I’ve never come across a redwood tree in my neck of the woods, but now I’ve carved the wood for the first time. I’ve had this board (18″ x 9 1/2″ x 1″) kicking around since it was given to me at least twenty years ago. It was reportedly salvaged from a picnic table out west if I recall.
I love it when a good use finally comes to mind for a board that’s been gathering dust, and so this one would fit the bill for a simple welcome sign to hang on the wall outside our home. I had some fun with the design as I sketched the letters and the tree onto the board. Carving it was, well, a bit of a learning experience.
This redwood board, at least, was brittle and very soft. The tools had to be particularly sharp and have fine bevel angles to cut at all cleanly. There was some gouge work on the tightest parts of the curves, but I stuck with the knife as much as I could. The photo below shows a shot after getting rid of some excess material with a V-tool, then just starting in on the W with the knife. You can get some sense of the brittleness. I had to be particularly careful at the acute junctions between elements to assure that the short grain didn’t break away.
But, anyway, it’s redwood so it should hold up well outside. I’ll brush some oil on it and pop it onto the house.
Meanwhile, I welcome the news that Peter Follansbee’s book is now out in the real-deal print form. Hold it, smell it, hear the pages turn — and read it, of course. Bring your copy to Plymouth CRAFT’s Spoon Day next month and ask him to sign it; I’m going to.