Chainsaw Carving- Equipment, Hoists and Tools
A chainsaw carver’s hoist lift made with a welded steel frame, a two and a half foot square wood platform and a chain hoist is a real back saver for the chainsaw carver. The log can be rocked onto the platform and then raised or lowered to the proper height. My unit is homemade. If you are interested in building your own, please call or email me and I will send pictures of my chainsaw carving lift.
Chainsaw carving has been done mostly by men in the past. In recent years, more women are enjoying this artistic outlet. I started chainsaw carving when I was 69 years old. I have threatened to write a book titled, “Chainsaw Carving with Grandma”. I got a grant for chainsaw carving and hired an excellent instructor. Most of my carvings are about 5 feet tall making it easier to maneuver the logs.
I have three chain saws, all Husqvarna gas saws. They are fairly light weight, about 10 pounds or so each and all are easy start. One saw has a regular sized bar, one has a quarter tip and one has a dime tip for finishing work. There are other fine saws on the market, it just happened that we had a local dealer that sold Husqvarnas and I had read up on saws and these were among the top three chainsaws recommended for chainsaw carving. I also felt that having a dealer close by would help me care for my saws better since I was new with chainsaws.
A power chisel like Arbortec is a high powered reciprocating tool that has changeable chisels of different sizes. It gets rid of waste wood quickly so some carvers use it to rough out their carving. It is also useful to the chainsaw carver for detail work and it can do some fine finishing work with the right attachment.
The Lancelot woodcarver has a special chain saw blade held in place between two stainless steel plates in a disc that will attach to your side grinder (angle grinder). The side grinder is an electric tool with a handle on the top and side and has an attachment 4 inches in diameter which you can attach sandpaper or other attachments to. I have one attachment that has teeth about every 3 inches. This or coarse sandpaper will remove a lot of wood quickly .Smoother finishing work can be accomplished using a fine sandpaper.
Be sure to have the right protective gear when you start chainsaw carving.You will need boots with steel toes, safety chaps to protect your legs,hearing protection, goggles or a face shield to protect your eyes, and gloves to lessen the vibration from the saw.Be sure you know where the danger part of your saw is. It is the 90 degree top end of the bar. When starting a plunge cut, be sure you start with the lower part at the end of the bar until you are in far enough so the saw won't kick back, then you can plunge it in.. Be careful!
Just a short note about power carving. Some carvers prefer power carving to gouge, knife or chainsaw carving. There are several tools on the market for the power carver. The dremmel is a fairly small power tool. Depending on the attachments used, it can get rid of a fair amount of wood or do finishing work. Some very delicate work is done by carvers that are masters with the power tools. The fordom is similar but more heavy duty I have used both but most of my carving is done by hand or chainsaw. I admire power carvers because they can get some really beautiful intricate carvings using their tools.
An important thing to remember with all carving is safety. This is especially important with chainsaw carving or using any power tools. Read all instructions on using the power tool or chainsaw before using it unless you are familiar with it. Be safe and enjoy the fun of carving with a chainsaw.