Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / Tiki Carving

Buzzy's work: Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 4,146 replies

I'm going to try to post a couple of picture of some recent things I made.

if there is a picture here after I hit the submit button then I'll send more. If there is not, then I'll try again...

ADDED NOVEMBER 2006: Click HERE for a gallery of all my work without any text.

[ Edited by: Bay Park Buzzy 2009-04-28 01:46 ]

[ Edited by: Bay Park Buzzy 2009-06-08 22:50 ]


Welcome!! Nice carvings. We live just down the road from you in Clairemont.
Are you selling these or are they for your own yard?

Post more pictures please!!


looking good. How long have you been carving?

welcome aboard

It worked!!! as you can see I have a bit of sanding and staining to do. Most of the works here I did in the last four or five weeks. I've been carving on and off for about seven months now. I get my ideas and inspiration from many of you on this site. thanks to all who take the time to respond and help beginners who find this place.

the three on the right are actually chairs. Here is a picture of two of them that I finished this afternoon.

Ona: I saw your house on another thread last week and really thought it was great. It looked like dear old Clairemont. In all my travel I've never come across it. I have not figured out what to do with all the stuff I've been making lately, but hopefully I'll sell some of them. Otherwise I'll have to throw them away because I'm running out of space. I have logs in my front yard, back yard,garage,living room, and close to everywhere else on my sprawling estate...

Beginner...get ouuuutta here...You've been doing this for a while!

Here's a picture of my first carving attempt. The only tools I had were a small dovetail saw, a pruning saw, and a small hand planer. When I started, I didn't know if I had the right tools or even the right type of tree. The log was a Mexican fan palm that had been dead for quite some time and was dry throughout. I grabbed my tools and took to it. Here is the result:

after this, I turned it around and did this on the other side:

Here it is after burning and staining:

It was fun and I've been obsessively carving ever since....
More to come...

BK: I carved my first piece around June or July of '05. Then it took about two or three months of wasted time with a bunch of queen palms...more about that later. Then in October I had a little accident with a loose rope from my shade tarp, some unexpected wind gusts, a chain saw that I was using, and my face. I took about a month off to pursue a career as a movie extra; I wanted to turn my tradgedy into a triumph and I figured to cash in as the weirdo scar faced stitches guy in prison or horror movies. But alas, I had to get all my stitches out and the scars turned out to be not as bad as expected. So I made about 6 or 7 tikis before january 06. Then in january I had a tree service deliver about 20 logs to my house and I got over my fear of power tools and went hog wild. I made 5 or 6 pieces in jan and have been keeping that pace the last few months. I just had another 22 logs delivered about three weeks ago so I have plenty more to get to. So I feel like a beginner because I feel like I have so much more that I'd like to try and I've just barely begun a long journey. On my one year anniversary I'll change my official designation to an experienced carver. Until then, for a couple more months or so, i'm just a beginner. Oh yeah, thanks for posting, commenting, and being such a presence and inspiration on this site.


Hey Buzzy, these are Very Excellent for your first bunch of carvings. You mush be a tool kind of person to be turning these out with such precise detail. Beautiful work, Love it.


BPB welcome to TC, nice carvings. You are a real fast carver aren't you?

GMAN posted on Sat, Apr 8, 2006 6:57 AM

I agree with Benz, way kool stuff. What kinda palms are you using? Also, how bad was the saw to the face?

I've seen some bad saw cuts, but not one to the squash. I imagine that rope blew into your bar and the saw wrapped it up and pulled up into your face? Yikes! I've been carving with saws since the early 80's, and one thing I've learned (and not by eating a bar) is to keep your area clear of anything you don't want cut or that can bind the saw, and wear as much safety gear as you can stand. Glad you survived and have continued to carve. You seem to have a real gift in designing your pieces. They are very clean and stylized. If you want to step them up a bit, work on cutting deeper into the logs. You'll find, as you stain those, that you may want some more depth to make them really pop.

Thanks for posting and keep at it,


Very nice work keep 'em commin and welcome.

McTiki posted on Sat, Apr 8, 2006 9:02 AM

Awesome begining post Buzz! Wow. More and more folks joining. Happy. Welcome to TC.

No, thank you...nice work for so early in your career.

Thanks for all the nice comments and being so welcoming. Here is tiki #2. For this one I used Queen or coco? palms. This was when I still had no idea about what kind of wood to use. I found this type of tree to be limiting and frustrating. I originally dried out some test logs to see what kind of structure these logs were composed of. I found out that I could only use about two inches of the outer surface because the middle just kind of cracks and rots away. Orginally I tried to hollow them out but they warped and ended up being figure 8 shaped and unusable. So after discarding two or three futile attempts, I carved this tiki out of a dried log that seemed to hold its shape.

despite all the challenges in dealing with this type of wood, I did like they way that the texture and appearance of the log changed every eighth of an inch or so. Here's a close up:

For this attempt, I splurged and bought myself a dremel tool. I still did not have any chisels yet and the whole thing was carved with two different dremel bits. I messed up on the body so I removed it and hollowed out the inside.
I burned it with a hand wood burner and stained it with a floor sealer.

Each tiki I do I use as a learning experience. From my second attempt I learned the following(mostly the hard way):
#1 Using only a dremel tool took about 10 times as long as it should
#2 Using a hand wood burner is even slower than a dremel tool
#3 Spending more time prepping a log than carving it isn't much fun
#4 I hate being limited by the medium I'm using
#5 these type of logs have their own distinct charm, but I need to find something I can carve into deeper

Here is my third tiki attempt. I tried to solve the problems that I had with the body on the last one. I also wanted to try to carve in deeper, but still hide the cracking that would occur within this type of wood. This one was done with another coco/queen palm. I started by chainsawing the mouth to depth and then used my new chisel set to round it out.
This is a picture of the mouth and face partially finished. I used the same layout/style as my second tiki for the face with a couple minor changes.

here it is after the body is finished and it is burned

face closeup

and after staining

I like this one more than the second one butit still seems too flat to me. This type of tree doesn't work well with deep cuts. I was able to hide the cracking in the center by burning the mouth and blending the cracks with the burned black.
Up next, tiki #4 Rabbitiki! Traditionalists beware....

For my next trick, I'll pull a rabbit out of a log...

The story behind this one is: My mother likes to look out at her flower garden and see the rabbits running about. They anger my father because they eat everything in sight. So I made this rabbit carving but tried to use motifs common to tiki designs and make a RABBITIKI. I snuck it into her garden and let her happen upon it. As a rabbit lover, she quite appreciated it. I told her it was the rabbit spirit protector. Then I told my dad it was to scare the rabbits away...I hope this is tiki enough for this site. I just wanted to share the results of the challenge I placed upon myself to make a log look like a rabbit. This one too was done on a queen/coco palm.

oops! here's the picture that should have been last

showing a little tail...

posting pictures of these chairs so new owners can see them before delivery
here's all three finished

showing the sides and back to get an idea of how they are

now the back

for TC guys, I have step by step photos I'll post later on and I'll discuss issues such as overall weight, strength, and carving depth that I encountered while making these.
How do I cahnge the title of my thread?

Tiki #5 was the first time I used a fresh mexican fan palm. I picked the design from a candle that I found online and he was named AHU KAI(historians please verify.) The log was four feet nine with an eleven inch diameter. I carved it with a one inch wide flat chisel. I never really used chisels before so I used a log that was cracked on the ends. Not knowing anything about logs yet, it didn't occur to me that if the ends are severely cracked, the middle will be too. It fooled me at first because the outer surface was uncracked and appeared solid. After carving in about 3/4 inch, all exposed wood was cracked or would crack within thiry minutes of being exposed to the air. Since I didn't know what I was doing, I charged on just to see what happens when you have few skills and a messed up log. Here it is:

here's a close up of the cracking

here it is after burning. I never even bothered to stain it. I thought it might just turn into a crack and disappear into some sort of vortex/void phenomena and I'd never have to worry about it again.

What I learned from this one:

  1. Chisel technique differs from wedge log splitting technique: It's not a good idea to hit the chisel straight into the wood as hard as you can hit it.
  2. It's really hard to dislodge a chisel used inappropriately(while carving)
  3. Split ended logs are not magic and will not heal themselves in the middle for you.
  4. I need to be more precise in my original drawing on the log. If it's drawn right, it's easier to carve right.
  5. It's better to take your time.
  6. The angle that the chisel hits the wood is important and should remain consistent
  7. Don't send the chisel blade deeper than you want to carve. When it dries, a large border crack will appear where it dried faster than the non cut area dries
    I take this new found knowledge as I continue on....

Tiki #6
Carved from a 5 foot tall 14 inch diameter mexican fan palm
Learning from my mistakes, I spent more time drawing out the face and made sure my measurements were symetrical. First I drew it out roughly with chalk and looked at it for a long time. I went back with a grease pencil and drew the final lines. Here it is right before carving the first cut:

close up from side showing layout revisions

bottom carved


whole thing

stained, burned, with his little brother

This was the first one that I was really happy with. My carving improved and I liked working in this scale. It was after this one that I had my chainsaw accident and almost quit carving. I'm glad that I did this one right before the accident because I was real excited after I did it and I carried that enthusiam through my recovery. I'll tell the story on my next post and answer any of your questions that I have not answered soon. It was also after this tiki that I found this site and started taking more pictures of the step by step process, from raw tree to tiki. Lots more to come, never enough time...

GMAN was real close to what happened with my accident. Specifically what happened was that I was holding the saw at waist level spotting a cut I was about to make. I use a 4hp 16 inch electric McCulloch saw. When I hit the trigger button, I felt something hit me in the face. It was a shock and I couldn't figure out what hit me. I thought that something came flying in and hit me. My head hurt and I took a quick inventory of what happened. I remember asking myself what I could have been hit by. I yelled a bad word when I realized the only thing that could have hit me was the saw. I looked to the ground and saw a huge pool of fresh blood. What happened was that a rope from my tarp blew into the saw sprocket. It ran up the rope as I took my finger off the trigger. After disengaging the trigger, the saw still spins for a few rotations while shutting down. The saw continued up the rope and was now between shoulder and head high. When the blade hit the tarp, it cut the tarp right down the center. When the tarp was cut, it lost tension and caused the whole tarp to drop about ten inches towards me. Unfortunately, my face was only about six inches away at this time. The blade struck me in the forehead at my hairline and made four parallel cuts all the way down through my eyebrow. It then continued further down, taking three sizable pieces out of my nose. Additionally, I had a small gouge on my cheek. I was able to drive myself to the emergency clinic for first aid. I got right in, bleeders have priority, and received my stitches. I was back home in less than an hour. I don't know how they count stitches, but I had about 22 visible threads with around 46 separate stitches. So, I got somewhere between 22 and 46 stitches total. They stayed in for about 10 days. I did not take any pictures at the time because I was mad and depressed and thought that I did not need any other souvenirs than my new set of scars. In hindsight, I should taken a couple, not for myself, but for others as a warning about safety and how quickly things can change. I was wearing safety goggles at the time and they probably saved my eye. I found them when I got home later and there was a big gash in them and the corner was cut off. Like the doctor and everyone else said, it could have been a lot worse. thankfully it wasn't worse, it could have easily been. I have since added a hard hat to my safety supplies and fixed my tarp.

After cutting myself, it was about a month before I started carving again. I was very nervous with the chainsaw and needed to get over my fear. I decided to make some quick chainsaw only carvings.
tiki #7: nothing to write home about. I just wanted to get through it with all body parts intact. I used a piece of queen/coco palm and left all the outer bark on. My idea for this one was to use it as a prototype for a bar stool I would make later. I wanted to see how to lay it out quickly and not waste a good log. The finished result sucks as piece of work but was very useful in learning how to become a better carver.

tiki #9 was the same idea. Chainsaw only. Queen/coco palm with the bark left on. I used a design I found on the web somewhere and modified it slightly. At this time, I was still trying to find a way to make a good piece out of this type of wood. I like the natural texture and shallow carving kept it from cracking and warping too much.

face close up

For tiki #10, I used another queen/coco palm, but this time with the bark removed. It was inspired by a tiki I saw at a friend's house. He paid a fair amount of money for his and it looked to me like some dude spent about 20 minutes freehanding it with a chainsaw. So I went home and tried to replicate it best I could. I think I want to make these for a career because based on the original piece's price, I can get paid about $480 an hour to make these...if only there was a larger market for twenty minute tikis. After this one, I was over my power tool fears and was ready to get back to improving my skills.
I don't have a picture of #10 yet, so here is a spider that was by me while I was carving it. I'll change the picture as soon as I find it.

So now it's Dec 05 and I decided to kick up my productivity a couple of notches. I had a big delivery of Mexican fan palms dropped off at my house. I spent about a week solid getting the logs prepped.
Here is what my work area looked like during this time:

As you can see, I have a lot to do...


Very interesting story and nice pictures, keep it up you are doing a great job with all your carvings.

Hiltiki: I don't carve fast in my opinion, however, once I start a piece it's hard to walk away from it. I'll spend 6-7 hours carving in a day and quit around sunset. Usually what happens though is that I drag the piece inside and work on it in my living room until I pass out. There have been a couple of times where I worked a few 12-15 hour days in a row. For some reason I have this overwhelming compulsion to finish a project by working non-stop once it is started. Some times needing sleep is annoying but working all night sure has cured my insomnia.
Benzart: I'm not really a tool guy, more like a drafting guy. I think the most important thing for myself in designing a piece is the actual drawing itself. If I get the line drawn exactly where I need to cut, I make no mistakes so far as placement once I start carving. I figure why fix something later when you can do it right the first time. I kind of chuckled when you asked about being a tool guy. If you saw my tools you'd know I'm definitely not a tool guy- all I used for about my first 20 were Four flat chisels-$19.99 at Home depot, a mallet, and my pencil(most important.) I did look at one of your old posts about tools and just went out and bought a set of gouges: my first real carving investment. I wish I would have them months ago.
I took four years of mechanical and architectural drafting in high school( real hands on drafting, not CAD)so I can use the tools of that trade quite well-now its just a matter of trying to master another set of them. I'll post some pictures of the drawing layouts on the logs later on.

I've been posting all my Tikis chronologically and am now up to #10. After #10 I really started taking a lot more pictures of the process so brace yourselves, I have a ton of stuff to share with you goes. Don't abandon me now, it's just starting to get good...


Glad for your enthusiam, and for your willingness to share your entire carving experience with us. Very interesting, please continue.....

[ Edited by: Tiki G. 2006-04-12 12:20 ]

Yeeps...480 an hour? Me and everyone else I know get around 150.00 a foot. By that standard OA is cheap!!


We won't abandon you, carry on with your interesting work and keep us(me!) posted.

Holy crap - I don't check the web for a few days and look at what pops up. Nice collection and interesting story. I'm glad to see that the accident didn't stop you. I look forward to seeing more of your work because we all get better the more we carve and it looks like you have many more to share with us.

From left to right #8,11-14


20, 24-26

play by play to follow...

Continuing on with my saga...
Through trial and many errors, I actually had some prior knowledge to work with now. I spent a few months playing with logs and now knew what to look for. I felt comfortable with my ability to find good logs and not be limited by what the log would let me do, so I shifted my focus to improving my skills as a carver. To this point, most of my stuff seemed kind of flat and I wanted to add some depth. I also wanted to concentrate in working on my transitions between the features on the carvings. I wanted the nose to flow into the lips,then into the chin and so on- as opposed to having it look like a flat drawing with features simply placed side by side with one another.
I also did a whole bunch of research on tikis and design elements. I started by going to google images and looking under "tiki." Then "carved tiki","carved wooden tiki," and so on. I started keeping an album of anything that I found interesting, attractive, or exceptional. Through these searches, I found TC and the carving section. More images were placed in the album.
When it came time to carve a piece, I looked to my album for inspiration. In most instances, I chose something that I found to be aesthetically pleasing to my eye and beyond my current skill level. I looked to challenge myself and measured my results to the original source. I never attempted to exactly replicate my source; rather I tried to replicate the process by which the original result was obtained. In the end, I think only one or two ended up even looking slightly like the originals.(hey tiki central scavenger hunt-find the original source of buzzy's copies-A prize to the first one who can correctly locate and identify them-go!)
Having the luxury of a large supply of logs to choose from was now my reality. I no longer had to make do with what I had. I could choose the finest crack free logs to work with now. Here is a picture of the next three I chose to work with:

I strip them with an electric hand planer to get them to look like this. It takes about 20 minutes to do a five foot log, 16 inches in diameter. I think it took about 35 minutes for me to do all three.

My next step was to draw out the face exactly how I was going to carve it


the eyes were going to be rounded so the concentric circles were to guide the carving of the rounded zones

my technique at this time was to carve everywhere that needed eventual carving...

and then go back and make what looked too shallow look deeper

The sun went down so I had to go inside for sanding(stupid winter). For this, I use the dremel tool and a drum sanding bit. This tool is good for cleanup and forming the rounded surfaces.
Close up after sanding, no stain

I purposely left about 1/16" of the outer bark on for contrast. It will darken more as time goes on, after staining it.

I stained it with brush on Zinsser Bulls Eye clear shellac.

What I learned from this one:

  1. Little tikis (this one was 2'1") don't hurt your back as much when you work on them.
  2. Small rotary tools leave disproportionally large scars in a freshly sanded area after they slip.
  3. Little scars can cause big problems.
  4. If I try to make something that looks exactly like the original, it will end up not even resembling it, but will still look pretty cool. Accidental originality rules!

Adventure 11:
After #8, I was upset that my copy looked so little like the original. I figured in the future it would be impossible for me to successfully carve something that I can only see in my mind if I cannot replicate something that I can actually see with my eyes. For #11 I tried to do as accurate a recreation as I could from a photo in my album of tiki images. (scavenger hunt hint-not from this site this time) It was a simple design and I've seen several copies?, interpretations?, around the San Diego area. I think it's a design that an individual local tiki maker is mass producing and selling all over the county. He has another design I've seen in two different stores on opposite sides of the county. At one store he had about 18 of the exact same design done on two different size logs. One was about 3 1/2 feet tall and the large one was about 5 1/2 feet. Each log was the exact same height and diameter. Every last one was carved with the exact same design that was the exact same size. He probably uses a stencil and does them in lots, assembly line style. They did vary slightly from one another in that the eyes and details were painted in differing colors. I think that I counted 14 small ones and 4 large ones all lined up when I drove by. About two weeks later I happened by and I didn't see any of them out front. I pulled in and walked through the entire store looking to see how many tikis the store moved in the last two weeks or so. There were none anywhere. They all sold. About a month later, I drove by again and noticed another lot of tikis had arrived. It was about another twenty of the exact same one. This time there were no large ones-just three rows deep of the same replicated small one. Another month later I drove by again and there were only two left. Since then I've seen one more large load of the same tikis that are presently down to only two. If you're the guy who does these and you're reading this, get to work dude! PB only has two and the one left in Leucadia was all stuffed in back and dusty. Oh yeah, I'm also sorry Mr. Local Tiki Maker Guy that I tried copying at least two of your tikis early on in my tiki making journey. If I ever sell them and then meet you I'll pay you a licensing or franchise fee or whatever. If you want to sue me, could you please wait another year until my brother graduates from law school. Otherwise I might have to resort to mass producing attractive and popular, high volume selling tiki designs to cover my legal expenses. I'll have to ask my brother if you can copyright a tiki or if anyone has ever tried. If no one has tried yet, I call dibs on all similarities of the easter island design theme and all Mr. Local Tiki Maker Guy's designs-that way I can just sit back and wait for my royalty checks to roll in-I could probably just hire a crew to make all my copyrighted intellectual property items. Even more money for even less work-sign me up!
Anyway, if you skipped all these words before this and just want to know what the picture is- it is of #11 drawn out on a 3 1/2 foot tall, 8 inch diameter Mexican fan palm, from a design "inspired" by Mr. LTMG.

First round with the chisel. the mouth needs to be hollowed more and everything needs to be cut deeper and be defined better

Right before last going over and sanding

burned and finish sanded, no sealer yet

What I learned from this one:
#1 If I really try, I can make something look like the original
#2 Recreating isn't as much fun as reinterpreting
#3 You don't get black ash on your clean wood if you don't touch it with your dirty hands
#4 Zinsser spray on Bulls eye shellac rules for this application: I sprayed it lightly over the burned areas first so that when I applied the brush-on shellac later, it didn't get black ash on the brush and transfer ash into the clean spots.

the words "chainsaw accident" and "my face" should never be in the same sentence.

Great job Man! Thanks for posting.

[ Edited by: AlienTiki 2006-04-12 01:18 ]


[ Edited by: Tiki G. 2006-04-12 12:19 ]

Bummer! I just spent an hour working on my next post and all my work vanished suddenly. Stupid computers. I need to get to carving because I'm burning daylight so I'll redo an abridged version of my lost message:
Yesterday I started a new one:

and ended the day with it like this:

my lost post had all the between photos and replies to some of your questions, comments, etc. I'm pissed at computers right now and I'll reply to you all later. Buzzy out

Doub: I use a Ryobi hand planer. It is more of a consumer grade version but it doesn't weigh as much as most other models. I think it was about $75 regular price at Home Depot. The only problem that I've had with it is it gets clogged frequently and if you don't unclog it the motor wheel will get super hot and actually melt the plastic belt. the replacement belt was only about $4 but I had to order it and it took 5 days and cost $8 to ship. After learning about melting belts, I only run it about an hour and wait about 3-4 until it cools to run it again.
Here are some pictures with comments:
Here's the tool(it comes in a big gray plastic carrying case)

I think this shows the model# hpl 51

I work from the bottom of the tree towards the top. In this picture, the log is upside down with the bottom of the tree on the top. I'll start from the top and run the planer downhill.When you try this, it will be obvious which direction to go. The right way will leave a smooth plane and the wrong way leaves a mess of rough fiber on the plane and clogs the machine almost immediately

I keep going in one stripe until the good wood appears

then I look for the peak or angle and start bringing this down from the apex

this is the peak after about 3 passes

Then I just move in the same direction to the next peak you can see in the picture until the whole log is done. This log is a throw away so I'm not going to finish it but you probably get the idea. After a day or so i remove the fibers and lines that the planer left with a 3x18" belt sander. If the log is fairly dry when you plane it you might not need to sand it down. If I store them outside for a couple weeks they sometimes get surface mildew if it rains. I find that this comes off easily with the sander. I hope this helps.

[ Edited by: Bay Park Buzzy 2006-04-13 16:18 ]

Alientiki: I thought that my injuries were on the moderately severe side and felt sorry for myself initially. Then I watched the UFC middleweight championship fight between Rich Franklin and Evan Tanner. After about eighteen minutes of a severe beatdown at the hands of Franklin, Tanner's face was a disaster. Two minutes after the fight he looked worse than I ever did. Whenever I see my scars, I feel lucky that I only got hit with a chainsaw instead of Rich Franklin.


Awesome work Buzz. Keep churning them out and posting pics.

Oh boy it's getting hot outside. Summer's here. I came in to cool down and take a break. Here's more of today's progress:

Back to work!!!!


Man, you are one enthusiastic tiki carver! Welcome aboard.

PS. After the chainsaw accident, I know you should be preaching to us, but have you read the safety thread yet? That scared the crap outa me when I read that.

Buzzy's Tiki Field Trip

I went to the Red Lion after reading about the restaurant and the tikis on the events forum regarding Tiki Oasis 6.
Here are pictures from my adventure:

I don't think I like the painted style. It reminds me of sitting in line at the border waiting to come back and seeing all that fine Mexican handiwork on display. These look like cheap tourist art to me. Is it authentic to paint them like this or is is just the hotel spicing things up for the guests? I await a learned response...

Tiki # 12: On #12, I tried to concentrate on the angle of my initial cut and blending in features and multiple depth layers-much as I did on #8. I purposely chose something more complex to attempt this time. I looked in my album once again for inspiration (how’s that scavenger hunt going TCers- I’m not going to name the prizes yet-I’ll wait for least one correct original source named first.) I found something suitable. There were a few changes that I did from the original source: like the eyes, nose, mouth, tint, and body. Other than these minor changes, I left it exactly the same.

It all started with a Mexican fan palm 4’1” tall, eight inches in diameter. I didn’t know it yet, but this would be by far the best piece of wood that I ever worked with.

here it is all drawn out

Unfortunately, for the purposes of historical documentation, I was so into making this one that I never stopped carving it long enough to take pictures. Here's the face after finishing carving, lightly sanded

the whole thing

side view

It still needs considerable sanding so I gave it three weeks to dry more and took it inside to finish it

I used a belt sander first, then the drum on the dremel, and finally a ton of hand sanding with a sanding block

I really liked the grain and overall quality of wood so I applied several coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye clear shellac. Originally, I was going to make this my first dark tiki, but changed my mind after sanding

finally done

There it is with #8 and #11

I like to think back to the way the logs were and it makes me proud to have made these attractive works out of something that otherwise would have went to the landfill. From tree to trash to treasure...

What I learned during the #12 process:

  1. This wood is really neat if you get a perfect specimen
  2. You can tell the difference between when someone tells you he/she likes your work because he/she is your friend and when someone says your work is good because it's actually kind of good.
  3. You can really lose time when you get into it totally.
  4. Keep sanding even after you're sick of doing it-you'll only make it better until it's finally perfect.
  5. This is really fun
  6. The wood will continue to tan over the next couple of months
Bete posted on Fri, Apr 14, 2006 11:02 AM

Very cool tikis you made! I also like the look of that Red Lion place you went to, where is that place located?

Bete: thanks! It's in San Diego. It's actually called the Red Lion Hanalei. This link will give you more info. There is a gallery on this page right under the easter island picture with a few more pictures of tikis, etc.

[ Edited by: Bay Park Buzzy 2006-04-14 21:18 ]

Hi Mom,
Happy holiday weekend(UFC 59: Reality Check, oh yeah, and early Happy Easter).I got your message earlier but I can't call you back right now, I'm outside carving, hoping that it will not rain again today. I brought my current work inside during yesterday's storm to work on it (I would not advise others to try to do this if your living room is nice.) The dog was mad because she was trying to sleep and my malleting kept her awake. It is her room I'm working in after all. She went back and slept in my bed though. Now I'm afraid I lost my living room and bedroom to her. Maybe at least I'll get the couch back for people to actually use. Anyway, here's some pictures of yesterday's progress and I'm glad that you and Pop enjoy reading my posts.
Love, Buzzy.
P.S. I know that it may look like I did some of the rough cuts on the body in these pictures with a chainsaw, but don't worry, it just looks that way. I got rid of my chainsaw right after the accident, just like I promised you that I would.

[ Edited by: Bay Park Buzzy 2006-04-15 15:00 ]

The Continuing Adventures of Buzzy, wherein Buzzy explains the process of tiki #13:
So now I'm going to take this carving process on like the legendary Bruce Lee. Bruce was never constrained by the limitations of a single martial arts style; rather he invented his own system of jeet kun do, where he studied the best aspects of every single style of traditional martial arts and kept or incorporated only the aspects that made sense or worked for him. Anything that he didn't think would work in a real fight situation was simply disregarded and not incorporated into his system. His strengths came from the best of the combined knowledge of all who ever preceded him. It is with this methodology that I now, with tiki #13, fully implement the carving system version of Jeet Kun Do.
To be a JKD carver, I must carve every different style I find appealing or innovative. I must learn from every style and method that makes sense to me in my personal development. To achieve this, I must now carve as many different styles as I possibly can. I will not center on one style or make a run of similar pieces. To be able to one day do anything, I must first attempt everything. I am now Buzzy, a mere white belt karate carver, who will study hard and progress and one day become a black belt. Here I go trying to move up the ranks now...
I was going through my tiki reference album looking for inspiration, and having a hard time of it. My friend was over and he pointed to a picture that had several tikis in a row carved by the same artist. He said to me, "All these are kinda cool lookin'. You should try one like this." I thought-well I should, I might learn something. When I first started compiling images, the aforementioned picture was one of the first that really inspired me to become a good carver. When I saved the picture, it was not with the intention that I would copy one of this carver's works. Rather, I saved it because it was the first example of a carver that had a distinct and personal style that I found in my initial research. I looked at it longingly, hoping that one day someone could pick one of my works out of several in a room and go "Oh cool, that looks like a Buzzy! Is it real?"
For the piece that I did, I didn't pick one work and replicate it closely. I tried to replicate the style and motifs that this carver used and come up with something that I guess you would say "in the style of" or "inspired by" the original artist, not a replication of something he actually produced.(oh yeah, scavenger hunt hint-the carver I'm talking about has a wide spread presence on this very site-this one's easy)
Okay, now that I got all the wordy philosophical stuff out of the way, here's that part that has words and pictures about actually making something:
It's a 2'9" mexican fan palm, 6 1/2" diameter and lacking any variation of fiber color, it's a very pale yellow throughout. None of the usual darker fibers are in this particular log. Here it is drawn out

This one was the first one that I carved in one sitting. I also did it at night. I hope the neighbors couldn't hear me. It went fast. the next morning it looked like this:

I tried really hard to make the eyes perfect globes. This was one aspect that was not in any of the original artist's work. I just wanted to try to carve a rounded sphere the right way. They were finally much rounder than this after I used the dremel with the sanding drum

this is the first draft of the mouth

I left the mouth the original way for about three weeks. Every time I looked at it, something just didn't look right to me. I figured that it was because I tried to carve a piece in the style of that one guy and I wasn't that guy, I was just me. I grabbed my chisel and reworked it. I thought it looked like a dorky walrus and I needed to change it. A little cosmetic dentistry, a blow torch, and some clear polyury stain saved this piece for me in the end. No one would confuse it for one done by the original artist, but someone might say, "Hey look, someone tried to copy one of (censored)'s tikis. That one's stupid though, it looks like a walrus."

Now being Jeet Kun Do Buzzy, I not only had to replicate the results of my teacher( in this case the original carver-my white belt sensei), I also felt I needed to copy the methods of my sensei. Since I do not yet own quite fancy tools and a workshop like my sensei, I did the best I could with what I had on hand, In this case a blond female to do my sanding for me, just like sensei does:

What I learned:

  1. I am now a sponge who needs to be filled with all the carving knowledge I can hold.
  2. Being a white belt at anything sucks-I need to train!

Well, to you who finds yourself reading this now or in the future, I hope you learned something from me reading this post. I really don't know anything though. There's this guy named benzart around here and he seems to know just about everything. Stop wasting your time here and find his thread. You'll learn something from not only a black belt in the art of carving, but like a tenth degree something black belt at that. I bet when benzart was a white belt, he was actually carving all night, not sitting on a computer talking about his junky white belt carvings like I do....Good night future readers, I NEED TO GO AND TRAIN MORE, right now. I won't be a white belt for long.


Buzzy, your work is really looking Great and your Posts describing yout trials and tribulations are rally Awesome. Thanks for taking the time to entertain us so thoroughly.
As far as the Chainsaw event, if one were to find the statistics, the #1 part of the body to be injured by the Chain Saw would be the Head or Face. Seems that most kick backs find the face in the way.
Be careful and Keep on Carving.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 4146 replies