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  • Relief finish?

    Hello everyone,

    I am working on my first relief carving. It's pretty basic in that it does not have a lot of details. I am just wondering on how to finish it. I know there are many ways. I just would like to hear from some of you on what works best for you. The wood is basswood. The background will be textured. I'm not sure if I've given enough information about it.

    Thanks,

    Chipper67

  • #2

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    • #3
      Re: Relief finish?

      OK I'm finished, what a relief! :

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      • #4
        Re: Relief finish?

        I picked this up in William F. Judt's book 'Relief Carving Treasury.' Sanding sealer followed by wax. If you want to tint it a bit use a shoe cream of the appropriate color. Works for in the round carvings also. To clean the carving in the future he recommends vacuuming it, and then wiping with a soft dry cloth (do not apply more wax).

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        • #5
          Re: Relief finish?

          Relief carvings that I do not paint are finished with tung oil. I like the way it seals everything, protecting the carving. If I have painted the relief carving (usually with watercolor) I use Krylon spray. I have had excellent results with both (use several coats of each).

          Paul
          Paul Guraedy
          Whooping Hollow Woods
          Alpena, ARkansas

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          • #6
            Re: Relief finish?

            Thanks for the replies, especially from Hi_Ho_Sliver, pretty witty. My first relief I am working on is an angel from a pattern from 'Carving Magazine' issue #6. When I am finished I will post it on picturetrail. I think I am not going to paint it. Paul, the tung oil sounds a good way to go. Will it darken it somewhat though? And how many coats do you put on? Thanks again,

            Chipper67

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            • #7
              Re: Relief finish?

              One of the things I like about tung oil is that it changes the color of the wood less than anything else I have tried. I started using it in the late 1970's on unfinished oak furniture that I was purchasing. Over the years this wood has aged to a rich golden color. It is darker but not in a stained, colored sort of way. More of a patina. There have been drink glasses with ice left overnight without leaving rings in the wood as the tung oil seals real well. Even minor scratches to the surface are no problem. A light sanding, tung oil and in a short time the repair has disappeared.

              Tung oil is not good in its pure form. I buy Formby's (non-glossy-they may say matte or some such) because I had used the products before and this brand is available almost everywhere. I am sure there are other brands around. I put a number of VERY light coats (at least 4 sometimes more). I put a small amount on a rag and wipe it on the carving (don't want a build up in crevices and such). Let it dry for at least half a day, so it does not do for someone in a hurry.

              If the carving is to be handled, I go over it with 00000 steel wool between coats and after the final coat (when they have totally dried). I have carved several what I call 'slick' waterfowl. No details to speak of, just to show the differences of wood. People like to handle them and feel the wood. Tung oil is excellent for this. I just checked the basswood duck against some uncarved basswood. I would not call it darkened as much as it has a different tone.

              You will find that it does not take much to do a number of pieces. I keep several different size small jars and decant the left-over tung oil into the one it comes closest to filling. I use marbles to force the liquid to the rim. If air is left in there the stuff will jell, harden and become useless.

              One safety note. the used rags cannot be simply put in the garbage. They will self-combust. I lay mine outside on a fence or sidewalk and throw them away once they are dry (they are safe then).

              Good luck with the finishing what ever method you choose.

              Paul Guraedy
              Alpena, ARkansas
              Paul Guraedy
              Whooping Hollow Woods
              Alpena, ARkansas

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              • #8
                Re: Relief finish?

                Hi Chipper,

                I've used mostly Mahogany in my relief carvings and now I'm working in Butternut. Just an oil finish works for me, three coats, wiped after each. Tried several different finishes, varnishes, had some success using wood stains to effect the carvings but that was tricky. Bleeding was hard to control, had to have very definate/pronounced edges.

                Bob

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                • #9
                  Re: Relief finish?

                  I have done 3-4 relief carvings in basswood and one in butternut. Briwax works great for me. It's quick and easy while producing a great finish. Available in clear to very dark brown with 5-6 shades in between. I have trouble with stains because they bleed and do not produce a consistant, vibrant finish. Have never tried an oil finish of any kind.

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