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BenZarts Coon-Tiki 2- Pictures

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Looks like we have a date of July 28th and 29th. Those of you who were there last year remember Nawger-Nob in Townsend, Tennessee. Thats where we have rented their classroom, in the Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers store area. we are limited to 12 students and will probably be carving a Moai this time since they seem to be riding high in popularity. Size will be 18"to 24" .
The website for the event is http://www.coontiki.hukilau.org/
Space is limited so sign up early and you can sign in to the Coon Tiki website with Questions or comments.

[ Edited by: Benzart 2007-07-31 09:59 ]


Thanks Skully

OH Boy!!!! Gotta check the calender!!

Hmmm...Tennessee in July. I'm thinking about it.

When will more details be available?


We're working out the details now so they will be posted soon. Stay tuned


The class space is reserved for the weekend. The class takes place at Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers. They are all set up for this stuff.

Ben plans to teach a Moai with hand tools (chisels). At first I thought that seemed a bit simple, but if you look at Ben's carving threads and see the Octopus Moai and his work, you know he puts a lot more into a moai than most.

This is going to be a 2 day intensive class with 100% attention to the students. Everyone will get one on one instruction from Ben and the goal is to really make great progress. Basement Kahuna will be there as well I am sure and be ready to help share his techniques.

I am looking for a cabin rental company right now. I really encourage everyone to share a large cabin. 3-4 bedrooms and enjoy the chance to spend time with other carvers. Plus, you can stay there as cheaply in a cabin in the mountains that way rather than a cheap motel room.

Evenings will be social time of course.

Doing it in July means summer. If you want, you can make a week of it and plan a vacation around the trip. I am more than happy to give advice and suggestions if you want to do that.

The site is up for you to reserve your space.

A site for ideas about the area

[ Edited by: Swanky 2007-03-28 07:10 ]


I started a thread on the cabin rentals here. This is information for making a reservation. Once you reserve a cabin, we can help you get people to share the cabin if you need it. If you are going to come to Coon Tiki, I urge you to reserve a cabin now before they get taken. They have a 30 day cancellation policy, but, we ought to be able to help you get it rented to someone else if you can't make it. I would reserve them myself if I could. Reserving one for Ben is my first priority.


How many openings are still available?

Every time I try to access one of Swanky's websites at work I get the "Banned Website- your actions will be reported to...." message. Swanky is going to get me in trouble.

If there are still openings, I'm going to plan on attending.



On 2007-04-16 07:41, JohnnyP wrote:
How many openings are still available?

Every time I try to access one of Swanky's websites at work I get the "Banned Website- your actions will be reported to...." message. Swanky is going to get me in trouble.

If there are still openings, I'm going to plan on attending.


Oooh, I'm banned! I'm banned? No idea why. The ISP may have content they filter and they go by the host, not the actual site. Try http://www.bambooben.com and see if it lets you in there. If not, they are just blanket filtering and they suck...

Plenty of openings. Plan on coming down. I have a lot of people who have said they would come, but, until they register, it does not count.

Swanky posted on Tue, May 8, 2007 6:53 PM

I added images of the piece Ben will be teaching to the website, for those who may be unfamiliar. A real challenge, but Ben is a great teacher and Basement Kahuna is as able as assitant as any. A short list of tools you will need are there as well. The class is 1/4 full now. Lots of people have said they were interested, but have not registered yet.

Coon Tiki 2007

Swanky posted on Mon, Jun 4, 2007 6:36 AM

Hey gang. The class is now half full and we are coming into the home stretch.

I consider myself a beginner as a carver. I have started one carving and struggled with it. That's the inspiration for Coon Tiki. Last year, in that one weekend, I learned a tremendous amount. I know I will learn more this time too.

The piece for the class is an opportunity for Ben to show us a lot of things. Whether you are new to carving or an old hand, this class should help you along. I know Ben is eager to spend lots of time helping everyone and guiding us along.

You just can't beat, one on one, in person learning. Anything you have wondered about in your work, you can be sure Ben has a good answer and can show you how.

Basement Kahuna has a wealth of knowledge as well. History and techniques for finishes along with incredible carving skills.

I'm looking forward to another weekend carving and learning and getting to know people.

Coon Tiki 2007

Wow, this looks like it would be so much fun! i would actually REALLY like to come, the thing would be to convince my mom and that will be difficult. dont think its impossible though.
ill keep trying

I am really bummed. I am traveling for the next month and get back in the states on the 26th. If I try and come up there two days later my wahine will kill me. I will keep checking to see if it fills up, if I can talk her into a Smokey Mountain Getaway I may try and register and find accommodations at the last minute. If I bring it up now and she smells Tiki......


There are a few openings left for Coon Tiki 2007.

If you did not hear, Ben is giving the class project piece he carves to one of the students. One of them is going home with a killer Benzart carving! That's worth the registration right there!

These are images of the original.

Coon Tiki 2007

Is there a slot left?


On 2007-07-13 12:55, pappythesailor wrote:
Is there a slot left?

Yes. We have a few opening left.


Hey Swanky can't make this one.
But I just wanted to say this is/was a great event!
I would highly recommend for all to attend.
We all learned a lot that weekend.
It would take years of trail and error to get as far as we did in one weekend.
Plus Benzart is a great guy as is Basement Kahuna.
They both made it a fun time.
Danny and Al were fun as well but they won't be there this time.
Have fun and no cuttie the fingie.

Hooray! Mrs. Pappy gave me the green light to go. I'll be a'drivin down. Hope I don't suck too bad at this carving stuff....


HappyHappyHappy, Pappy's Coming to town. Yippee. Can't wait. Thanks Pappy.
Here is the latest update for the Coon Tiki Piece:

We still have room for a few more but it is getting close.


Hello Townsend and Nawger Nob, We arrived yesterday (Tuesday) for a few days R&R before the Weekend.
Anyone here already? call me on my cell phone. PM me and I'll give you the #.

Wish I were there now! Hey, Ben or anyone--can someone point me to some tools online so I can see what I'm looking for? I was going to borrow some from my Dad but he doesn't want his expensive chisels hit with a mallet. (Yeah, I can see his point.) I was gonna get some stuff at Sears. Should I bother or just get stuff from Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers? How big a V-chisel? Does a hook knife have a size?


P.S. Ben--what rum do you need?


Just wait to get it at Smoky Mnt Woodcarvers with Ben there helping you pick. For this piece, a mallet is not required. You can likely do it with palm chisels if they are nice and sharp. This is soft basswood and 4 X 4 X 12. No big hitting required. If anything, just a few gentle taps. See if your Dad is cool with that. If not, they have what you need at the shop. Their prices are really reasonable too. The Flexcut set I have been wanting for a while they have priced at exactly the same as the lowest I have found online.

Oh, and Ben likes St. James H'ors D'agee... :wink:

Thanks, Swanky. So much to do!




TN bound within the hour. Yeahhh! Maybe I'll finally learn how this hook knife thing works. ---without too much blood.

See you guys tomorrow night.

MAN, I am SO bummed that I don't get to go this year! We had such a great time last year learning and bonding and having a blast...

"Jealous"... out!

I'll second that... Have fun, guys.

GMAN posted on Sun, Jul 29, 2007 5:12 PM

Who won the Moai?


Do we need to send out a search party for you guys?

Buzzy Out!

GMAN posted on Mon, Jul 30, 2007 3:20 PM

Yeah, sup wit dis?

I made it back! The 14-hour drive from MA to TN is a ballbuster! Don't do it!

Jungle Jim won the tiki fair and square--don't let anybody tell you different.

I can't believe how nice all the tikis came out. Ben is a great teacher and BK filled in where Ben left off. Nobody left there with a bad-looking tiki--even me who's never carved a thing. Ben's got all the pics.

We had a great time. Thanks especially to Swanky for organizing it. Dave, thanks for the grog (PM me the recipe, man!) and the carving tips. Ben, you're the best. If there's a CoonTiki 3, I'm gonna fly. Timid-Tiki--sorry I didn't get to say goodbye to you. Jungle Jim, thanks to you and Jennifer for the hospitality. If you're ever in NE, please look me up.

Oh, yeah-- I still have all my fingers too.

Here's the tiki. There's probably still 12 hours worth of work to do on it but you get the idea. I was probably the slowest carver. Yes, Ben helped me with the eyes and the nose. That is to say, he pretty much carved them for me.


Any weekend that begins with directions like this

"Find the big carving of the girl in a bikini riding a boar, turn on the next road, go a long ways down a twisty road, take the fork until you find a dirt road with a chain across it. Drive over the chain and up the treacherously steep rocky curvy road...... to the meeting place"

BK back at 11:45 PM Monday. Swank, you da man. Ben, you da man. Jim, Jennifer, you da- Man and Woman..Johnny, Pappy, the Michigan crew, The Florida crew, and all crews in between-great job! Hope I was somewhat useful! Aloha, and great event to Swanky and Stephanie's credit.


On 2007-07-30 18:40, JohnnyP wrote:
Any weekend that begins with directions like this

"Find the big carving of the girl in a bikini riding a boar, turn on the next road, go a long ways down a twisty road, take the fork until you find a dirt road with a chain across it. Drive over the chain and up the treacherously steep rocky curvy road...... to the meeting place"

That's the opening scene to the new horror flick we are working on: "Blood on the Tikis" Jungle Jim used up all the bandaids already...

It was fun. Great to have two solid days to just carve and learn. I'm sore as hell from working that cherry log. Lots of sweating and straining. But now I should be in shape to finish it!

Thanks for coming everyone. A lot of the attendees are not on TC or not posting. Look forward to seeing the finishing of these carvings.


Yes, It was Great. Happy People and Lots of chips flying.
Yes Jungle Jim won the Benzart and then proceeded to slice into every finger he has and then some. He needed a bandaid to cover the whole hand, but he Kept right on Truckin'.
I couldn't have asked for a better, more Eager and willing class, everyone Really worked Hard and made use of Every minute available and then some. Everyone did such a great job.
Here are a few reminders on film:

The Missing in action I'll find later

Jealous Jealous Jealous.
Nice batch of Moai there, they all look great with their own personalities. It's really
cool to see them all lined up...a tribute to a great teacher.

GMAN posted on Tue, Jul 31, 2007 2:39 PM

Bueno! Which Moai is JohnnyP's?


MIA- had to leave early to get back to work Monday morning. Besides everybody else showed me up.

I have a bunch of pictures I'll post later.

Nice Pics! BK looks like he's wearing a racoon apron. :P

Can some give a caption here, names to faces? I know the guy on the left and the guy on the right and of course Swanky.

Let me try to put a name with a face!.....

(from left to right) Brer Fox, Kevin Costner, Pappy Potter, Jimmy Buffett, Zach Braff, Ben Kingsley and Tommy Lee Jones. In the front row is Scarlett Johansen and Dom Delouise!
Wow - celebrity carvers! Sweet!


Whoops, too late.

Swanky posted on Wed, Aug 1, 2007 6:26 AM

I am horrible with names, so, I can only try.
(l to r) BK; Gene (standing) and Heather (seated) from Naples, FL; Pappy; Mike; an extremely worn out me; Don (seated); Jungle Jim; and Ben. Johnny P was on the road. Also missing is Jay, and Everlie.

Yeah. Where was Jay when that picture was taken????


Picture time. Commments later, but it was a great time. Nice meeting everybody! Benzart is the master!

harro posted on Fri, Aug 3, 2007 5:11 PM

GREAT pics JP!

you can really see the knowledge and skills being taught and learnt in those photos.

wish I was there!

mieko posted on Sat, Aug 4, 2007 12:03 AM

Wow, wish I could have been there, it was a bad weekend for me.
Great job everyone! The Moai really look great! Thanks for all the pictures, even just seeing what some people are doing and how they're holding their pieces is educational.


WOW! is right..... some learn'n there... fo show!! BEN! BEN! BEN!.... looks fantastic ya'all!!

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