Power carving is about noise, dust and turning wood into art fast. The progress is quick and gives much satisfaction. It’s easier with cordless tools as they offer more freedom in moving from one spot to another. Especially a cordless angle grinder equipped with a carving disc may be very helpful. There are many carving and shaping discs for angle grinders, I use what I think is safe. Proper clamps also help in quick repositioning the workpiece – I use SuperJaws with soft, nylon pads. This head was mostly finished with power tools, just a few spots with limited access had to be processed with hand tools. Cutting, carving and sanding – turning timber into art in fast motion.
I shaped the head with a jigsaw and its large 250 mm blade (10 inches). It didn’t take long and it was ready for carving in no time. I had to remove the shield from my angle grinder as the carving disc would be in touch with it and it wouldn’t spin freely. Just a bad design, I think, the disc of course. I had to be careful and watch my hands. I clamped the workpiece in my SuperJaws and started the carving process. I also used rasps in hard-to-reach places and to smooth out the surface. It didn’t have to be silky smooth, just yet.
I installed an 80 grit sanding disc to my grinder and further shaped and smoothed out the surface. It was a quite satisfying job and the progress was fast. The surface was pretty sleek but it still needed some final sanding. I installed a 240 grit disc to my orbital sander and started the sanding process.
What couldn’t be reached with the machine, was smoothed by hand. In the meantime, I used my combo sander to flatten the bottom and to chamfer some edges. The sanding continued for a while and finished with 400 grit – probably too smooth for a varnish finish but OK for oil. I didn’t plan that, but eventually, the finish of my choice was teak oil.
I applied some oil and let it soak for a few minutes, then applied more oil and did wet sanding with 400 grit sandpaper. Wood got ultimate smoothness and a completely nourished look. I repeated the process 2 times only, the wood was fully saturated with oils and its surface was indescribably soft to the touch. It smelled good too.
I didn’t expect all these colours to pop up, I even wanted to finish it with water-based varnish, to preserve its dingy tone. Suddenly, it turned into something beautiful and colourful. The wood grain looks like it was pine, but I think it’s spruce. Unusual look, I must admit – too resinous. The head’s surface is silky smooth and pleasant to the touch, when held in hand, it feels like a trophy or a statue. It is a proper size unit, with eye-catching profiles. Its base edges are tapered and chamfered, which makes it look light and easy to lift.