Relief Wood Carving Canada Goose Project, Part One

lsirish-008-0863Step 9: V-cutting the wing separation

A simple three-stroke chip cut will free the v-shape of background wood between the wing tips.

Using your bench knife or chip carving knife make one cut along one side of the v-area, slanting the knife towards the opposite side of the v.




Turn your knife and cut the second side of the v, slanting this cut towards the first. The third cut is made between the wing tips, slanted towards the wing, creating a triangle shaped chip.





Step 10: Making a depth gauge

Carry your stop cut and round gouge cuts along the background area above the goose’s head and into the areas of open space in the cattail leaves. For the tight areas in the leaves use a small round gouge or u-gouge veining tool. At this point in the work I am dropping the area next to the goose to about 1/4″ deep. The background is sloped from a high area along the routed edge down to that 1/4″ depth.A depth gauge can be made from any stiff piece of paper, index or stock card, or from the lightweight cardboard of a cereal box. Cut the cardboard into a strip 1″ wide by 3-4″ high. Place one narrow edge of the cardboard on the table next to your plaque. By laying a ruler across the surface of the plaque you can mark on the cardboard the thickness of your wood. That reference mark is the top pencil line on my depth gauge.Make a second pencil line one-half the thickness of your plaque on the depth gauge. This is the second or bottom pencil line on my gauge and marks the deepest point that I plan to carve into the wood.I usually cut a notch into my gauge so that part of the bottom pencil line can sit on any uncarved area of my work with an angled point for the carving area of the depth gauge.  Since our gauge is cardboard it is easy to make pencil notes for different depths throughout the carving.

LSIrish-013-0884Step 11: Using a ruler with your depth gauge

As I am working to rough cut my background wood down to level I have worked into the v-shape between the neck and front wing. To check the depth in this area I can place a ruler across the uncut surface of the wood and then compare my depth gauge to that ruler.



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