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I carved these two pieces sitting at the picnic table in the Gallatin National Forest.

They are out of lodge pole pine. First time I have used LPP, it is similar to the eastern white pine we have in Indiana though it seems to carve a bit "cleaner".

The bear is small enough to be used as a walking stick topper. The wood spirit is probably a bit too large to top a staff, it may make a decent table top piece. Both pieces need to be oiled or stained. At this point I am leaning toward linseed oil. Will post more pics as the pieces progress.

Mark
 

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the wood sprit has a look of amazement on his face what have you done to the poor fellow .lol

post the pics when complete
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the Montana Bear stick done.

I wiped the bear in Folk Art acrylic antiquing medium, Cocoa Bean. Basically you mix the solution with water, apply with a brush then wipe off, like a stain. I also used it to slightly darken the lodge pole pine staff a bit. The LPP bear took the water based acrylic better than the oil based stain I applied to the wood spirit. I finished the whole project with 2 coats of Minwax Satin Polycrylic. A water based urethane.

The carving developed a crack which I filled with carpenters glue. Not too happy about it, but that happens when we work with wood that hasn't been kiln dried.

Mark
 

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I also started this stick out west. The pine bark beetles are devastating huge tracts of spruce, pine and fir in the forests. As a result there is lots and lots of stick making materials all over the National Forests for the taking. I like the lodge pole pine for sticks as it is straight, carves nicely with hand tools or the Dremel and finishes well.

I am trying something different on this piece of LPP besides your basic wood spirit. This piece had two matching small knots on either side of where I started the face, so I am going to try and incorporate those knots into ears on this stick. Also as large as this stick is I may try to put two faces on it, adding another below where I placed the grip. Attached pics of progress.
 

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I like your bear Mark. Finish looks goo too. The LPP carving is off to a good start. I would encourage going a bit deeper with the farcical features. It would let up give a little more roundness to the cheeks. I think in the Beyond Basics book it gives some measurements that maybe o some help. You are doing great Just keep carving!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wood spirit #1 on this stick is about done. 1st WS I have carved with ears. I have put ears on gnomes, not sure I like them on a WS.

The WS below the handle may have to wait while I take care of some "honey do" projects
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Played hooky on the chores yesterday and spent the day whittling.

The second wood spirit on the lodge pole pine is done. I call this stick the Pine Brothers. I believe I'll use the antiquing solution on this stick. I like the way it colored up the bear.
 

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Two spirits = twice the blessing in the Legend of Wood Spirit !! Good job Mark.
 

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Your carvings coming along well mark.and for the time your been doing it its good . I would suggest that you could enlarge some of the features and dont restrict yourself to 2x2 i think you could surprise yourwself

I dont think the topper to large that youve done the griffin and dragon i have carved are about 7 inches then will have a thick horn collar on them
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This was one of the pieces I carved on our trip to mountains in Montana. It's out of lodge pole pine.( 1st pic of this piece is in original post of this thread)

Finished it up last week and gave it to my niece as part of her wedding gift. The base is a chunk of cherry I had laying around here. This one finishes up the Montana carved toppers.

Mark
 

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Nice work, MJC4.....Love the expressions....
 
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