Chainsaw Carving has been around for more than half a century. Records date back to the early 1950s but it has gained in popularity both as an art and as a sport since the 1980s. The number of chainsaw wood carvers grows each day as more people experiment with this form of art. Today, thousands of chainsaw wood carvings from all over the world can be found on the internet.
Chainsaw carvers have produced some of the most beautiful works of art around the world with chainsaw wood carving competitions attracting thousands of visitors each year. Although many people make a living out of it, some just do it as a hobby. Most wood carvers use many other tools together with the chainsaw. However, the chainsaw remains the most important tool in chainsaw sculpture.
Anyone can experiment with chainsaw wood carving but it is important to always keep in mind that a chainsaw is potentially a very dangerous tool that must be handled with care. Many limbs have been lost due to injuries caused by chainsaw accidents. Below are some of the safety measures that all chainsaw operators should observe.
Anyone who intends to handle a chainsaw for any purpose including woodcarving should invest in protective gear that will offer protection in case of an accident. These include eye protectors, ear protectors, a safety helmet, and chaps. These will protect the chainsaw user from being seriously injured in case an accident occurs.
High Levels of Concentration
Chainsaw wood carving like any other chainsaw activity requires high levels of concentration. Even a small distraction can have devastating consequences. These dangerous tools should not be used by anyone who is on medication or under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.
Watch Out for Passers by
A chainsaw carver attracts a lot of viewers especially if the work is being done outdoors. It is important to always look out for nearby people or animals when operating the chainsaw. This is to ensure both the carvers and other people do not get injured during the carving process.
Ensure That the Chainsaw is Well Maintained
Regular chainsaw maintenance and checking the chainsaw before use is an important safety procedure that every carver should know. You need to know that every part of the chainsaw is in good working condition.
Types of Chainsaws Used for Wood Carving
Chainsaw wood carvings can be created using almost all chainsaw models although there are special chainsaw bars which are specifically designed for wood carving. These special chainsaws are easier to use and have anti-kickback features. They are most suitable for beginners. However, they are not necessarily essential for good carvings.
Both electric and gas chainsaw are used to create carvings but most carvers prefer gas powered models. However, preferences depend on the carver. If you can handle the saw easily and the chain is sharp, then you are good to go. If a chainsaw feels too heavy or is too big for you, then you should look for another chainsaw as using such a chainsaw is potentially dangerous.
If you are interested in chainsaw wood carving, below are some tips basic that can help you get started.
Start With Soft Wood
Although many experienced word carvers can work with almost any type of wood, soft wood that is not fragile is ideal for beginners. You can try redwood or western red cedar which are both unaffected by bugs and cannot be easily damaged if exposed different weather conditions.
Each Carving is Unique
Most beginners tend to underestimate their work and can be their own worst critics. Wood carvings don’t have to be spectacular in order to be appreciated; you may be surprised to know that someone wants to buy that simple piece of chainsaw art that you criticize so much.
Invest in a Variety of Chainsaws and a Grinder
A big saw is essential to chop away the large pieces of wood but a smaller saw and grinder are important during the detailing process. Always ensure that your chainsaw is sharp.
After detailing your carving, you can burn it with a propane torch to give the tar the right color and then brush it with a wire brush for consistency. Finally, apply linseed or any other oil to the carving.
The more you practice your carving skills, the better you will be. Remind yourself that even the best chainsaw carvers started like you and progressed through constant practice.