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Started the Elephant topper to day. Starting with a 4"x4" piece of basswood. I made 4 copies the patterns then cut they two views out and use a paper spray adhesive to attach them to the 4"x4" basswood.
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Then cut it the basic shape on the bandsaw . .Taped the two pieces back together an cut sides.
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Elephant Jaw Wood Working animal Art Wood Gas Engineering Hardwood Machine

Glued another cut out to the front and will begin carving back the ears next.

Saw Wood Circular saw Abrasive saw Miter saw
 

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nice job

have used this methed works well

good to see step by step work on a topper and do like to see work on toppers larger than a shank . working on the shank size donst allow for detail quite as much and seems out of balance . It works for the wood spirit but doesn't work anywhere near as well on other subjects
 

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The blank to me (the uninitiated) seemed to be way too big, 4"x 4" . Obviously I understand that you have done this hundreds of times before but it surprised me to see it. N.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The blank to me (the uninitiated) seemed to be way too big, 4"x 4" . Obviously I understand that you have done this hundreds of times before but it surprised me to see it. N.
Much of what you see in the in the basic cutout will be carved away. The basic shape of the Elephents head, allowing for ears to be extended out a bit is a triangle.
 

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looking at the plans for the elephant I can see why you need that size block. .Its certainly a fair size project to take on but think it will be rewarding. What you have done so far looks pretty true to the pattern

There's ten pages of information on the carving with another 4 pages on the painting, so lots of info to absorb with good pictures

It looks a interesting project .The idea of using superglue to protect the tusks seems like a good idea and offers a natural look to them.

will follow with interest

One thing it does highlight the need for the material you need to get the right balance when fully carved .Its a strong image its also pronounced giving the appearance of a well carved proportioned stick. It will certainly be a talking piont
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Elephant Is the mascot of the University of Alabama. Their football team (American Football) are the 2015 National champions. I plan to do this walking stick with colors and design to fit a U of A theme.
 

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From your previous work Randy I have not a single doubt that you will make a superb job of this carving, like others I shall be watching eagerly to see how this project transpires. N.
 

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Good project, have seen this same pattern used before by a club member, he made the tusks from antler bone and bonded them in for realism.

Referring to Cobalt's mention of using Super Glue for strengthening vunerable bits of the carving, it is a good practice for using on bird beaks, apply multiple coats allowing each coat to soak in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have used supper glue to Finnish pens and on wooden jewelry. It works well giving what is basically a acrylic coat to the item. I also have some fake ivory I have use in some jewelry. I not sure the pieces I have are large enough to be shaped for the tusks. I am also considering carving the tusks at an angle where they are attached on either side of the trunk. I will have to make a choice in a few days.
 

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the effect that super glue has on the wood is quite good and prefer it rather than painted white maybe a slight wash would help?

so looking forward to seeing the carved and finish you use

It also works well on painted eyes as it gives the eyes a bit of a sparkel its more noticable as i dont use gloss finish varnish ,Which I think spoils the overall effect of a dressed shank

That some thing I have never used when making puppets as its very distracting in sunlight giving of a bit of a glare
 

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Lots of wood to come off even after the band saw. Looking forward to see it progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Had some shop time today and got some shaping done on the elephant. Working slow to try and keep a good balance to the form. It is challenging. this is the first in the round elephant I have done. I have done some relief elephant faces.
 

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working in the round its always beter not to rush you cant put the wood back on.

Getting the basic shape formed is time consuming sometimes I have pushed it on been over confident other times to hesitant not sure which is worse

A difficult subject to get the basics done good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Put a bit more shaping in to the head and face this afternoon.
 

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Taking shape, Looks like mostly gouge work at this point?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Another afternoon shaping I am pleased with the way it is going am trying for a little more aggressive look on the Elephant than is on the pattern. next I will focus on the tusks getting them down to the right proportions.

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