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[ Edited by: tikifreak on 2004-01-09 12:20 ]

K

Just got the Black & Decker Navigator electric saw (not cordless). $60 and the thing's great! Like a reciprocating saw, but with a larger blade, and it converts into a jigsaw. Good tool for roughing out.

Ken

I use a Stihl 018c gas. It's doesn't weigh much. Bought a smaller bar with quarter size tip for more detail, you can buy chain bars with nickel and dime size tips for even more detail. Just talkin' about this makes me want to get out and finish one I started last week, thanks, JT

I have to chime in and get opinions on something I saw in the automation department- has anyone tried one of these newfangled spiral saws? Rotozip is one brand, Dremel makes one also. Basically a high speed saw with the profile of a drillbit. You can set any depth up to 1 inch. Looks like an absolute godsend for plunging "main cuts" in those low-relief carvings...wouldn't push on delicate cuts above it and try to "pop" them off like a chisel does. That combined with a set of big 3/4 inch burrs looks like the way to go as far as automation...Does anyone use one and do they work or just load and burn like so many of these dremel type tools? (that's what has kept me away from them).

When I set out to carve my first tiki I initially attempted to use a Dremel and it didn't work at all - it was slow and didn't cut real well, I think I probably burned up 3 cutting blades before I gave up. I went to my Dad and borrowed his Makita electric router with adjustable depth and it worked great! I was able to rough in the initial cuts and it worked great!

:drink:

Hey B.K.
I picked up one of those spriral saw and was going to use it for my first carving.
After playing around with it for a while became heavy, cumbersome and kind of dangerous. I went back out and bought some chisels and a mallet. I plan to use the spiral saw later for detail work. I also picked up a flexible shaft so now it can be used just like an industrial dremel. I am using that way now to do some relief carvings on a wooden frame.
Chongolio

7

I too started out using just chisels. Wore my arms out trying to create my first carving, and it took two weeks.

Then used a b&d electric (14") chain saw for the rough out, then chisels for the details.
Still took too long, about a week for the second one.

Bought a right angle grinder at Home Depot, used the chain saw for removing the 'bark' and initial rough out work, used the right angle grinder with 60 grit sanding wheel attached, then chisels for detail work. Took 4 hours for the third carving.

The 14" chain saw had some limitations (radius of cuts) so I found a chainsaw type wheel called "Lancelot" for my angle grinder. I gotta tell you though, holding an angle grinder with a chain saw (circular) blade on it spinning at 10,000 RPM is a nerve racking experience, you can convert an arm or leg to hamburger faster than you can say kahuna with that thing! But man o man does it make short work of carving palm trees. Unfortuanatey, both the chainsaw blade and the sanding disk on an angle grinder create a lot of high pitched noise. You'll have neighbors crawling out of their caves to get a look at what's causing the racket using one :lol:

It worked so well, I bought another one at a flea market so I didn't have to keep changing over from chainsaw blade to sander.
The last carving took 6 hours, but included time for staining and sealing.

I'm still searching for the right tools to use for detail work - like small geometric relief cuts (patterns) in surfaces. I busted the flex shaft I was using, and I've bought a hundred dollars worth of bits that choke and wont remove material after 30 seconds of use.

The plunger / router concept sound interesting, dangerous I'll bet, but fast too.

How does everyone dry their wood? Shrinkage, checking and cracking has become a significant problem for me with the carvings I'm doing. Waiting 2 years for a sabal palm to dry out doesn't seem like a real option to me either... any ideas ?

7TiKiS

Ah, I find the electric chainsaws to be alright on arm and rib bones, but doesn't really 'cut' it on the larger torso and spinal bones.

From a previous post - "7-It is pretty heavy, about medium dry. I seal those things from top to bottom to slow drying (that's an oil finish on that tiki pole). All wood will crack if it dries too fast...the trick is to get it to only do this at the core and not at the surface. Fact from Brad Fisher, a buddy of mine who builds timberframes: a log loses 85% of it's moisture through the cut ends. Buy a can of pruning seal while working and tar the crap out of both ends of your log. The tiki will thank you!" .....you can also use Minwax Polycrylic on the cut ends...water based and will dry nicely on a semi-green log.

7

On 2003-01-17 08:35, jungletrader wrote:
I use a Stihl 018c gas. It's doesn't weigh much. Bought a smaller bar with quarter size tip for more detail, you can buy chain bars with nickel and dime size tips for even more detail. Just talkin' about this makes me want to get out and finish one I started last week, thanks, JT

Hey JT, where did you locate the different sized blades for your chainsaw?

Also... are they unique to the Stihl model or are they a "universal" fit ?

7

PS. Has anyone had experience using a chainsaw blade that is built for ripping instead of crosscutting ? I think there are some extra knife style cutters in the rip style chain...

7Tikis, I buy my chain bars from the local Stihl dealer/lawnmower shop. The owner gets me whatever I need (blades) directly from Germany, I believe. I don't think they are "universal fit". The smaller the tip on the bar, the smaller the blade. JungleTraderVic

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