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12 Finishing

When I started this carving, I had noticed a darker edge towards the outside of the tree but that's a normal occurrence. There were no signs of the sapwood hidden in the wide board that appeared later as I cut into it: white caulky spots of wood that in the end I thought were distracting.

I decided to disguise these spots and since I had always intended an oiled finish and since artists' oil paints are based on linseed oil, there is no problem mixing the two and finding a wash of colour to do the job.


| 02 April 2023 09:17

Martin - Well done!
I don't know that finishing oil but it sounds a version of Danish or Teak oil. I hope you put a picture up in the gallery.

Perhaps it has something do do with carvers involvement with the green men over many, many centuries that makes many carvers of today feel at home in the green world - definitely including myself in this and you too by the sound of it!
The next stop for you then is to take a green man that you like (perhaps historic, there are plenty of books) and convert the picture to a drawing, tweaking the design so it becomes your own.
Or take this Solar Green Man. What if you redrew it into at triangle (base at top) rather than a circle?
Ars longa, vita brevis...

| 25 March 2023 16:54

Hi Chris -- I have just completed my version of the Solar Man. This was the most challenging carving project for me to date, and I think for that reason I learned the most from it. I used white oak, so I really had to make a point of sharpening my tools; maybe, just maybe, I have finally learned what "sharp" means. For a finish I put on three thin coats of Tried and True, a polymerized linseed oil. This is a present for my sister and brother-in-law, so it's going off to San Diego from Connecticut.

This was a very enjoyable project, and I have hopes of doing several more Green Men. Thanks for the clear and detailed videos.

| 20 June 2020 16:54

Hi Chris
Many thanks for your advi e I think I will keep it indoors or undercover atleast, just one question about Linseed oil purified, boiled or raw maybe silly question but thought I would ask any way thanks again

| 17 June 2020 08:18

Cliff - You never see Sycamore, or Limewood for that matter, outside as it doesn't fair well compared to the more traditional oak or teak/mahogany timbers. It's not so much decomposing in the weather as in picking up mould and fungus and the pristine whitish wood just not looking good after a while.
Having said that however, it will survive a long time and you could lightly stain it so that discolouration doesn't show. Also you could seal it with an outdoor varnish (perhaps one that has a stain?). More sun than shade will help keep the mould down and having plenty of air circulating around it.

| 15 June 2020 16:27

Hi Chris
Iam coming to the end of my Greenman and I was considering putting it amongst some Ivy outside for the summer but not sure what finish to use the wood is Sycamore


| 24 August 2015 18:58

Chris, thanks so much, great idea regarding a washer modification.
On another note, I decided not to put in the irises, the Sapele seemed a little too brittle for me to risk it, and I kind of liked the other worldly effect it gave him without the iris. Next time... maybe.
Thanks again,

| 24 August 2015 11:15

Guy - Have a look at the directory on the left: Carving Matters > Hanging Relief Carvings 1 & 2, for some thoughts and options. For a carving this size, my preference is the keyhole escutcheon plate. It's often difficult to find ones large enough but it doesn't take too long to make such a hanging plate from a large-flange washer: using a round file to extend the hole and a drill for the screw holes.Countersink the plate below the wood surface and, before positioning, don't forget to check for balance. You will of course need a substantial screw in the wall, and a substantial wall!

| 23 August 2015 21:39

Chris, now that I've finished short of a few more coats of finish, I'm left with one more problem to solve, that of hanging this massive piece of wood on a wall. Any tips on the type of hardware you'd recommend using?

| 09 August 2015 22:22

Guy - Shellac is really only a surface coats and really doesn't last outdoors. Most varnishes too will only last so long (though building up from a thinned coat and using a polyurethane is probably the longest-lasting option). We all know that we have to re-varnish wood, boats etc, which usually means stripping off the old, flaking stuff. For this reason I've always preferred oils - linseed, tung or Danish. Saturate the wood in the oil (many, many coats, starting a little thinned with turpentine) and to refresh in the future, just brush down and add another coat. Indeed, an old rule is to oil before winter and in the spring. The survival of a piece outside in the elements also depends on the type of wood: Limewood for example has nothing like the resistance that Oak has to living outdoors.

| 09 August 2015 16:00

Just about finished with my attempt. Had some concerns on the finish because I wanted it to have the option of indoor or outdoor display. Maybe I'm asking to much. I had thought of a shellac base with a spar urethane top coat, but I've heard shellac wouldn't fare well outside. Maybe a mix of Spar, linseed oil and mineral spirits. Any thoughts?

| 01 March 2015 13:35

Chris, What a great project! I have really enjoyed this series of videos. There is so much that I have learned from this series. Thank you!... Kenan

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