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8 Finishing

I decided to finish the dog's profile with beeswax and leave the background plain, untreated wood, which made the cameo aspect a little more prominent. I sealed the back of the carving with a matt acrylic varnish.

I confess to being a reluctant stainer of wood, especially when the surface is left facetted from the chisels. If I'd wanted colour to the background, I'd have used the 'paper sandwich' cut out profile route with a different background wood. If you are tempted to stain the background, do experiment on a mock up first. Once you've added stain, the only way to remove it is to re-carve the surface... 

Making and Applying Beeswax - also put 'beeswax' into the search box, top left.


| 06 November 2017 14:52

Thank you - I like using Beewax on some of my carvings but never thought of using a hair dryer to melt The wax into the wood.. I always rubbed it in with a cloth.. when you stated you use a mixture of Beeswax may I ask what you meant did you you try to create a color blend to match the subject.. I always wanted to do the same project for my dog Irish Setter red.. my wife would properly shoot me if I took her dryer guess I have to buy one.

| 24 October 2017 12:21

Bert - Glad you liked the project! I hope we get to see your carving in the Members Gallery...

Turpentine: Essentially, this is a medium in which the beeswax is dissolved. It eventually evaporates and leaves the hard beeswax in the wood and in itself turpentine has no effect on the wood itself. You can use mineral spirits (white spirit), though I suspect this reacts with wood so I don't use it myself.

Teak and Danish oils are based on linseed oil with various additives: polymers and hardeners. They will colour the wood and bring out the grain, so I never use them on light woods like this. If you are using a darker wood, mahogany say, and don't mind an increase in figuring, then they work fine. I don't mix them with my beeswax; I apply the oil first, then the wax.
However, I do know that people make up 'restoring' mixtures of oils and wax for 'antique' furniture and I think these can work very well on sculptural forms. As you say, experimenting on spare wood is definitely the way to go!

| 23 October 2017 17:00

Hi Chris

This video is just what I've been waiting for. Producing a true representational image in low relief has been the bane of my existence, particularly of floppy surfaces which fold back on themselves, like the dog's ears.
I ran my laptop's battery flat just re-watching the nose and ear bits.
Now to reapproach that spinnaker just beginning to luff up that's been tormenting me..

A technical question? I revisited the video on making beeswax polish. You use "real" turpentine. Like most things out of the ordinary where I live, Hobson's choice applies and I can get any turpentine I want providing it's mineral. Would that work? We do have a product here called "teak oil" i.e. an oil for use on teak. What's in it the label doesn't say but it smells nice. Have you come across it and would it work?
I guess the easiest way to find out would be to knock up a batch but no harm in asking...?

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