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I bought a river birch "pole" around Christmas last year. Cut the top 2' off and used it to make a couple free standing Santa's. I forgot about the piece of birch till a few days ago when I was looking for another stick for a project. The bark had peeled just about clean off by now so I sanded it down to bare wood and applied boiled linseed oil. Started another wood spirit carving this morning. Here's a couple progress pics.

Next one I carve I need to do a bird or something as I don't want to become a "one trick pony" carving wood spirits all the time. Thanks for looking.
 

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Those wood spirits sure do look good though.
 

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Finished this one up today. I like to name the wood spirits I carve. I know its kinda corny but it personalizes them for me, This one I named William Wallace Wood Spirit. It is a piece of river birch sanded and oiled.I always liked CV3's textured grip so I did this grip with the 3/8" gouge. On other ones I have "cheated" and did the grip with a dremel. I think the extra time to do the grip with a gouge looks better. 3 coats of spar poly applied for finish. The lanyard is a 4 strand paracord braid with some wooden craft beads on the ends to dress it up. Thanks for looking.
 

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Well done Mark. When you get used to using the gouge it will go faster that you think. Looks nice.
 

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Your work is getting better all the time. I find gouges in dispensable at times. Very useful for roughing out shapes,such as hollowing cheeks under cheek bones, etc. Most of mine are palm gouges, but I've occasionally used some of my mallet size gouges for hand work.
 

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Those are great looking Mark well done! I like what you've done also with knotting in the wood beads to anchor the lanyard.
 
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