tributesinwood

Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the category “Country Hound”

Fitting the Banjo

I’ve been working on the basic shape and fit of the banjo in the Hound’s arms and he’s looking pretty good.  I was able to epoxy the arms in place now that the banjo is about the right size.  Still a lot of detail to go but this gives me some sense of the dimensions of things to work against.  I’ll probably carve the one back paw, now that I know where the banjo is going to sit, as well as a couple of roughed in ears, now that I have the front paws positioned.   Not the best photo, but you can get a picture of where we’re heading with this carving.

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Banjo Playing Paws

These front paws will eventually be shaped around a nice little banjo for a tune or two.  In the photo, I’m just holding them in place with my fingers but I’ll be adding some small diameter dowels shortly to hold the front legs in place while I shape in the detail.  When I’m finished with all of the shaping, they’ll be epoxied in place for good.

I’ve also added a bit more shape to this little hounds neck and he’ll develop some jowls before the weekend is over.

But…it is Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I’m afraid that I’m going to have to turn my attention to eating too much turkey and dressing in a short while.  Just so many things to do…

Happy Thanksgiving to those Canadians celebrating this weekend.

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Rough Looking Country Hound

Yeah, he does look a bit rough…but that’s the way that they start out.  I’ve said it before, I tend to call this stage the “seal” stage as they look more like a seal to me than a Basset Hound.  If you’re inclined to carve a hound, be sure to shoot for the seal look as you’ll know you’re going in the right direction!

Right off, you’ll notice that I’m missing a few parts.  The arms are being done separately for a couple of reasons.  First, the grain has to be going along the length of the arms to give them some strength.  I like to think that my carvings will be around for a long time, so I want the parts and pieces to be strong and lasting.  Second, I need to fit a banjo in there and I’m suspecting that I’ll need to fit the arms in their final spots after I’ve carved the banjo.  I can’t wait to do the banjo.

The ears are separate as well for much the same reasons.  They need to flow over the arms ( which will be over the banjo ), so they need to go in separately, and second, I want the grain to be in the direction of the flow of the ears for strength.

Finally, I decided to add one of the little back paws as a separate piece as it needs to “cuddle” the banjo.

I’m also painting windows right now ( what on earth that has to do with carving, I’m not sure, but I’m told is right up there in priority ) so I may not get an update on the arms until a bit later this week.

Now that I look at the photo, I should remind those that are carving to always wear a kevlar glove in your non-knife-holding-hand.  It won’t save you from a puncture into the weave, but it will save yourself being cut by a glancing knife blade.  They’re inexpensive and sold at all carving shows and many building supply stores.  If you’re of the opinion that a real carver doesn’t use hand protection, remember that if you cut a tendon in your hand or finger you’ll not be enjoying your hobby for a long, long time.  Although you might still be able to paint windows.

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Country Hound Cut-Out

Here are a couple of photos of the first steps in this project.

The basswood block has the shape of the front and side view of the hound.  The first cut was a vertical line just alongside of the front view of the hound in order to square the block of wood up a bit so that I would waste less wood…remember, I have some fun accessories to go with this hound and that extra wood will come in handy.

The second series of cuts were along the contour of the side view.  Once this was done, I very lightly glued back the end pieces that I had just sawed away and that were on the top and bottom of the side view.  This allowed me to rest the back of the hound squarely on the table so that I could cut along the front contour.  If I hadn’t done this, the hound’s back would have been insecure and “wobbly”…which is something that you don’t want when using a bandsaw…or, any saw, for that matter.

Of course, I had cut away the pencil marks for the front when I was doing that initial side contour cutting, so, I drew that front view profile back on and went back to the bandsaw for the final cuts.

If you have a good imagination, you can picture that little Country Hound holding that banjo and howling away to his heart’s delight.

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Country Hound

Here’s the start to a fun project, once again featuring the very caricature-carving-worthy Basset Hound.

This little hound will have a particular country flavour headlined by a singing/howling Basset Hound, of course, fully equipped with a straw hat, denim overalls, rocking chair, spittoon and banjo.  All of those parts and pieces are going to be a lot of fun to come up with.

I’ve started with a drawing and will soon cut out the basswood blank to begin the hound carving.  I’m thinking that the rocking chair will be oak and stained randomly to look weathered and well used.  The banjo is going to be an absolute ball…I can picture some metal shiny parts to really show it off.

If anyone has any ideas that I could add to this concept…please chime in.

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