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Old 01-29-2007, 11:02 PM
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Default Carving Pine Knots

How y'all ?

I've found a bunch of pine knots recently ... what we call rich lighter pine.
It's the knots of heartwood (sapwood) where the limbs come into the trunk that didn't rot away with the rest of the tree when it fell down.
In the woods here you can find them anywhere a pine fell and went unmolested for some years.
They are naturally pretty neat looking pieces of wood.

Anyway, I took one up this past weekend figuring I would attempt a face on it.
It wouldn't give much to my carving tools so I got out a moto-tool with a grinding burr on it and only came up with a little fine dust (think my burr is dull)

Any of y'all ever carve these things and if so what did you use to do it with ?
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Old 01-30-2007, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: Carving Pine Knots

This calls for some memory digging....
Several years ago, while walking in the woods above a cabin at Custer State Park in South Dakota, I ran across several dead pine trees that had rotted enough that I could pull the pine knots out. I brought them home and tried carving them. Actually carved all of them with faces--like wood spirits.

I learned quickly that knives would have to be very sharp--and I had to strop often to keep them honed well. I also had to stop periodically to clean the "pitch" off my knife and hands. I used a v-tool, deep veiner, and a large knife.

They are awesome little carvings and they lend themselves to faces--you just need to work hard to get them out of the hard wood.

Donna T
Donna Thomas has been carving in SW Missouri since 1988...
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: Carving Pine Knots

I still have two I also found up in the Black Hills. I haven't put a knife to them yet because they are pretty hard. I'll get up the nerve to tackle them someday.
"I wood rather be carving."
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: Carving Pine Knots

i have always wondered if soaking them in orderless paint thinner would lessen the rosin and make it easier to carve or use rotary tool like when you get a funky piece of basswood that's wanting to splinter or tear out,

wd40 should remove pine tar from edge tools and oven cleaner soak with brass or heavy bristled brush should clean burrs but stop and clean burrs before they over heat ..
but a knot is a knot and they wont carve easy
Thanks Thomas,
keep ye'r hone close, and your band aids closer!
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Carving Pine Knots

See this link.
I bought a video done by a guy, Mel Mcdaniels I think, that showed the whole thing. Router bits in a Foredom. Pretty scary with that thing so close to your fingers. No glove can protect you there. But they turned out so nice.
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