Soaring Cedar Bird of Prey

This project uses a sample wain cut from a West Coast cedar log. The wood sat drying for a year to prevent splits, then it was shaped with a chainsaw and sanded smooth. The final piece stands just under 8 feet tall at 94″ (240cm), 24″ wide (60cm), 9″ thick (23cm).

The reverse side is uncut and displays as raw wood. The outline of the upper wing is left mostly in the same condition as we received it. It took a fair bit of gazing and study to finally “see” the modified bird of prey with out stretched wings. We talked about adding a tail section, but the vote was to leave it at just a suggestion. The goal was to have a rough cut bird appearing out of the wood. The profile and wing style portray a falcon or hawk.

The chainsaw is evident in the way the feathers were cut using the round tip to “staircase” the surface in layers.



The finish is polyurethane which works as a durable and protective coating. It will darken over time and a light sanding may bring out the feather tips to add some contrast.


Hand Carved Cherry Maple Pipe

Two woods, a maple bowl, and a Brazilian cherry sample, were hand whittled into a pipe with a rabbet joint that snuggly fits together. A natural twine cord was added to seal the connection. The tricky part of this project was boring a 3/16″ hole. The finished length is approximately 9″ (22cm) and the pipe is presented in a natural cedar dovetailed box lined with cedar sprigs. A natural oil is used on the surface to prevent splits and a beeswax finish give the pipe a pleasing luster.






Maple Bench from Recovered Log


We received a section of maple log saved from a break in a windstorm at a local park. This is an old tree with some branches close to three feet (90cm) thick. The log was milled into slabs. One section has already become a maple writing desk. This piece called for a more primitive, simple bench design. The ends of the slab were cut and angled for the legs. It’s very heavy and solid. A check/split was filled with gold glue to add a shiny feature rather than hide the mark. The finish is a poly/thinner mix to give a soft, smooth, touchable surface. 100% polyurethane was used on the top for a high gloss finish.

Approx. size: 48″ long, 18″ wide, 18″ tall, 100 lbs. #10-17-18

Golden glue was added to give the appearance of a gold vein in the wood…


No nails or screws were used. The legs have a slight V-channel where the leg sinks into a chiseled recess in the base. Glue fills the void and the legs were then pressed in…



Purple Heart Juniper Stump


This is project is now ready to proceed. A sample of purple heart juniper was tested on the lathe and several small pieces were made including a goblet and a pen and ink holder. Now the stump is dry and ready to be carved. Ideas? We’ve yet to do a garden spirit face. So the wood is on display in the wood shop and hopefully the face will become apparent within all those grains.

The intricate twisting shape has a lot of possibilities…


A single blade was used like a paint brush on a canvas to remove the bark. The piece sits securely on a work table. Keep hands clear and pick at the bark with downward strokes. The carver uses a Kershaw 1830 blade.


The heart wood inside has a rich purple color when exposed and coated in finishing oil.