Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the tag “wooden railroad rails”

Hobo and Ned are on the Rail!

Yes…I can hardly believe it either…this project has come to a close!

I’m very pleased with the way this carving has turned out and I sure did enjoy every minute of the carving and painting.  I’m headed to the Hamilton Carving Show at the end of this month and am really looking forward to showing it to other carvers.  The Hamilton Show is a Canadian woodcarving competition and is combined with an equally outstanding woodworking show as well as a top-notch Heritage Warplane Museum.

If you are within travelling distance, this show is well worth attending.  My daughter is also joining me and I’m looking forward to spending the day with her.

Enjoy the photos!  There are more on the Flickr Photo link at the side of this page.




Progress on “Hobo” the Dog and His Railroad

The carving is finished on Hobo and short of a few touch ups on the paint, he should be just about ready to join Ned on his high speed rail pump-car.  Hobo’s eyes are squinted and his ears are pinned back nicely from the wind in his face.


I did my best to give Hobo that Basset-Hound-look of having a little more skin than necessary for his frame.  It was interesting carving the folds around his eyes and jowels, and a few extra folds at his ankles.  I added in the red “neckerchief” to give him a little extra character…although, he’s quite a character even without it.


I’m going to go back and just touch up his toe-nails a bit more as well as the area around his mouth just to accentuate his smile.  Other than that, he should be ready for the rail.

The base is turning out pretty nicely, as well.  I ended up using some oak to make the rails while the ties and base are basswood.  The crushed stone is a polymer that I had in the garage left over from some patio block work that I did earlier this year.  I just put a white glue base down and sprinkled the polymer over it.  The polymer is also activated/glued with water…so, I sprayed a coat of water over it after everything dried and it ended up rock hard.  Hope you like it so far.


Ties, Captains and Bones

I’ve painted the ties with a combination of different acrylic browns…asphaltum, burnt umber, raw umber, chocolate…with a few washes of Payne’s Grey through the centre section of the ties to give it some darkness as if years of locomotive oil and debris have landed on it.  Once I get the clear coat on it, the different shades will really come out.

I applied some white glue to the ballast sections and then sprinkled on some “crushed stone.”  Ok, the crushed stone is not quite that.  I’ve done some patio block work around the house and I had a bag of the filler that you use between the blocks to set them.  This is actually a polymer filler that looks about the same size as limestone screenings that are often used for leveling patio blocks.  Anyways, the interesting thing about the polymer is that it sets fairly hard with water.  So, once the white glue dries the first layer of “stones” in place, a misting of water sets the upper layers.  I found that I did need to add a dab of white glue to any upper larger “rocks” to keep them in place.  It’s looking pretty good so far as you can see by that smiling man in the photo.


By the way, Captain America and Bones collected quite a loot on Hallowe’en…


Rails and Ties…and, Captain America

I worked a bit on the ties and ballast that will make up a part of the base for Ned and “Hobo”.  The wood is basswood that I picked up at the Pickering Carving Show.  I carved several ties into the basswood and chiseled out some irregular ground between the ties.  My plan is to make this ground look like a combination of gravel and dirt with just the right amount of oil and debris to make it look like it’s been well travelled.  The rails themselves will be cut to the right lengths once I get the ties completed.



Now, how about Captain America…well, it doesn’t have much to do with carving but it is craft related and features my #1 son, Paul.  As he decided that he would be Captain America for Hallowe’en, Peggy has been very busy sewing and creating his costume.  She did a terrific job and he’s already been the Captain at one party with several more parties to come.   Happy Hallowe’en!



Onto the Rails

I actually pondered for some time on a good way to come up with some reasonably looking rails for Ned’s pump-car.  I had some good suggestions given to me along the lines of hobby shop rails, making some castings, etc.  As I considered these methods, each was abandoned for one reason or another.

I really didn’t want to start shaping a small piece of wood with chisels and I couldn’t get my head around holding a thin piece of wood up to a router bit safely.

At about the same time, I started thinking about approximating the shape of a rail.  I had put some moulding along our kitchen cabinets a little while ago and when I picked up some scraps that I still had laying around, I realized that if I glued them back-to-back, it started to look a bit like a rail.


As it still needed some shaping, I temporarily glued the flat section ( bottom ) of the rail to a larger piece of wood that I could use to hold while routing on the router table and that would keep my fingers well away from the router bit.  After a few passes with a couple of router bits, the rail is looking pretty respectable.  I little bit of sanding and some shaping and I think that I have the start of a base.


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