Commissioning a Maple Leaf Carving, Part 4

Yesterday, I said that I was getting there with the Coram Deo carving. After I had finished what you saw in the picture, I put the carving away for the night. I had more time, but I also knew that I was at a crucial point in the carving and needed some distance. When I next picked up the carving, I wanted to see it with fresh eyes.

Sure enough, when I picked up the carving the next day I noticed the letters needed a little work, as did the leaf. I spent a bit of time sharpening up my gouges and then worked at cleaning up the letters, especially the bottom of the V incised letters. I also needed to make sure all the letters met up with the top and bottom lines. The leaf also had some rough spots that needed to be cleaned up, but that didn’t take long.

Once that was done, I grabbed some red stain for the leaf and brushed it on. After 5 minutes, I wiped the excess off and gave it another coat. After another 5 minutes I wiped it off too and left the whole thing to dry. It didn’t take long to dry at all, and I was able to glue the leaf and base onto the background with some good strong glue later in the evening.  Clamping was a bit of a challenge as the leaf wanted to slip around. A few spring clamps did the trick. A QuickGrip clamp did the trick for the base. Now it was hurry up and wait. After about an hour, the glue was solid enough to take the clamps off. I had been very careful not to over-glue it because I didn’t want to have to clean up squeezed out glue from around the leaf. Getting a chisel into those small vees of the leaf would have been some challenge. I looked pretty closely and gave a little sigh of relief that no glue had squeezed out.

A quick coat of tung oil and the project was set to dry for 24 hours. I chose not to take any pictures to send to Peter at this point because the stain and tung oil had a rather dramatic effect on the whole piece. I wanted him to have that “aha moment” that I’ve been telling you is something I carve for. So guess what? I have no pictures here for you either. You’ll just have to wait for your own “aha moment” tomorrow when I post the last of the series.

Tomorrow will be an extra special day. I’ll post a couple of pictures of the final project, but I also just found out the story behind why Peter and his wife had commissioned the carving. It’s a very cool story and gave me a lot of joy in being able to carve this project for them. I’ll share that story with you.

Until tomorrow!

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