Saturday, November 28, 2009

Carving A Pair Of Cowboy Boots – Part 8 – Finishing Up

As I’ve received several inquiries about where I got and get my Sand-O-Flex wheel and Brass Nameplates, here are the links:
Sand-O-Flex Wheel & Inserts:    I only use the 320 grit inserts.
Brass Plates:  I use size A-30 as it’s large enough to be seen but small enough to not dominate the carving.  They have a 3-4 day turnaround and I doubt if you’ll find a better or cheaper product.
Yipee!!  All done with this one and time to ride on down the trail to see what’s around the next bend.   Personally, I think this set of videos was a lot better than the one on Shifty.   I haven’t decided on the next project but have received lots of suggestions.  I want to keep the first videos fairly simple and easily accomplished by a beginning carver so things might be a little boring for you advanced whittlers but stick around…..things are sure to pick up. 
Anyway, I hope this has been worthwhile for you and that in some way it helped add a little more enjoyment into your carving.   As always your comments are appreciated especially when suggesting ways for me to improve any future projects.

Carving A Pair Of Cowboy Boots – Part 7 – I Get Preachy!

We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty with this video in that we finish up with the carving.  Also, for some reason I go off on the growing use of Vet tape.  But I think it’s a really important point to use the best available protection to keep from ending up in the Emergency Ward with a bad cut.  So if you think I’m going a little overboard on expressing my opinions about the many aspect of carving I’m afraid you’re just going to have to put up with them as I’m much to old to change.


Only one more post to go on this project.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Carving A Pair Of Cowboy Boots – Part 6

Carving A Pair Of Cowboy Boots – Part 5

Carving A Pair Of Cowboy Boots – Part 4

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Carving A Pair Of Cowboy Boots-Part 3 – Starting at the Bottom!

We finally get around to actually doing some carving!  I’m going to limit these videos to about 10 minutes as the upload time becomes quite long otherwise. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Carving A Pair Of Cowboy Boots-Part 2-Layout & Cutting The Blanks

With this video we wrap up the base and then, using our boot pattern, we layout the boots on the basswood block and cut them out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Carving A Pair Of Cowboy Boots – Part 1 – Making The Base-A New Video

Cowboy Boots

For our second video attempt I thought I would keep it pretty simple and redo an old project of a pair of Cowboy Boots. Little projects like this might seem unchallenging to some but they’re an excellent way to hone your skills and we all need to do that occasionally. This project will also show how to make a really nice base that will turn those simple boots into something really special.


I’m going to do this in reverse by showing how to make the base first as that’s really the most difficult part of this piece and even that’s pretty easy to do. I will be using some rather large shop tools that some might not have access to but even this hurdle should be easy to get around.


So, let’s get started! Here’s the first part:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Dayton Show 2009

This year's show in Dayton was well attended but they evidently left their wallets at home. Sales were way down for just about everyone. However, the ribbon count, at least for my booth, was pretty good. Here's a rundown of how I fared in competition:
The Ranch House Cook- First, Human Caricature
- Second, Best of Caricature Category
Goin' Courtin'- Second, Human Caricature
Johnny Reb- First, Caricature Figure over 15 inches
Black Hawk- First, Caricature Bust
The Horse Soldier- Second, Caricature Bust
No Swimming- Second, Caricature Group
Dave Stetson took First Place in the overall Caricature Category as well he should have. His piece of an old couple on a park bench was quite impressive.
There were some really fantastic carving in the show as there always are. I apologize for not having more photos. It was great to meet a lot of this Blogs Followers, WCI Forum members and other friends we don't see often enough.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This is the project I'm taking along to the show in Dayton to hopefully complete but also to use in explaining the various techniques I used in making the videos should someone happen by ande ask a question. I haven't glued anything together yet so it can be taken apart to show how the brim of the hat, it's crown and the head all go together.
Everything is packed up and ready for the trip east. Will be taking along a bunch of pieces that I exhibited last year as I haven't been able to carve that much this year. Still, I think I'll have a pretty good exhibt.
Special note: I've added a new link on the right to the Vimeo video host site titled ...."Out West Videos". Clicking on this link will give you access to all the videos I've done without having to search through the Blog to find the various posts. A DVD of these videos is in the works but it may be a while before it's available so stay tuned.
Anyway, I hope you can make it to the Dayton show cause I know it's going to be a good one. I also hope you like Tex......he's going to be a good one too.
Comments always welcome and more photos in the Gallery.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Pride of the South!

Having just completed a Union trooper I thought it best that I also do a Confederate one so here is the result. I tried to find the most colorful uniform I could to give it lots of color and I also incorporated the Southern flag to try another trick I thought of.
To make the flag and especially to get the folds to look natural I first Googled it, blew it up to a good size and then printed it out. After that I just folded it to what I thought looked best and then positioned it on my generic bust template to give me the shape to cut out. I think it worked out great as it certainly looks natural laying over his shoulder. There are a couple of photos of the flag pattern before and after I made the folds in the Gallery.
This Reb will accompany us to Dayton and hopefully a Southern sympathizer with some ready cash will stop by the booth and make an offer!
As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Carving A Cowboy Bust – Part 11 – Wrapping Things Up

Hooray!  We’ve finally arrived at the last post and the last video.   To me it seems this project has lasted about a year…not that it took long to do the actual carving, painting and the filming but because it took so long to upload things to the web. 


One thing I noted on this video is that I repeated part of the varnish section.  That’s okay as that step is one of the most important in getting a great finish on your carving.  Also, when I show how to make the eyes sparkle the video is kind of fuzzy as the camera couldn’t focus in close enough but I think it shows what I’m doing well enough for you to figure out the rest.  Hey……I’m just learning this video business!


So, I think this first experiment on doing an instructional video turned out pretty well with only a few minor hiccups.    It’s been fun making them so I’m sure there will be some future attractions down the trail.  I certainly hope you’ve enjoyed following along and always look forward to your comments.   I’ve put some still photos of Shifty in the Gallery.  Until next time.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Carving A Cowboy Bust – Part 10 – Paint!

Yes, I’m actually going to paint something!  Unfortunately, it will just be the head as the video camera ran out of juice just as we were getting ready to paint the body.  Not to worry!  both the body and the hat are pretty cut and dry compared to the work on the head so I think you will get the general idea of how I get the results I do by watching the color being applied to his noggin.


Carving A Cowboy Bust – Part 9-Burning & Paint

With the carving part of this project finished it’s time to prepare the bust  for the painting table.  To do this I’ll explain and show you how I burn in some detail lines to help with the painting and also make certain areas really stand out.   While I use a Burnmaster unit to do this I am in no way advocating this product.  Any pyrotechnic pen will do the same thing.    I also explain my painting setup and discuss the methods I use to get the results I’m after. 


As always, your comments are appreciated.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Horse Soldier - Finished

He dismounted long enough for me to take some more photos. Unfortunately, to get some light on his face I had to use more light than normal so his uniform appears much lighter than it actually is. The problem of the darker wood for the head actually worked out in a way that makes the carving look even better than it would have if the wood had been the same as the lower body. At least I think it does.
I have also included a page out of one of my notebooks which I used as a reference for the uniform. I didn't mean for the carving to be my version of John Wayne but from the comments so far a lot of you think it is. Thats okay with me as I admire him a great deal and certainly consider such comparisons as a compliment.
Anyway, I hope you like him. Like a lot of you I really like that hat and the gold braid really makes it "snap"! Lots of photos in the Gallery and your comments are always welcome.