More Scroll work and my new Carving Bench

The second S Scroll carved

I snuck down to the shop after I got my kiddo to sleep to continue work on the S Scroll box face.  I got a second scroll complete, and some of the outline of the other two.  I’ve also learned a few things about crappy hardware store wood along the way.  The open porous grain of this oak causes some serious issues when carving, and it’s difficult to get a nice clean surface (not flat, just clean) because the would just disintegrates as I try to carve it out.  It also is weaker than the solid parts (fairly obvious really) and causes some splintering on the areas where it shouldn’t.  I’ll have to fix those later once I’ve gotten this all done, or maybe I can plane it down, not sure.

I did modify the design here and there to accommodate sections of weakness to good effect, but I have a couple spots that are going to be a problem.  I see a little more clearly now though why some of the designs I’ve looked at, and PF has discussed as well are not totally symmetrical.

I also am learning a lot about what I need to learn.  Sounds awkward, but it means I’ve learning some of the things that I will have to simply practice a lot to get better at.  You can feel it when it works right, it just… Makes Sense.  In a Zen sort of way, it feels right.  And the converse is true.  You can really feel it when it’s not at all right.  I’m trying to learn to take a deep breath, slow down and think those areas through rather than my natural reaction which is to panic and push harder or move faster.  Which usually doesn’t work so well, as you might imagine.

Carving Bench

I also snapped a picture of my new “carving bench” or maybe it’s a “bench on a bench” or something. I’ve seen a few blog posts around the woodworking blogs about these, and I decided it was probably the best thing for my aching back after a long session of carving.  Night and Day!  I just screwed together some pieces of left over construction grade lumber, and clamped it between the bench dogs and vice to hold it down.  Nothing fancy either to hold the work. I have visions of using some of those fancy Wonder Dogs, or whatever they call them from Lee Valley, but that was too complicated and I didn’t have them anyway.  Clamps work great and the board is not going anywhere.

Off to bed, with visions of S Scrolls dancing in my head.


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