Ok, so it’s not an artistic piece or even an architectural molding, but it’s a carving! A friend of ours wanted to place a cap on the sign at his farm. He brought over a piece of yellow pine and a sketch of what he wanted. The top of the board is to have a bull nosed edge to shed water and the letters are the address.
The shape of the board was cut out on a bandsaw and I thought I could use my router top to put on the bull nose. After looking at the grain on the board, I decided to do the form by hand. If I had used the router, I would have had to fight tearout. The bull nose radius was started with a block plane. It worked well as I was able to peel off small portions of the wood and change directions to be able to follow the grain. I used a 2/12 chisel to finish the radius. The 90 degree areas were done with the 2/12 chisel.
The numbers were printed out from a computer and placed on the wood with spray adhesive. Shouldn’t be a problem as the finish is paint. I learned how to use a mallet doing these numbers. Yellow pine grain is tough – compared to the soft wood of the board. I made many an ‘oops’ and really didn’t want the field to be as deep as it is, but it’s better than an uneven surface. Still working on the numbers and field.
One problem I had was with very soft wood in between the hard grain. In the deeper parts of the numbers, no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get a clean cut – the soft wood wanted to scuff up and tear off. I tried sharpening, but it didn’t help. So, some places look like I carved them with a hammer.
I took the sign top to the requester and they loved it (even though I thought it was not so good) and are painting it now. My question is, what do you do about pithy wood in a carving? Should I put a little glue on it to toughen it up? Or am I just not doing it right?