let your stain coat dry completely.  This can take several days depending on how thick the oil is in the deep chip cuts.  Using 220-grit sandpaper lightly begin to sand your chip carving.  The sandpaper will clean the high ridges between the chip cuts and distress the large, un-carved areas, creating a wonderful vintage look.

Clean the sanding dust with a tach cloth and apply your favorite finish.

This little chip carved fish decoy is found in our
Whittle Fish Decoy Carving E-Project, and in
Finishing Techniques for Wood Crafters.

 

Wood Burned Twine Box Mouse

Wood Burned Twine Box Mouse

Paper Mache Wood Burning Pyrography Project

I use little bits and scraps of twine all the time in the studio.  But after an hour of searching for my current twine ball I decided it was time to make something specific just to keep that bit of string easy to locate.

 

Supplies:

4″ wide heart-shaped paper mache box

Walnut Hallow Creative Woodburner

some 1/4″ and 1/2″ ribbon

some glue

a white colored pencil

bench knife

a bamboo skewer

a small ball of twine or cordage

 

A few ovals as my guidelines, made with a #4 soft pencil, create my mouse’s face and ears.  Working with my ball-tip pen and as hot a setting as the Walnut Hallow will take I began the burn.  Paper, especially paper mache, needs a high setting to burn both the paper and the glue content of the mache.

White colored pencil highlights her eyes, nose, and a few of the long hairs inside her ears.

After the burn was complete I used my bench knife to cut a small 1/8″ diameter, hole just above her ear, through the heart box lid.  Next, using my ball-tip pen on its highest setting I cleaned the sides of the hole by burning around the cut edge.

Now I grabbed a bamboo skewer that fits the hole I just created.  I wrapped a 1/4″ ribbon into a bow around the skewer, added a little glue to just the ribbon, and drop the skewer into the box lid hole.  The skewer holds the ribbon in place while the glue sets.  While that is drying you can add a 1/2″ wide ribbon along the outside edge of the box lid to add a little more sparkle.

After the glue on your ribbon has dried, gently remove the skewer.  Put your twine ball inside the box.  Thread the edge of the twine through the box lid hole, leaving about a 6″ tail.  Loosely tie the tail twine in a simple knot and move the knot against the box bow.

Your twine end will stay in place, and be ready to give you that next piece of twine scrap that you need.

Quick, easy, and fun …