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Thread: Twistie Stick Snake Cane Tutorial

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Mount Airy, Maryland, East Coast of the USA
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    Twistie Stick Snake Cane Tutorial

    Hi Gang!

    Roy, aka Big Cougar, is teaching a great relief carving project with his bass pattern, which you can find under Carving Class, I thought I would share a walking stick carving.

    Walking stick carving is often one of the first carving projects a new woodcarver tries. This particular design - a snake wrapped around a Sassafras Twistie Stick - is a beginner's level project, but I think that even the advanced carvers here may discover a few fun tricks and tips.

    We will work, step by step, through creating the round, establishing the snake, marking and cutting the twist, texturing the snake and bark, adding a frog on the top of the stick, and how to add a real honeysuckle vine into the twist. The cane will be lightly coated with a finished with a linseed oil and turp mixture and then dry mounted to your walking staff.


    Supplies:

    These are the tools that I used, but you do not need these exact tools or exact sizes. Use what you have. If you are new, a bench knife, or large chip carving knife, and a basic Japanese set will get you started. Because we will be creating the pattern directly to the basswood you can make this stick in any length!

    1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 12" basswood blank
    bench knife or large chip carving knife
    v-gouge
    3/8" round gouge
    1/8" round gouge
    u-gouge, also called a veining tool
    several sizes of fine rasps or rifflers
    220-grit sandpaper
    1" wide painter's tape or masking tape
    pencil, for marking the cane
    old toothbrush for cleaning
    carving gloves
    thick terry-cloth towel
    sharpening tools
    cardboard center from a roll of toilet paper
    linseed oil
    turpentine
    all thread pipe
    epoxy glue

    walking stick staff - approx. 4' to 5' tall, x 1 1/4" diameter
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Irish_twistie_cane_003.jpg   Irish_twistie_cane_002.jpg   Irish_twistie_cane_001.jpg  
    Last edited by Lora Irish; 10-27-2014 at 02:15 PM.
    Please visit me at LSIrish.com and ArtDesignsStudio.com

  2. #2
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    Looks interesting, Lora. I might try it - even though I'm not much of a carver.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Oct 2014
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    We will begin tomorrow by rounding-over the basswood stick, establishing the path of the snake, and rough carving the Sassafras twistie area low to reveal the snake's body.

    So, go get your knives and carving tools, check them for sharpness, find a basswood cane blank, and join me tomorrow as we begin this fun project. I'm off to start cropping photos for you.

    I will also be posting larger images for this Twistie Stick Snake Cane each day on my blog. And while you wait to get started, visit Roy's relief carving class thread!!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Irish_twistie_cane_005.jpg   Irish_twistie_cane_004.jpg  
    Please visit me at LSIrish.com and ArtDesignsStudio.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    Looks interesting, Lora. I might try it - even though I'm not much of a carver.
    Jim, honestly, if you aren't a carver this is the tutorial for you. It's easy, its fun, its fast ... and its addictive!
    Please visit me at LSIrish.com and ArtDesignsStudio.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
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    5,172
    Hi Lora,

    I am interested in those cute little gnomes that top walking sticks. Not big on snakes at all! I'll watch along, but when (or if) you do the stick toppers, I'm in. Starting a new job tomorrow, so later I will see how much time I might have this winter to make a mess in my office! Well, beyond its usual mess.

    I need a bench knife to add to my tool kit. Care to make some comments about what to shop for?
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    Hi Lora,

    I am interested in those cute little gnomes that top walking sticks. Not big on snakes at all! I'll watch along, but when (or if) you do the stick toppers, I'm in.

    I need a bench knife to add to my tool kit. Care to make some comments about what to shop for?
    Carol, as you watch our progress you will see how easy it is to leave off the snake, and just create the twistie stick and frog.

    Personally I use a large chip carving knife for my bench knife. A chip knife fits my hands, which are much smaller than my husbands, so much better than the traditional bench knife. Plus, its a two-for-one purchase. You'll have a great, short blade knife for relief and 3-d carving, and, of course, they are made for chip carving. So, you can invest in a really nice quality chip knife knowing you will get years and years of use.

    - Lora

    Carol, I slipped out and found some photos that might guide you.

    The knives shown from top to bottom are: small chip knife, large chip knife, detalier, short-bladed bench knife, and a long-bladed bench knife. In the other two photos you can see the large bench knife handle fits my hand perfectly. The short blade places me right against the wood, where a bench knife places me 1" to 1 1/2" away. Plus, because the large chip handle is not excessively long the center of balance for making small cut direction changes is right in the center of my palm.

    Hope this helps! - Lora
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Irish_bench_knives.jpg   Irish_bench_knives_02.jpg   Irish_bench_knives_03.jpg  
    Last edited by Lora Irish; 10-27-2014 at 03:25 PM.
    Please visit me at LSIrish.com and ArtDesignsStudio.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    St. Mary's, Georgia
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    I will be doing this some times during the winter but need to finish the class an honey do's an other projects that's got to get done, Thank you Lora for doing this for the group
    https://www.facebook.com/BgCouger

    If you are going to make something nice, make it with a statement, use quality an do it right the first time

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    This is up my alley, must find a stick.
    Lora are those kevlar gloves u have there?

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  9. #9
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    Oct 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    This is up my alley, must find a stick.
    Lora are those kevlar gloves u have there?

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    No, they are "cut resistant" gloves! As a relief carver I seldom wear carving gloves because all of the tool cuts are made with a push stroke. But I do use this set when 3-D carving as they give me a stronger grip on the wood, yet are light weight enough I don't lose any hand motion or finger control. And! When they really dirty I can throw them in the washer. I got my set from Ramelson.

    At one time I had a set of kevlar, but found them so thick and heavy I couldn't really feel the wood.

    - Lora
    Please visit me at LSIrish.com and ArtDesignsStudio.com

  10. #10
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    Reno NV
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    This is so cool. Ok, Not sure I can participate in real time, but I am going to do this. I love playing with walking sticks.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


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