A few months ago I decided to try my hand at chainsaw carving, I wanted a chainsaw carved eagle to put in front of the new house my wife and I were building that would display the house number. I had never chainsaw carved before so I tried the most simplistic shaped animal I could think of. A FISH. When I was finished it was not half bad so I figured this Eagle just might be do-able. I did some searching on line for how to's and found a good description illustration on blocking out the beginning steps. Here is what I did to complete my Eagle.
Step 1: Planning and Blocking Out
After printing some different views of eagle heads and having them laminated it was time to tackle the biggest hurdle. How do you stand a 8 ft by 20inch oak log upright with out heavy machinery. I made a lever out of 2x4's that I attached to the bottom of the log and then I tied a rope from my truck to the top of the log and stood it up.
Next plan out first cuts by dividing the log into quarters. My log is 20" diameter I put a line down the center at 10" then split them again at 5" front to back and side by side. Then I marked 10" down and 20" down the log.
Next was to make the first few cuts.
Step 2: Continue Shaping
Now that I started cuts it was just a matter of using my reference pictures and taking a few steps back to think about my next cut. Remember you can always take more off but putting back on is really hard.
Step 3: Tools I Use
Before we get carried away I should tell you about the tools I used. I do not have a super expensive Echo or Stihl chainsaw. I do not have a carving bar on my saw.
Chainsaw - Craftsman 16" bar
Angle grinder - 4" porter cable
grinder wheels - 4" sander flap discs different grits
4" chainsaw disc from King Aurthur tools
Let me say the King Aurthur tools chainsaw wheel is absolutely terriffyng and awesome at the same time. treat this with respect.
Step 4: More Shaping
The wood started to checker so after i was done carving for the day I would apply wood conditioner to keep some moisture in the wood
Step 5: Cutting in the Details
This is where the reference photos really come into play. Make sure to use them and take your time checking both side of the eagle.
Step 6: Some Visitors
As I was working one day I looked back and saw that I had some visitors. This was pretty cool I felt as if they were there approving of my work. (I know great picture from my phone)