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  #1  
Old 02-03-2009, 09:12 PM
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Smile What to use to Seal your Carvings

I have a couple of questions # 1 what is a good or common product that could be used to seal my outdoor carvings. Would I use stain and if so what kind of outdoor sealant and approx how many coats?
# 2 What Can I use or do to get rid of those white bugs/insects that chew through your wood ( pine,popular,spruce ) and they leave piles of sawdust.you can even hear them chew through to bark.Of course its too cold for them now but they come out in the spring. Any info would be greatful. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2009, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: What to use to Seal your Carvings

I make most of my stains from dry pigments and linseed oil mixed with mineral spirits.
I usually finish with poly mixed with linseed thinned with mineral spirits and apply until it stops soaking in I do not like the plastic look of built up poly and it will peal if over applied.

I then give it a coat of thompsons water seal and have the customer keep up with the thompsons for maintenance it keeps the carving looking fresh

As for the bugs get the bark off right away, the white grubs are borers that will become beetles in the adult stage, the adult beetle needs a bark layer on the log to lay eggs.

Within six weeks of having a fresh log I have had grubs boring in if the bark is on, they are very active when it is hot out.

There are many finishing techniques that work, I am sure you will have many suggestions.
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: What to use to Seal your Carvings

I was told by a life time chainsaw carver and I agree totally. I’ve been using his advice since I started carving and never had a problem yet. Some of my carvings are 4 years old. Some of his are 40 years old and still standing strong. He told me it’s not the water that hurt the carving, it’s the sun. Water is not on it long enough, unless of course you have it puddle in your carving somewhere, this should never happen on an outside carving. He said never put any type of varnish or clear coat on a carving that will stay out side. They look nice for a short time, but as soon as the sun turns them yellow, there’s nothing you can do except sand off the finish, which is not easy. Linseed oil promotes fungus and you don’t want that, it turns everything black. I made that mistake on my first carving, never again.

What he told me to do is let the carving dry out for a few months, it will probably crack, I haven’t seen one that didn’t. Fill the cracks with a latex caulking, let dry, sand of any excess if necessary. Than stain the carving with a latex solid stain, he mainly stains his with the color of the fresh cut tree. I prefer to stain mine to actual colors of the clothing.

The carvings that I don’t color I use a UV protection / water protection stains, comes in different natural colors, you can repeat every few years without any problem
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Last edited by bghebert; 02-04-2009 at 11:39 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2009, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: What to use to Seal your Carvings

# 2 What Can I use or do to get rid of those white bugs/insects that chew through your wood ( pine,popular,spruce ) and they leave piles of sawdust.you can even hear them chew through to bark.Of course its too cold for them now but they come out in the spring. Any info would be greatful.

Hi John

I had just carved a bear, finished the staining with Sikkens Cetol 1,2,3.
Let it dry and the next day piles of saw dust from pine bores everwhere.

I put vinegar in a spray bottle and flushed each hole 4 times a day, for 3 days and the pine bores were dead or would just fall out of the holes.

It works very fast and it's safe around children and the pets.

Wade
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: What to use to Seal your Carvings

Thank You everyone for your help and yes those are the right white devil grubs
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: What to use to Seal your Carvings

Has anyone used permalac sealer for outdoor carvings?
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: What to use to Seal your Carvings

Hi
A perspective from Scotland (often cold, often wet, long days in teh summer, very short days in teh winter). I tried linseed oil and its great for carved bowls or carvings for indoors but less good for outside. as already stated, fungus likes it. you can sand them down each spring and re-oil to overcome this if you like
We very rarely use varnish. As teh wood swells and shrinks in the day/night the varnish will crack (even so-called elastic-varnish will do this eventually) plus, in general we dont tend to like the glossy-finish. It detracts from the wood grain and some people use it to cover up 'mistakes'. Most of us use oils. Personally i use decking-oil. Either oil containing some kind of lacquer (gives a slightly shiny finish and is very water repellent, soaks in very well and after a few coats it is superb; or oil containing dissolved wax which is a little more expensive but leaves a waxy-surface that can look great on some woods. As will all finishes you built up teh layers. many thin layers are better than a few thick layers and keep applying regularly. I suggest to my clients that they oil every week for the first few weeks (or more often if its in direct sunlight and its hot) then drop it to every few weeks then less but still 4 or more times a year. You know when it has enough oil when it stops soaking into the wood but it will become thirsty again soon
Good luck with it
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