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RIOTURBAN-Tiki carving process

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Hello Tikimaniacs,
here are some tiki carving process pics of my tikis,
wanted to start one big topic for my "how to" pics so that i don`t have to open one for every single piece.
hope you can get something out of it for your own works.
best wishes and happy carving-RIOTURBAN


the design

rough shape

sanding the surface

working on details

chamfer the cutting edges to avoid splintering

after cleaning the surface by sanding it i add a layer of shellac to avoid further contamination

add more details

now i apply the decoration

one of the last steps is to put in the eyes(i always put in the eyes after chiseling. the eyes make the tiki become alive and i dont want to chisel on a living tiki :) )

now i apply shellac and the tiki is finished!

[ Edited by: RIOTURBAN 2012-10-28 06:54 ]

[ Edited by: RIOTURBAN 2012-10-28 06:56 ]

[ Edited by: RIOTURBAN 2012-10-28 08:16 ]


This is an incredible piece! Well done!

Thank for sharing



Awesome detail

Beautiful design. I liked your other step by step post carving too. You have a really cool style

cy posted on Sun, Oct 28, 2012 5:28 PM

Chamfer? Was ist los? Only fooling Rio, thanks for the lesson on attention to details!

very nice!

amate posted on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 5:16 AM

Love your stuff! Fresh and very nicely done.

Beautiful work....fresh and exciting! Very cool.

thanks for the detailed steps. Are you using the masking tape as a guide or to protect the wood from your gouge?

Thank you all!i`m glad you like it!
@cy-hehe,youre right-i guess thats typically german:-)
@Atomic Mess- i use it as a guide.sometimes i also use elastic straps as a guide to draw straight lines on a curved surface


one of my first ones

Very cool Rio. Interesting how you shellac it before you do the detail work then again when you are done. Smart!

thank you!saves me from a lot of sanding!



that last one you did is really good man...

excellent detailing & finishing...

Nice work! Quite a contrast in style from the last one.


Lots of refreshing, Nice pieces here Rioturban, you seem to have some deep, respectable skillz there COOL!

hi ,
this time i`m carving a marquesan style tiki,
about 6 feet high.

the design

now the stencil for the log

now i clean up all the edges and apply the ornaments
photos will follow next week!

[ Edited by: RIOTURBAN 2013-01-18 12:07 ]

cy posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 1:45 PM

It was worth the wait for an update RIOTURBAN - Great, precise work as always! What kind of wood are you using for this one?


Excellent stuff. I think it's time you got familiar with the Hook Blade which I use almost exclusively. It has greater leverage than any other blade but should only be used with bandaids readily available as it Will bite you if not careful.
Use the #9 Medium and if you call them you should be able to get 1 dozen for the same price as the gross pack rather than $1.22 for each blade. Then look at their Handles and get the #CHW-3LJ, it has the best blade holding jaws of all their others.

thanx cy, its birch.nice to carve,its quite soft
thank you benzart for sharing.i use similar knives for small pieces.have to check out these concave shaped knives you use!i guess they feel even sharper because of the
oblique shearing effect.

Cljha posted on Sat, Jan 19, 2013 9:48 AM

Hi Rioturban,

Seems like I miss this post...Congratulations on your work.
BTW, what wood did you use for the woodpecker?

hi Cljha,
thank you,
the woodpecker is acacia wood,pretty hard wood.

[ Edited by: RIOTURBAN 2013-01-19 10:46 ]


Are your templates free hand drawings? Excellent either way!

Very nice work!


Hook blades are choice!


thank you McTiki,
the templates are free hand drawings. after several corrections with the pencil i retrace the lines with a marker.
best wishes!

Rio- great stuff (and a Benz tip also) way cool

Ps- is that you on YouTube?


[ Edited by: Hang10tiki 2013-01-20 20:58 ]

Cheers Hang10!
yes ,it`s me!

Awesome, I couldn't find part 2 in the series... Only 1 and 3

Cljha posted on Mon, Jan 21, 2013 7:05 AM

so my friends, here are new fotos!
first layer of wood stain and beginning of the nose and forehead decoration

finished nose

and the forehead

a few layers of wood stain later,its fresh so it looks lacquered,ill do that later.

i got the designs from a book of "Karl von den Steinen ".don`t know if they are used for the nose and forehead- i do. :)

[ Edited by: RIOTURBAN 2013-01-24 15:49 ]

Me like

hi folks,
"The Marquesan" video is now on you tube if someone is interested.have fun!

Excellent Video!

cy posted on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 8:29 AM

Another excellent video RIOTURBAN, you are a maestro with a chainsaw and a v carving tool!

Cool video and a great Marq! Good Job!

^^ agreed!

Thanks for sharing your process, interesting to see you using the v-gouge, I've never used one, I want to try it now...


Looks great my man

That is real nice.
You have lots of tricks in your bag.
Mad skills my friend.
Show us more.

amate posted on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 6:51 AM

Very nice. If I recall, tha'ts no mini either.

wow! excellent work.


Great Marq and I love the vidoes on youtube. Great to see the process, thanks for posting them up.



Thank you my tikifriends!
sometimes while working on a big piece i think maaaaan that suucks!but when its finished all negative things like getting blisters and cutting yourself is forgotten.
i got a new project and this is the first time I'm really worried about making something wrong.
this tiki gonna be really warped and complex.hope i make it right ! :)i think i will finish it until summer
here is a little sketch(its gonna be quite big too)
best wishes!

[ Edited by: rioturban 2013-02-16 15:56 ]

cy posted on Sat, Feb 16, 2013 9:30 AM

I can already see it finished RIOTURBAN, you won't screw it up!


That will be a long wait, for sure it will be worth it :wink:
Good luck with this new project. Enjoy!!


Happy Happy! Much wonderful work here.



Awesome Marq!!! Yeah!!!

Thank you very much to all of you!!!

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