Weekend Projects - Carved Deer Head archive

Friday 3 October 2014

Paul Bignell shows you how to make this carved deer head

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My first thoughts on this project came after seeing a magazine article about hidden dangers on the road. It said that Britain had a 'Bambi problem', with the number of deer collisions per year being between 30,000-50,000. A picture of a young deer in the headlights of a car caught my imagination.

Once you've got your sketch, you can choose to either use a bought board or cut the profiles from a log. I usually suggest preparing a cut-out in 3-4mm plywood, or something similar. In the sidebar on the next page, I have shown you how to do this using a board, but the rest of the article focuses on the log approach.

Blank method

STEP 1

The blank approach ensures uniformity and as you can see, with a bit of luck, you can sometimes get two profiles out of one offcut of wood that might have been left over from previous projects.

STEP 2

You can then cut the blank to shape on a bandsaw.

Log method

STEP 1

For the log method shown here, you will need a sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) log.

STEP 2

Split the log down the centre with an axe to give you two blanks.

STEP 3

With the bark still on the log, it is quite simple to mark the outline with a small 'V'-tool.

STEP 4

Cut away the bits you don't want on a bandsaw - or use a frestsaw or hand saw and chisel. If you are not using a log, any piece of wood 180 x 100 x 50mm will do.

STEP 5

Once cut on the bandsaw, remove the surplus wood from the nose and neck area.

STEP 6

Then, set about shaping the ears, starting with the right ear.

STEP 7

The long, erect ears are a striking feature of this sculpture, so it is important to try and get the shape and form correct before moving on to the forehead.

STEP 8

Once the balance of ear and forehead is established...

STEP 9

… then move on to the left-hand side of the face and shape the side of the face, bridge of the nose and eye socket, and the eye itself.

STEP 10

The next task is to balance both sides of the face.

STEP 11

And last but not least, move on to the other ear.

STEP 12

Then, remove the rough knife and gouge marks with some Abranet abrasives - from 180-240 grit.

STEP 13

With the application of a little boiled linseed oil, the beauty of the wood shows through.

STEP 14

For the final touch, apply a little black acrylic paint on the eyes and nostrils to give

the whole thing a bit of life.


Tegan Foley

Tagged In:

Paul Bignell , carved deer head


Things You Will Need

Sycamore log or blank: 180 x 100 x 50mm
Bandsaw – alternatively, a hand saw or fretsaw will do
Skew chisel
'V'-tool

Diagrams Click an image to enlarge