Perhaps you want to roughly shape some logs for your garden, or perhaps you’re interested in doing a bit more than that. Chainsaw carving can be a fun way to get creative, while also creating some art for your space.
Choose the Right Chainsaw
The majority of the work will be done with the chainsaw, but you’ll use a Dremel or grinder to polish out the finer details. This means that the chainsaw you use is of utmost importance. While you can use a variety of sizes, look for one that is comfortable for you to hold, with a good grip. You’ll be using it for some time, so it shouldn’t be too heavy.
Most carvers prefer gas powered chainsaws with triangular guide bars so you can make difficult cuts easier. It’s also important that you always have a sharp chain, so sharpen it often and check the tension before you start carving. Ideally, you will have two chainsaws, one larger for big cuts and one smaller for more detailed work.
Use Protective Gear
Chainsaws are heavy duty machines and you need to protect yourself while carving with one. Be sure to use eye protection in the form of a shield or goggles, ear protection against the loud noise, woodworking gloves, and steel toe boots. However, the most important part of your protective gear is chainsaw chaps to keep your legs safe if you slip, which is far more likely when using the chainsaw for carving.
Select Your Wood
Softwood such as pine is easy to cut through and works well for a first sculpture. You can also use hardwood, like oak, but it does require more force to cut through. Start out with a pine log and move on from there as you gain experience.
Create a Sketch
Once you have everything you need tool wise, you’re ready to draw up a plan for your wood and mark on the log where you need to cut. Now you can begin to cut away the biggest chunks of wood and work your way down to the smaller pieces.
As the shape of your carving emerges, make more and more precise cuts, preferably with a smaller chainsaw at this point. You want to get down to the smallest details possible before switching over to a grinder or Dremel.
The final details will be worked with the smaller grinding tools you have and then you can use a varnish or similar protective finish to seal the work. This will help protect it against the elements.
Be sure to clean and oil your chainsaws before putting them away. You want them to last a very long time, as chainsaw carving is quite addictive.
Looking for the perfect chainsaw for your carvings? We have a wide range to select from. Check out our catalogue for more information.