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hello everybody....I've been lerking and learning from all of you over the past 6-7 months. buying tools, reading your post, gathering reference books on oceanic art and collecting wood to cure. aloha station said it best on a question i had a while back "research is just an excuse to not get started" and its damn true. I have to send a thanks out to two other members out in my neck of the woods (florida). GMAN and savage daddy. GMAN turned me on to a cypress log supplier up in st pete. i have 2 awsome 8 foot / 12" diameter logs awaiting my saw. and a big thanks to savage daddy for his local support and great source for cheap tools. with all this aside you might expect to see a master piece......NOT EVEN CLOSE! infact....this log will end up in my redneck fire pitt out back.

I wanted to contribute after all this time absorbing knowledge from you experience folks. well there is no better teacher than experience.....i was just practicing my tools on not such a great piece of sabel palm and thought ....hey not too bad until i started cutting into the other side and WHAMO!!!

A lovely chunk of dry rot an inch thick or more right in the middle of the face. Not too much to do but start on a better piece of wood. I am so far not a fan of cabbage palm. starting cypress next. let me know your thoughts and thanks to all of you out there in tiki land!

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2014-11-12 08:22 ]

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2016-01-04 08:49 ]

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[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2018-07-02 09:19 ]

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2018-07-15 14:27 ]

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2019-12-26 08:16 ]

Nice first carve. Maybe you can weather it pretty hard and lay that one on its side as a "fallen idol" or "ruin" accent in the landscape. Let some jungle plants grow over and around it.

[ Edited by: thegreenman 2009-04-08 18:18 ]

GMAN posted on Wed, Apr 8, 2009 6:29 PM

Hey Chimp! Glad you found some wood. I'm not too far away from you, maybe we can get together one day. Keep chipping, thinking, and learning. Nice to see you on the boards. Stay around.....



looking good!


Glad you jumped in. That's to bad about the rot.
Man you where off to a great start. I think you
are going to be a natural.


let the wood speak to you and tell you where to carve. sometimes it make take awhile but you'll be able to see what needs to be done. very nice carve.



Leave it go natural or lots of wood putty can work wonders if your are going to stain/poly it. Great first Tiki. BUFF


Yes, it was an Excellent first carve Creative Chimp, you have watched and learned well. Part of the carving experience you will learn will be to judge the log you are about to carve and make sure it can be utilized for the full intent of the carving. Or, you will survey a log and determine just what CAN be used to your best ability.
Don't burn your first piece, just cut the log in half and burn the bad part. Make a side view mask and hang it on a wall andenjoy it for years to come. Later down the road you will gain inspiration from that carve and you can Always be Proud of it.
Well (half)done and Thanks for finally acting and posting. WELCOME to TC!

Nice Job Man , Keep it up.

That really is a great first carve! I like the design of the face. Don't be afraid to carve deeper. I like thegreenman's idea for this tiki better than your fire pit idea. Let's hope the next one doesn't take as long to start as the first did! :lol: I can't wait to see your next one.

thanks everbody and to your reply savage daddy.....i'll try not to let the next one take so long. but being a family man, as you know....dad is always last on the list. I feel like a criminal trying to sneak off out to the garage without anybody seeing me. this weekend an 8 foot cypress is getting cut in half and removed from the trailer.......i'm going to pop a couple motrin before that project goes down.

Nice carves. Don't give up on the log just because you hit a bad spot. Part of the charm of tikis is that they are not perfect and can look weathered. Keep going you may end up loving it by the end. Cabbage Palm are notorious for being inconsistant. Carve deeper. It looks like you are still carving in the bark, you may find the dryrot is only on top and the wood underneath a bit better. Keep posting progress!


Off to a great start, welcome to TC. I agree with the others, save your first, it will provide years of good conversation with your creative side. If the rot isn't that extensive I'd be thinking about modifying the design to remove it and change the face a tad, but that's me. A wall mask would be awesome too.


there is always a side that is better than another, especially at the beginning! your first is already well, continues to learn. Welcome to TC

well i took a couple Motrin and started in on my 2 cypress logs (8' x 1' diameter). I was told by a nice lady at axley brothers mill in st pete FL to wet the bark down and it will peel right off. it did help but the great tool to use for me was a 100 year old draw knife i bought off ebay for $15. came off like butter. i was going to cut these in half but now i think i'm going to carve the entire 8 feet. hope to have design drawn in by this weekend and start cutting. One very thrilling and painfull lesson i have learned with debarking a cypress are lovely rose bush thorns growing under the bark. didn't know they were their until it was too late and a bloody rag later. its weird though......only one log had them and the other was clean. GMAN...you come across thorns on cypress? Maybe i have a rare mutant.

GMAN posted on Sat, Apr 11, 2009 6:54 PM

Cool helmet. That's a fine log! I can't wait to see what you come up with. Nope, can't say I've been bit by cypress, but I don't mess with it much. I have had cedar with pointy growths on the sapwood, just under the bark. I think they are just "almost branches" that never made it out?


Well, the logs look the same but the bark on the thorny log came off the easiest in stringy chunks. Maybe I got a cedar log mixed in the pile. Do they both grow in the same wet environment?

GMAN posted on Sat, Apr 11, 2009 7:20 PM

is it red in middle??

Like here:


[ Edited by: GMAN 2009-04-11 19:22 ]


Yep, That's Cypress. I've seen that a Lot in cypress, the upper portion of the tree will have (GMAN hit it square on)beginning growths of branches and they can be very sharp and pointy and Hard too because they have to push through from the heart wood through the sapwood ans bark. Most likely both logs are from the same tree. Cypress Will check pretty good if it isn't dried out.
You know, most of that bark need not be removed, since Cypress is fairly bug proof, when you start to cut out your design you will be taking off huge chunks with bark on them, what I'm saying is most of the carving also removes the barked wood and when you get it all roughed out you'll have MUCH Less bark... Just a thought.
Hope all this helps.

No it's not red in the middle GMAN. I guess it's like Benzart said it was...closer to the top which would make sense. Thanks for your help guys. The reason I stripped the bark was so I can map out the design easier. My trade is in design/advertising so I tend to sketch a lot and work out problems before working. Some people wing it with design but I like to think problems through. These logs have some minor cracks forming as it cures which I think will make it look even better in the end. I'm not going the fight the character of the log on this one.

Those minor cracks will turn into gaping cracks as the log dries. Keep that in mind while planning.

thanks for the warning aloha. bouncing around TC i see some awsome carvings and i always thought the cracks make them look better and aged. i will actually be incorporating them in when i lay it out.

well I'm going to keep posting little steps to force me to keep moving in these logs otherwise life will distract me and then the next thing ya know 6 months are gone. these are some sketches i have been working on and i think i'm going to try the second to the right "medicine man" i call him. Everybody works different but pulling a sketch of the front and side helps me plan out my cuts. these drawings don't seem to be any certain style....more of a gumbo of maori, marq, pop.....whatever. But then again, i'm pretty ambitious on my second try and it might turn out to be a pumpkin in the end. i like pumpkins too. just going to go with the grain baby!

Creative Chimp

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2009-04-24 16:02 ]

hewey posted on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 4:46 PM

That first carve had some great lines to it, and youve got some awesome designs sketched out. Cant wait to see you progress :D :D

GMAN posted on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 4:48 PM

Happy Happy, Joy Joy! Hey kids...it's Log! What's great for a snack and fits on your back.......it's Log Log Log....:lol:


Very good drawing! I like the third on the right...Go carving!!!


Yeah, I love All the drawings, wish I could draw like that. Can't wait to see them All transformed into the logs you are collecting. Keep us posted with Lots of progress shots?

well...got some headway today and i need motrin. these pictures are not great but they show progress.... going to the jacuzzi to help kill some "bent over with a cahinsaw all day pain".


Nice start, it's promising! For "bent over with a chainsaw all day pain" you should purchase a pair of trestles...

continue good carve............. J.

hey everybody...worked a little more sunday. everything is roughed in now and now i will be slowing digging deeper on the edges and forming its shape. adding some magical lines and shapes between the medicine mans hands and forming the facial features.

Hewey, laojia and benzart....thanks for your kind words on my sketches and progress. thats why i like this site so much. just a bunch of cool people out in the world helping each other out and encouraging each other.

And thanks for the song GMAN. i forgot the words so i looked it up on youtube.com. brings back warm fuzzy memories.

forgot this shot from my previous set....

Now this shot shows his butt....now its no powerful GMAN butt! Its more of a "hank Hill" butt. maybe on the next one i'll have some great "back action" going on.

GMAN posted on Sun, Apr 26, 2009 5:19 PM

what rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs......and rolls over your neighbor's pet.......

The medicine man is looking strong!


Looking good Creative Chimp! What a beautiful log you have. I love the wood grain
As it begins to take shape I can tell he is going to be a very impressive tiki. Your drawing are also excellent!
I predict we will be seeing other tiki art from you as well. Now get back to work. 8)

GMAN.......once ya get that song in your head its hard to get out. your latest project is kicking ass dude!!!!!!!!!

Yo Savage........hows it going? what your latest project? i'll be heading up to st pete again in a month to get some more cypress as soon as i bust through these 2 logs. got some smaller projects too in the works. I'm going to be putting them around the new pool so thats why i'm motivated. I'll send you a message a week before if your interested. I like the cypress a lot better than sable.

Hey Chimp...things are looking good on the Medicine Man. I like the
flowing look of this one, you are making progress quickly. Now lets get
the other sketches knocked out in wood.

Really great carving...nice feeling coming out of them. Obviuously, you're also a talented designer & drawer(?). Wondering what is that wheel you've got on your grinder in that pic.? I've had trouble finding a wheel that does what I want it to do. Tips are greatly appreciated.

thanks Drgoat456.....i used a cheap $30 electric chainsaw-(craftsman). got that on ebay. they are always listed. and the dewalt angle grinder with the sanding wheels shown below. hardly used a chisel because the wood is so dry the disc are getting the job done. the cracking like crazy but i expected it too.....drying too fast. the cypress wood made it real easy to carve....just like butter.

Chimp, I have not posted on here for a while, but I am still carving. Your designs are excellent. I would suggest getting some sawhorse's and get that wood up where you can work on it without bending over. I use a lot of cinder blocks to get the bigger logs up to a height that I can work on. The smaller stuff I use the sawhorses. Keep carving dude. I usually work in flip flops too. When I first started a cider block fell on my big toe and broke it. Damn, that hurt. I cried! Carving is painful.

[ Edited by: Tucson Tiki 2009-04-28 00:09 ]

.....left you out on my last reply(sorry)thanks for the compliments.....i'm working as fast as i can. the mind is willing and strong but my mortal body is weak.

Tucson Tiki
.....glad you like it. the only advantage of being on the ground was i could roll and cut. i though of blocks too but i need more to still have the the rolling effect. in my last post i lifted it up and OHHHHHHHHH so much better!

I'm going to be at the beach all next weekend so it will be a couple of weeks before i get to finish it.

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2009-04-28 06:14 ]

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2009-04-28 06:14 ]

CC, Thanks for the info...the sanding wheel I had was not cutting it, (the kind you attach a wheel of sandpaper to.) Again, GREAT work. I ended up building a giant sawhorse type affair out of 2x4s, which helps, 'cause being 1 yr away from 60, everything is painful. and glad to hear you're back to carving, Tucson Tiki & working too. My job is looking pretty dubious lately. Hope things get better soon.


Hey CC, nice carvings. I'm a chainsaw carver, bears, fish, etc. Tiki's are next. Always try to carve at waist level. Your back will be better for it. Harbor Frt. has some great adjustable hydraulic tables.

Some finishing tools that I find indispensable are made by Saburr-Tooth (google it). They can be used on die or angle grinders. The 4" disc's work great with an angle grinder. They are way more aggressive. Then finish with paper disc's or flap sanders. Just FYI. Carve On', MK

[ Edited by: mykee50 2009-04-28 12:11 ]

Mykee50......thanks for the tool info.

I'm adding a progress shot of the head and face. slowly working the ears , eyes and tonight the mouth is going in. its starting to get a personality now......to be continued....

I'll be digging deeper on the face slowly (around the eyes and sides) to give it a little more character

Creative Chimp

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2009-05-01 10:47 ]


Great work on the sketches. This is going to be great carve.
I use the crap out of my sanders.

thanks seeks.....i like working on the large logs. although it is a work out

i had to work on my boat trailer so all had had time to do was the mouth last night. my boat comes before everything (except family)


Looking great! Yes i like bigger it allows me to make
mistakes and recover because of the size or extra wood.
I don't know how these guys do the little tiny stuff.


Hi Dude,

Didn't see this one finished :

...And it's too bad because he looks really excellent with a kick ass design :)

By the way, the new one's a killer too !


thanks benella.....it only took me a year to respond. have had alot keeping me away from carving since last summer but now i'm ready to finish what i started....

you all might remember my first practice log with dry rot in it?.....well put it in the fire pit and drank a beer and just looked at it. figured i would see just how bad that rot really was so i pulled it back out and started grinding. WHAMO....hit good wood!(thats what she said). well i stripped the inch thick bark off and the entire log was still good........started cutting into it again so im going to actualy be able to finish this thing, then finish my second one too... here are some pics.

back from the dead and outta the fire pit!

oh...and benzart was right(as usual)...never should have gave up so quick on it to begin with. and aloha station was right too......carve deeper!!!! next time i'll listen fellas. thanks

Creative Chimp

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2010-03-26 18:09 ]


Wow!! I havent seen any of your wourk
I love the style Very NICE!!!!!

tikigodz.....thanks for the compliments.i need to work as fast as you.....my speed needs improving...

I do have a question for all of you out there in TC land. This practice log(sable Palm) has alot of mold discoloring and light and dark spots from moisture damage.....i bleached it as much as i could but i figured a dark stain or maybe a grey weathered stain would look nice and help hide the bad spots. what kind of stain should i use....???

i know nothing about wood staines, do i use a water based stain or oil? and do i seal it too after i stain the entire thing? looked around TC but still unsure of the correct process. any help out there would be great to actually finish my first attempt at carving.

I'm still cutting out the body region and trying to go deeper with the cuts...still a work in progress but better than setting it on fire like i had planned. kinda starting to like it again.

Creative Chimp

[ Edited by: Creative Chimp 2010-04-04 16:37 ]

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