Laminating for High Relief Carving
By L.S. Irish
High Relief is one of the many areas that the carver can be both bold and dramatic. When planning your pattern establish not only how long and wide your blank will need to be but also how deeply you wish to carve into the wood. Many carving woods can be purchased in 8/4 thickness or two inches. Basswood can be obtained up to six inches thick. If your design will need more depth than your blanks provide, you will want to laminate two or more boards together. Lamination simple means to glue two or more boards into one.
Make sure that the board surfaces are clean from any dust before you begin. Apply an even thin coating of white wood glue to the meeting surfaces then stack the blocks into position.
Place a scrap board that is slightly larger than you wood block on top of the stack. The stacking board provides protection to your blank from clamp marks that can be made during this process.
Clamp the entire stack to the work table, use a clamp every few inches to give even coverage to the entire surface of the work. Work from clamp to clamp to slowly increase the pressure.
Do not completely close one clamp and then go to the next, this will give you uneven pressure over the work and weaken the glue surface.
Allow this to rest and dry for twenty four hours. Treat the newly glued boards as one unit when you begin to carve.