Commissioning a Maple Leaf Carving, Part Two

At the end of my blog post yesterday, I left you hanging,while I was waiting, hoping for the go-ahead to start carving the maple leaf plaque. Good news! Peter came back and said, “My wife likes it and she says ‘Go for it.'”

Yes! I could hardly wait to get home from my day job to start the carving. I rushed down to my shop before supper and shuffled through my piles of various hardwoods. I had already decided that because this was to be a bit of Canadiana and the leaf was supposed to look like a maple leaf, I should actually make it out of maple wood. I found the perfect pieces of maple – with a few tiny birds-eyes even – bonus! I ran them through my table saw and jointer to true them up. I glued up the base and the background with a very strong glue.

I then turned my hand to finding a suitable piece for the leaf itself. I had decided to cut the leaf out separately and glue it to the background because the leaf needed to be stained. It would be almost impossible to stop the stain from bleeding through to the background unless the leaf was separate from the background when I stained it. I found a piece of straight-grained wood and ran it through my band saw so that it was 3/8ths of an inch thick.I traced the leaf onto the wood and  set about carving it right away.

Maple Leaf Tracing

In less than an hour, I had cut out the leaf on the bandsaw and carved the face of the leaf and the veins. Then I slightly undercut the edges so that it would emphasize the shadow. I couldn’t undercut it too much or the points of the leaf would be subject to breaking off. Just a few degrees of undercut seemed right.

Then I sat back and admired the leaf and waited for the glue to dry. Hint, waiting for glue to dry is like watching a pot of water boil – it never happens fast enough! I settled for taking the above picture and sending it off to Peter so he would have an update of where the carving was at.

Check back tomorrow for Part Three!

One thought on “Commissioning a Maple Leaf Carving, Part Two

  1. Am looking for someone who can carve a maple leaf from natural wood ad a memorial post for my dad who was born in Toronto, size must be no bigger than 18inches x 18inches and would like to have his name either engraved or burnt into leaf , any ideas please . Thanks

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