Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas From Us Out West!

We wish you all a blessed Christmas.
Judy & Lynn Doughty

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse – Part 14 – The Final Touches

This is the last video of this project and in it we apply the final touches which will bring our horse alive in a scene where he’ll look right at home.   As I’ve said before the presentation of a piece is just as important, and sometimes more important, as the carving itself.   I think this is a good example of that.  Just a little extra work and a few minor tweaks have turned a simple carved horse into an impressive scene that easily stands above any that might be close by.   It’s the old “Elephant in the room” theory:  You just can’t ignore it!

Hard Luck Horse Ranch 001

So, I hope you enjoyed following along and I hope you’re as satisfied with your result as I am with mine.   As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse – Part 13 – Painting The Pony

Laying the carving tools to the side it’s time to get out the brushes and apply some color to our cayuse.   This one will be an Appaloosa with a white blanket.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sheepherders Wagon Gets A New Top

Judy got the canvas top sewn this morning so we attached it to the framework and rolled up the one side so the inside can be seen.  Still have to figure some type of coating to apply to give it some protection from dirty fingers.  I'm really pleased with it.  Now to get busy and finish the inner details and then it's on to the figures and the setting.
As always comments are welcome and appreciated.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse – Part 12 – Building A Gate

Ever build a wooden gate?  Well, here’s your chance!  While it might look a little involved for a caricature carving,  I like to do things the same way it would be done if it were done full size.  That way it looks authentic and our little gate will look just like it’s big brother out there on the ranch.    If you don’t have access to the tools to cut the wooden strips you can find the stock necessary at Hobby Lobby or a local hobby shop in the model airplane section.
Again, going through this much trouble to make a base and setting for the horse might seem a little overboard to some but believe me, it will pay dividends when that prospective buyer shows up at your display.  Horses don’t hang around long.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse – Part 11 – Making A Base

Aside from the minor hiccup with an old can of auto body putty, the process of making a base for the horse is an easy one.   While there are many ways to make a base I hope this video gives you some ideas on how to make your own.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sheepherders Wagon - All Done....At least the wagon part!

Added the Sheepherders hook to side this morning which was the final thing for the wagon part of this project.  Of course I still have to flesh out the interior and also add a few more objects hanging on the outside.
If you go to the gallery and compare the wagon before it was weathered to what it looks like now you can really see the importance of this step.  Now it looks like it just rolled into the studio from being out in the field for quite some time.  I used a light brown on the wheels first.  Drybrushing it pretty heavy where the spokes meet the rims and humbs.  Where the hubs meet the axles I used Dark Burnt Umber to indicate grease.  On the wagon box I used a very light tan lightly applied and then a little heavier around the corners or anywhere there would be wear.  The wagon makers name on the side box is authentic for the period and the area where it would have been used.  The chains for the front tongue came from some necklace jewelry I found at WalMart.  Oh, I figured out a way to hinge the front door by using short lengths of wire.  I just used a piece of old drop cloth for the temporary canvas cover.  Judy will have to sew the real one.  I will live it rolled up as shown so the inside can be viewed.
I think it really turned out well and am now glad I waited those past years before finishing it.  It's going to make a great anchor for the scene which, if it turns out how I visualize, will be a real winner.  As always your comments are welcome and appreciated and there are several more photos in the gallery.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sheepherders Wagon - Almost Road Ready!

It's starting to actually look like something! The thing that seems to be taking the most time with this project is me trying to remember just what I did when building earlier wagons.  At least the hard part is over with now.
This morning I added the steel rims to the wheels which gave them some extra bulk.  Prior to that they looked kind of puny.  The yellow paintwork is kind of bright but that will all be toned down once I weather everything to make it look well used.
I've got the scene already put together in my head so once I get this wagon finished the other characters should start to show up.  Naturally, a few sheep are involved.
As always, your comments are welcome.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse – Part 10 – Carving & Gluing On The Stirrups

With the stirrup blanks cut out we can now carve and attach them.  Guess what?  WE’RE DONE!  At least with the carving part.  We still have to paint this cayuse.  But before we do that we’ll put her in a scene which will add to her appeal when that buyer happens by.  After that it’s on to the paint table.

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse – Part 9 – Finishing The Tail & Laying Out The Stirrups

Putting the final touches on the horse we move on to laying out and cutting the blanks for the stirrups. 

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sheepherders Wagon - Carriage Framework & Stove

Managed to finish the upper carriage framework today along with the little "Go To Hell" stove.  I have no idea why the stove is called that but can imagine a few scenarios.  The ends are made from plywood and the canvas support strips are oak, steamed and then fixed in place.  The lower body is made from basswood.  Still trying to figure out a way to make the front door open and close.
So far it's looking pretty good.  The next fun part will be constructing the undercarriage and the wheels.  Once that's done it's on to the small details which will really flesh it out.
Lots of photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.  Tomorrow I hope to finish up the horses's head.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Sheepherders Wagon Project

This will be my next project for a while.  Believe it or not I started building this type of wagon about 3 years ago but lost interest and got involved with other things.  I did manage to complete the wagon box before putting it on the shelf and today I've been working on the front and back framework and some of the interior details.
The real reason that I'm posting this now is that I want it on record so as to force me to complete it.  I know it will make a great setting for a scene once the sheepherder shows up along with all his necessities.  Should be fun.   I'll post some photos tomorrow if I can get the upper framework completed.   As always any comments are welcome.   And don't worry.......we're still going to complete that horse!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse – Part 6 – Laying Out & Carving The Head

Carving the head will take a couple of videos to get it all in.  This is a long one….about 40 minutes.  In laying out the block  I thought I had a good idea that would have helped in the glue up but it didn’t work out so will save that one till some other time.   I show you another great book to have around when doing horses…here’s the link:  You can buy a new one or just pick up a used copy.  I’ve bought the used ones before and have never been sorry.  Saves quite a bit.  Anyway, good luck with the head!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse – Part 5 – Carving The Saddle

With this one we add the blanket and saddle to the horse.  It might sound difficult but I think you’ll find that it’s really quite easy.  Just do a little research, learn the various pieces of the saddle and you’ll have no trouble.  

Carving a Cowboy’s Horse – Part 4 – Rounding Out The Upper Body

Moving right along, in this video we round out the upper body in preparation for the saddle.  You have to be a little careful as you don’t want to remove too much wood.  Also, take a moment and review the muscle structure where the legs meet the body it will pay off when you do these areas.   In the next video we will lay out and carve the saddle and then move on to the head and tail.  Have fun.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Carving a Cowboy’s Horse – Part 3 – Carving the Legs & Glue-Up

At last!  Sorry for the long delay but the Dayton show has occupied my time for the past weeks.  Hopefully, with it now behind us we can get back to a more frequent upload schedule.


In this video we pretty well finish up with the legs and then proceed to glue the two halves together. 

Saturday, November 06, 2010

White Buffalo

This will be the last piece I'm able to finish before this years Dayton, Ohio woodcarving show.  I tried something new in attaching two shell ornaments to the top of his breastplate. This is one of the reasons I really like doing Native Americans is all the costume details you can associate with them.    He is mounted on a sycamore base.
I hope you have a chance to visit the Dayton show as it will really reinforce your interest in carving.  I'll be at my normal spot and hope you stop by for a visit.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Carving a Cowboy's Horse - Part 2 - Carving The Hoofs

In this one we use the two cutoffs to practice carving a hoof.  Better to make our mistakes on these pieces than on the larger blank.   While the hoofs are the most difficult part of this project, remember you have to carve 4 of them, I think you’ll find that they are really pretty easy to do.   


I apologize for the long gaps between videos but it’s fall and there are are a ton of leaves to rake and that Dayton show is just a couple weeks away. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Those Were Shining Times

I really like this old timer.  The paint really sets him off and just looking at him gives you a feeling of the good times during the height of the fur trapping period of our history.   The shirt beading is from a Sioux war shirt design and the little front possibles pouch is just something I made up.  The painting and shadows of the hair and beard gives a lot of flow and rhythm to the piece and the big floppy hat frames the piece just right.  Am I bragging?  Sure!  Why not!
I hope you like him too and there are more photos in the Gallery.  As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Carving A Cowboy’s Horse –The Video Series - Part 1 – Laying Out The Body

A number of you have ask that we do a Cowboy’s Horse so here we go.  This will probably be a pretty long series of videos stretched over a pretty long period so if you want to follow along you’ll have to have some patience.  The pattern for this horse is in the associated Gallery album.


This first video will show you how to lay out the body and cut out the first blank.  By clicking on “Horses” over on the right hand list will allow you to see the photographic series I did earlier.  Lots of material there. 

Like before, let me know what you think so I can tune the series to meet your needs.   Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shining Times

This one just sort of happened.  I needed something to do at the weekly Tuesday carving meeting so I made a quick run through some new photos laying next to my carving station and there he was.  He looks kind of plain at the moment but just wait till the beading starts appearing!  Not sure just what will be on his neck bag, probably some sort of Native American design.  He's also a little over sized standing at around 12" with the sycamore base.   It ought to be a really colorful figure.
My good friend Bob from Indiana will be coming down Monday for a couple days of carving.  This will be a test run to see someone can put up with me and I with them for several days of solid carving.  If it works out I'll give some more thought to that old Carving College idea of some time back.  
Anyway, this will probably be the last piece I can get finished before the Dayton show unless I get real enthused about something else.  I've been carving so much lately my chest is bruised!  And to add to that I super-glued my fingers together a while ago and had to cut them apart!  OUCH!

Hope you like him and there are more photos in the Gallery.  Comments welcome as always. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Billy Yellow Horse

Finally getting around to clearing a few things off the carving table.....Billy Yellow Horse being one of them.  I've done several similar figures of this pose in the past but this one is still different than all of those.  There are several more photos in the gallery and your comments are appreciated as always.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A New Part In His Hair!

I really like the way this Trooper turned out.  I think he's a "Classic" in that he reflects my best work in carving, painting and humor.  I'd also say originality but I'm sure there have been many other similar carvings with arrows through the hat so I'll pass that one by even though I think this guy is pretty original.
I used some epoxy to run a few beads of sweat down his forehead and if you look at the gallery photos you can see that detail a little clearer.  I did make one mistake though...........the buckle should be square with an embossed Eagle design vs. the USA one I used.  However, as I did this one setting downtown demonstrating carving at a local festival I didn't have my research material handy so I hope you'll give me a pass.
He stands about 10" tall with the base which is made from two pieces of   Sycamore.  One more thing.....the hat was made from that first Gabby Hayes blank I cut out.  Thanks Gabby!
I hope you like him and as always your comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

We're Back!

In case you're wondering about the lack of posts or responses to comments it's because we've been up in Yellowstone and the surrounding areas for the past two weeks.  Give us a couple of days to unpack and complete some catch-up chores around the homeplace and we'll be back in the carving business.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Close Call

Here's one I did demonstrating carving down at the local Community Center yesterday and today. I had a hat blank left over from the Gabby project so I passed it on to this fortunate Corporal who stuck his head up just a bit too far. I think he turned out real well. Stands about 12" tall with the base which is made out of Sycamore. I was thinking of putting in a few extra arrows but decided the one was enough to carry the thought.  Several more photos in the Gallery.   Hope you like him and your comments are welcome as always

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Here's Gabby!

I gave Gabby a thin coat of polyurethane satin varnish and once dry use a little Testors DulCoat to flatten any shine.  Lastly, I put a couple small drops of epoxy on his pupils and he came to life.  I'm quite satisfied with him and think he won't be around the ranch too long.  I never measured him but he probably comes in at around 10 inches with the base.  A nice impressive size.
There are a number of other photos in the Gallery and as always, you comments are welcome.
Now.....what to do  next???

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 12 & 13 – Painting the Body & Finishing Up

With these two videos we come to the end of this project.  I hope you enjoyed it and were able to pick up a few new tricks or techniques.  The purpose of doing these is to show the complete process from the very beginning to the point of setting the piece on the shelf.

As this series is approximately 5 hours in length I was wondering if any of you were able to get it on one disk? 

I’m not really sure what the next project will be but I’ll try and make it interesting.  As always your comments are welcome and if you happen to drop a couple coins in that Tip Jar over on the right that would be appreciated too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 10 & 11 – Painting the Hat & Head

I had to break this part of the painting process into two parts due to the length of the videos.  I know a lot of you are interested in my painting techniques so I wanted to get in as much of it as possible. 


I’m  really satisfied with Gabby so far.  I think he’s going to be a real winner.  As always your comments are welcome.

Special Note:  I received an email asking which is the best way to download and copy these videos from the Blog.  If any of you have done this you might make a comment about how to do it.  Thanks.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yellow Hawk - Unpainted

Yellow Hawk is my latest Native American.  While I have done similar figures in the past he should be able to stand out from the others once I get him painted.  I really like this pose as it allows the blanket and it's folds but still exposes the figures body and the costume underneath.  Should be pretty colorful once completed.

There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are appreciated as always.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 8 & 9 – Finishing Up The Carving Part

With these two video segments we finally finished up the carving portion of this series.  A couple of you ask how to save the first hat blank being as you already cut it out so I offer a couple of examples…one that didn’t work for me and another that did.    Up next is the painting which will hopefully go pretty quick. 


Special note:  Some of you have asked where I get my name plates now that I lost my earlier source.  Well here’s the link to the company in New York:  The plate number is not on their site yet however they said it would be in a couple of weeks.  If you need one before then ask for item number 0994A.

As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust-Part 7 – Carving The Hat – A Better Way To Do It!

Proving that I still have a few grey cells up there working, I came up with this idea of carving the hat brim that is a easier than doing it the normal way.  It sure saved some time and effort.  One thing though….if you try it make sure you drill the large hole on the larger block of wood as I did as you just can’t hold a smaller one, especially one where you’ve already sawn the hat blank.  Those large bits will just jerk it right out of your hand.  Dangerous!   One more thing….that piece of masking tape around the bit shank is to let me know when I’ve reached the correct depth on the brim.  Don’t want to drill completely through!


In the next post we’ll finish up the carving and head over to the paint table.  Almost there!!!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 6 – Laying Out The Hat & Cutting The Blank



The Grandkids have returned to Bahrain so it’s back to the videos.   With this part we layout the hat on the block and cut the blank. 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Gabby Hayes' Hat - Some Reference Material

In getting ready to come up with a design to capture the shape of Gabby's hat,  I've added some additional photos to the Gallery album.  Also, I came across this video clip which really gives a great idea of it's shape from all angles.  Take a moment to watch it as it is exactly what we want to accomplish.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Bolt From The Blue

I'll probably get a negative comment  about this one being as I've been spending too much time with the Grandkids again instead of finishing Gabby Hayes.  But the kids have no real idea just who Gabby is but they can certainly relate to this fella's bad luck and they enjoyed watching it all come together.  We have one more week with them so as soon as they walk up the ramp and head off into the rising sun Judy and I will once again open up the video production studio.

This makes about the 4th or 5th time I've done one of these characters and they always seem to be the first to leave the ranch.  This time I fired up the propane torch, told the Grandkids to stand back, and proceeded to burn up his hat to the point that the entire crown went up in smoke.  Had to cut an opening for his right ear the a few drops of epoxy held everything in place.  I use some of the left over epoxy to give him several blisters on the top of his head.

Anyway, hope you like him and I'll look forward to your comments.  More photos in the Gallery album.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


With the addition of the cigarette makins' tag hanging from his waistcoat pocket, I finally finished this piece.    In painting him I tried to keep the colors a little dark and brooding to carry the theme of a bloke who's a little pissed at the world around him.   I think I managed that.
If you can remember back a while, I did his head in a WCI forum post about "How Long Did This Take" thread where someone carved the head of a devilish figure.  To turn it into Crusty I just whittled off the points of the ears and there he was.
I know a lot of you are waiting for the next Gabby video.  It will be a while yet as the Grandkids will be here till the first week of September.  Anyway, hope you like this krusty fella and your comments are welcome as always.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gabby Hayes - Some Reference Photos

I had a request to post some photos of the piece as it's done so far so here he is.  There are a few more in the gallery.  It's always nice to have as much info and reference material as possible so I hope these will help.
It might be a while before we're able to add another segment in the video series as our Granddaughters are arriving from Bahrain tomorrow and they've gone a whole year without any serious teasing so I have some catching up to do.  Also, my Mom will be celebrating her 95th Birthday in a couple weeks and with the associated reunion relatives will be coming out of the woodwork. Hopefully that won't include my Basswood supply, it's already low.
As always, we appreciate your continued interest in the Blog and always look forward to your comments and questions.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 5 – Finishing Up The Head & Laying Out The Torso

With this segment we wrap up the head and decide on the type of torso we want.   I’ve placed the drawing for the body I carved in the Gallery Album but there’s certainly no reason you couldn’t develop or design your own.   In the video I give several examples of what is possible.
I’ve decided not to show a video of the actual carving process of the torso as I think it’s easy enough that if you’ve carved the head you can certainly carve the body. 
Up next will be the hat which should be fun as I think the hat will make the carving truly the character we’re trying to capture.  As always, comments are welcome and if you have a question just drop me a comment.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 4 – The Eyes & Facial Hair


We’re back from Minnesota and ready to pick up where we left off.  With this segment we finish the eyes, whittle a little on the ears and then move to the mustache and beard.  We’ll wrap up the head in the next post and then move on to the body of the bust saving the hat till the last.  If you have any questions just drop a comment and I’ll try to answer them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 3 – The Nose & Eyes

Getting down to the nitty-gritty now we finish up the nose and move into the area everyone seems to have trouble with….the eyes.  Hopefully, this video will show you that it’s really not that hard to carve a couple of good looking eyes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 2 – Indicating The Facial Planes

We’re starting to get serious about this and Gabby is starting to show his face in that piece of wood.  In this segment I prime the canvas for the details to soon follow.  Just like building a house, you have to have a good foundation laid before you can start the actual construction of the building.  Using that metaphor I guess you could say with this video we frame in the walls.  Next up we start nailing on the siding.  


If you hear grinding in the background it’s because the Stump Grinders finally showed up.  I put up a short video of the grinder at work.  Now that is one wicked carving machine!  We’ve got chainsaw carving so it probably won’t be long before someone comes along using a stump grinder. 

My new video carving setup is just on the other side of the shop from the paint station.  Putting it in a dark corner with no widows nearby lets us control the lighting more and moves us away from the clutter of the shop.  I put up a felt covered bulletin board this morning which makes it even easier to see what’s going on.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gabby Hayes Bust – Part 1 – Cutting & Roughing Out The Block

Okay all you Whipper Snappers,  this should make for a pretty fun and neat project if it turns out the way I think it will.   Gabby has always been a favorite of mine whether he was appearing with John Wayne in his Singing Sandy movies where he once actually played a bad guy  to later films with Roy Rogers, Randolph Scott or a number of other legends of the screen.  I almost wish I didn’t have any teeth so I could talk like him. 
We’re going to do him as a Bust so we can concentrate on the head and cover facial detail in depth.  I’ve put the patterns for the block in the associated Gallery Album and if you need additional information or photos of Gabby there are lots of them on the web.  So,  let’s get started.
Oh….I almost forgot!  This one is filmed in my new dedicated Out West Video Production area.  Remember that cluttered background in all the previous videos?  GONE!  One thing I’m still working on though is trying to keep my head out of the picture so Judy will stop yanking my hair!   Ouch!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Billy Little Fox

Here's a little bust I just completed this afternoon.  Not much to do around here as it's so hot so I've been setting in the shop listening to the air conditioner hum as I whittle and watch the grass wilt.
Billy stands about 7-8" tall with his oak base.  I really like the overlapped robe feature.  Really ties it together.  I think a darker wood base....say walnut would have looked a lot better but it's too late now.  Also, I've found a new supplier for nameplates who do the exact style I've been using.  Shipping is higher but the plate and lettering is the same price.  Here's the link:
I'm getting ready to start a new video series on a Gabby Hayes bust.  Hopefully we can get the first segment online before we have to live for a short trip up to Minnesota this coming weekend.   Hope it's cooler up there!
As always, your comments are welcome and there are more photos in the Gallery.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Search Feature

If you scroll down the right side of the blog you'll see a new column titled "Labels".  Now, by choosing a key word in that alphabetical list you will be given all posts where that word applies. Let's say you were looking for a particular carving that's a "Bust"  just click on the word "Bust" and up will pop all the posts dealing with Busts.  Same goes for any of the other key words.  Hopefully this will help you locate desired posts quickly.    We still have a few more posts to update but eventually we'll have them all "Labeled".   There are a few mistakes in there but we're aware of them and will get them corrected over time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Painted Lady

I really like the way this one turned out.  The female has always been a problem for me but this little lady just might set the example that I will follow in the future.  A number of you have ask that I do a video on her but I haven't reached the confidence level necessary for that yet.  Someday.
The eyes are just a black dot of paint with a little white added on each side.  I also outlined the upper eyelid with a very thin black line and the directly above that a darker shade of flesh.
Anyway, I hope you like her.  More photos in the Gallery and your comments are appreciated.

Making a Bottle Cutter

Several of you ask about the old Bottle Cutter post I did back a year or so ago so here it is on video with all the info you need to build your own.  As I used just scrap wood laying around the shop the only real expense was the purchase of the glass cutter.   Can’t remember how much I paid for that but it wasn’t much.  I’ve been using mine for over a year and have never had a rejected top.
So tell the wife you need some BEER cause you’ve got some bottles to cut!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Mayor's Wife

You're probably wondering why a nice looking dame like this is married to that fat old fart of a Mayor.  Well, if you knew the amount of money he's purloined  away from the honest citizens of the town of Big Thicket during his 15 years in office you'd understand.
I've got to say that this one really turned out nice.  I wanted to give her a delicate look and I think she does just that.  The eyes are only penciled in as I think to carve them would detract from the smoothness of the piece.  Maybe not, but we'll see once she's painted.   I made the feathers out of aluminum flashing as I wanted them thin as if carved they'd have to be thick for strength and that would make it just look to heavy.  There is not much definition to them now as they're only sprayed with primer but when I paint them I'll try and flesh them out a bit.  As for colors I'm thinking purple & white for the dress with a matching hat with a big red rose.
Hope you like her and your comments are welcome.  More photos in the Gallery.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

First Scout Gets It! - Update!

    It's been claimed!! 


And here's the Scout who claimed it!  He's off this weekend to the National Jamboree.  Colin has taught the wood carving merit badge skills to a younger group of scouts. He has been carving bolo ties and fridge magnets of his own design. He also participates in the Utah Valley Woodcarvers Club.  That slide couldn't have gone to a better example of what the Scouting program truly stands for.

Congratulations and have a great time at the Jamboree!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Mayor

This fella started out as a Banker but as soon as I stuck that stogy in his mouth he became the Mayor.  I borrowed the face from my little character in the big Stagecoach scene I did years ago.  Really like those jowls.  Another good thing about him is that I now get to do his wife which will be a neat one as I want to give her a really big hat.  That should be fun

These little busts just might be all I can do for a while as I'm really covered up with summer projects and maintaining this Blog which continues to grow in interest.  But as long as it remains fun I'll stick with it.  I noted that the Auction caused the hit counter to bump up quite a bit.  So I'll plan on doing that again down the line but not too often.
Anyway, hop you like him.  He should be pretty snappy once he gets some color.  Comments welcome as always and more photos in the gallery.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boy Scout Neckerchief Slide – How To Carve One

                   Arrowhead Neckerchief Slide
With these two videos I’ll show you how you can carve a neckerchief slide that will put you on your way to getting that Woodcarving Merit Badge.   You might need a little help from your Dad or your Merit Badge Counselor to get started but the carving involved is pretty simple.  Just make sure you follow the safety rules explained in the first video.  Doing that will save your fingers and keep the project fun.
                     Good Luck!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I know....he doesn't look like Gabby Hayes!  It's just that I've lost my name tag source and I'm using up the ones I still have on hand.  Besides, I did Gabby Hayes already.
Speaking of name tags, I think I may have found a new source for inexpensive ones that you can order on the net and get pretty quick.  I'll let you know when my first order arrives and how it turned out.
Getting back to this rounder, I'm thinking of doing a larger series of small busts mounted on that base of various Old West Town Folk.  I think that would really make a nice display on my Dayton table and hopefully some collector will agree and buy the whole set!   See, selling carvings is a lot like bait your hook and throw the line out and see what bites.  Sometimes is best to try something new to pique that lunker's interest.  Maybe this will do it.
I've got an Undertaker in the works and so far he's looking real spooky.  There are more photos in the Gallery and your comments are welcome as always.

Friday, July 09, 2010

It's On! Let The Game Begin!

As I said earlier, this auction will run for five days....ending on Tuesday, July 13 at 8:00 PM Central Standard Time.   There is no reserve price.  All bids should be submitted through the "Comments" section  below so everyone can keep up with whats going on.  Just click on "Comments" to see the latest bid.   Shipping and handling costs are not included but I will try and keep them as low as possible.  I'll announce the winner once the auction closes. 
                                         Good Luck!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Hondo - I'm Thinking AUCTION!

As I mentioned on the WCI Forum earlier, I spent the weekend watching a John Wayne-a-thon on AMC.  While I've seen those movies countless times there's just something about Wayne that draws me back to watch them one more time.    Hondo was one that I really like and when he came walking in to the ranch at the very beginning I thought that would really make a nice character study.   Now I didn't set out to try and do John Wayne ... just the character.  I was after the shirt, the hat and especially the neckerchief.  Those colors really seemed to work well together.
This figure is about 13" tall with the oak base so it's a pretty substantial piece compared to a normal caricature bus.   I like the larger sizes cause they don't seem to get lost in the crowd.   In the album I took a close up of the top of his hat so you can see the braided hatband.  That's made of twisted wire with a little embellishment on the ends.  Looks good and completes the figure.
A while back I wrote about having another auction but as I was having "comment" trouble at the time I had unintentionally blocked all the associated comments.  Well, I think it's about time to have another auction and thought maybe this figure would be a good one to use.   If you're interested let me know and if enough responses are received we'll get one started.  It will run like the last one...5 days, and the bidding will be via the comments section so everyone can see whats going on.  There will be no reserve so you can start at a dollar if you want.   Postage and packing will be separate from the final price.
So, drop a comment if your interested and we'll shoot for this coming Friday as the kickoff.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Black Elk - Winter Colors

I was originally going to just place this figure on a plain base but as I had just completed Charlie Red Horse and mounted him that way I thought I'd put this one in the snow.  I really like using snow as the starkness of the white really amplifies the colors of the figure. 
The hardest part of this piece was coming up with the painted designs on the robe.  Not hard from the application but as I had just done a painted robe I wanted something unique for this one.  So Black Elk sat staring at me unpainted for several weeks until I came up with something.  Personally I think the wait was worth it as while he might look sad I'm sure he's real proud of his robe and the memories and warmth it provides.
There are more photos in the Gallery and, as always, your comments are welcome.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Framed Shield – Part 4 – Finishing Up

It’s done and it turned out pretty good.  I can see all kinds of things we can carve and display with this framing method.    I hope you enjoyed the project.  As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Framed Shield – Carving & Painting The Shield – Part 3

We wrap up the painting with this segment.  Only thing left after this is to attach the feathers, mount it on the frame and hang it on the wall. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Framed Shield – Carving & Painting the Shield – Part 2

With the shield carved, we can now burn on a few details and the finish up the carving process by making three feathers.  Finally, we move over to the paint table to start applying some color.   Again, I’m hoping you’ve picked out your own design.   Comments welcome as always.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Framed Shield – Carving & Painting The Shield – Part 1

Here is first part of carving the Shield blank.  I told you it would be easy.  In the next segment we’ll try and get it painted and hopefully make some feathers. 
Please note:  In the video I say that the thickness of the shield should be 1/4”.  It should actually be at least 3/8” to 1/2” thick.  My goof! Sorry!
I put a couple Shield designs in the Gallery album but I encourage you to come up with your own.  Comments are welcome as always.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cutting Out The Shield Blank

Here are the measurements for the shield blank.  The photo shows the shield on it's side.  The grain is running left to right and the board should be  3/8" to 1/2"  inch in thickness.  I first drew a 4 inch circle and then made two cloth drops on each side to the length of 5" and 1/2" wide. 
I'm sorry if I seem to be moving slow on this project but it's just too damn hot right now to spend in the shop.  Also, the grass seems to be trying to set a growth record this year.  I hate to see the really hot weather show up but at least it will slow down the vegetation growth.  Hopefully, we will do a video on carving the shield but as I said earlier it's really a pretty simple thing to knock out.
Comments welcome.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Finishing up the Frame for the Shield

With this post we finish up the frame and get ready to move on to carving the shield.  For my back plate I went down to Lowes and bought a 4X8' sheet of 1/4" Rough Surfaced Fir plywood.  This cost me about $32.00.  That's a lot of money just to make a small part of this project.  But, I have other plans for the remainder of that sheet of plywood.  You can use just about anything to make that part of the frame so don't run down and come home with a pickup load of lumber only to find the wife waiting with a mean look on her face.  The excuse that "Lynn said I needed it!"  just won't work!!

In the next part we will start carving the shield which will be quite easy...I guarantee it!  Hopefully, you've been searching for a shield design and have picked out a few.  I'll use a generic shape for mine and then you can take it from there. There are more photos and descriptions in the Gallery album and your comments are welcome as always.

Monday, June 14, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different!

I did the wall plaques several years ago but thought it's about time to do some more and maybe take you along for the ride.  They hang in my Gallery and I could have sold them numerous times but I like them too much myself to let them go.   To make the frames with the table saw makes this project a little more difficult than just carving the shield but if you have the saw and are familiar with its use it should be pretty easy for you.
In making the frames I just used photos along with an explanation. They are in the Gallery.  I made the frame from Cedar Dog-eared fencing you can find at Lowes or Home Depot.  I bought several pieces of it and nailed it up outside so it would weather over time.  Gives it a much better look.  Each time I take one down to use I nail up another in it's place so I always have a supply on hand.  I use that fencing for everything but fencing.
In the next post we'll do the back piece and then start the carving.  Of course you can go ahead and Google "Native American War Shields" and get a jump on that part by picking out a design for your shield.
Comments welcome as always.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Charlie Red Horse All Painted Up!

Finally got Charlie off the paint table and in front of the camera.  I think he turned out great.  Really like the robe designs.  They are a combination of several I found through research the web and in the books I have on hand.   He looks pretty regal to me.  Now all I have to do is to come up with a price for him.  This is a good example of where the applied finish almost takes over the carving part.
Hope your like him and your comments are always appreciated.  Lots of photos in the Gallery.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Native American Bust

Here is a little bust I just finished painting.  It sat around my paint table for about 3 weeks while I thought about the beading design.  I finally came across this one while doing some research on Google. I have several books on beading but am always on the lookout for more.  The one to the right is a good one to have on hand.
Still in the process of putting the designs on Charlie Red Horses' Robe.  Hopefully, I'll get him done this weekend as I want to get him into the Gallery so I can start on something else.  I've noticed that my hit-count on the site meter is going down so I'd better come up with a new video project or you folks will start looking for greener pastures.
Anyway, hope you like this little effort and your comments are always welcome.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Charlie Red Horse - The Carving Parts Finished

After taking yesterday off, I managed to finish carving Charlie.  He's got his pipe, some feathers, and some fancy burnt detail.  If you're wondering why the upper part of the robe is so dark it's because I burnt it with my butane torch to remove the fuzzy surface left from the stoning.  That's a neat technique I came up one day.  After it's burned you can just brush off any residue with a small brass brush.  The burnt color lends itself well to the dark brown to come later.
The feathers are kind of oversized but I think that just adds to the figure.  He should really be flashy once painted,especially after I add the designs to the robe.
I put a link to a really nice reference book for robe designs.  I'm always on the lookout for new material I can use to come up with ideas to paint.  This book is a good one.
Anyway, hope you like him so far and your comments are welcome as always.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Charlie Red Horse

Sorry, no video for this one.  I've been experiencing a run on my carvings lately so I've got to shut down the video production studio for a while to try and get my Gallery restocked.  Also, the Dayton show is not that far off and I'd like to come up with some competition pieces.
I've used this robed pose several times in the past and it has always proved very popular, no doubt because once painted it is quite striking.  This one is a little larger than the others, measuring about 17" tall.   The robe will be painted with designs and the upper part will be textured to simulate dark hair.  He will have a horn breast plate and hold a catinite tipped pipe.  I haven't decided on his hair decoration yet.
As I type this the body is finished and will be textured today and hopefully he's get his braids.   As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated.  Oh...there are a couple more photos in the gallery.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Monte Walsh – Part 16 – Wrapping Things Up.

He’s finished!   Here are the last two parts of this video series.   I hope you enjoyed making the journey with me and I hope that if you decide to try your hand at your own figure you will be as please with your efforts as I am.

I’ve placed all the photos of Monte I took in the video into the gallery album and I look forward to your comments about how you think the piece turned out.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monte Walsh – Part 15 – Painting & Attaching Things

I had hoped to get this wrapped up with this post but that idea just didn’t work out.  So… will take one more after this one.  Comments welcome.
Oh, one more thing.  Don’t pay any attention to whats written on my T-Shirt….I’m really a likeable guy.