Picture of Chisel Carved Tiki Idol
After getting a nice new set of chisels i thought i should try them out. What could i possibly make on a cold winter's evening? Something warming. Woody obviously, but with a hint of danger...

Yeah, that'll do nicely! Thanks Presidents!

Step 1:

Picture of
First I started doing a bit of research on what Tiki Idols actually look like. To Google! (other internet search engines are available, but a bit of a waste of time). This quickly led me to this fascinating wikipedia article on tiki culture. Turns out that the whole kitsch shebang is a 20th century American pastiche of Polynesian Culture. Heavy on rum drinks with random bits of fruit in them and hawaiian shirts. Two of my favourite things!

I started with a piece of 45mm X 90mm (essentially a 2×4 style) bit of building wood. This wood is nice and soft, so its good to start carving with. I used a bit of reclaimed wood from a dismantled bunkbed (hence the funky blue colour).

I roughly drew a design. It’s pretty basic, but i didn’t want to over design as I knew the outcome was going to change as part of the carving process.

(It's at this point, 32 plays later, that i started to get a bit tired of the song.)
wemja4 months ago

wow I really want to try this

I did some easy woodcarving before, this seems a nice step up from there.

I will let you know when its finished.

Dr The BoB4 months ago

Cheers Mate!
I'm going to be making a Tiki Idol as the front design on a computer case I'm building, and just wanted to thank you for the tips and inspiration.


cewing48 months ago
A little inspiration goes a long way
mestrella21 year ago
Very nice! Tikis are so pricey in eBay.

hi im using this as a prop for my school talent show prefomance as a hula girl so thx

-- ilikebigcraftsandicannotliegurlkid

hi im using this as a prop for my school talent show prefomance as a hula girl so thx

-- ilikebigcraftsandicannotliegurlkid

bgepp11 year ago
very nice work
majjuss3 years ago

I really like your carving! I made some miniature tikis using smaller knives, but I'm planning to make a bigger one... The wood thingie you used to hold your workpiece to the edge of the table is a really good idea. I think it really helps not to cut your fingers.

Thanks again for your great Instructable!

Greetings from Germany,
The Engineer As Hero (author)  majjuss3 years ago
Thanks majjuss.

the wood thingy is called a bench hook. They're really useful for holding things in place (not just wood) when you're carving or sawing. they really help you get better results, cut a lot straighter and they're much safer.

Here's how to make one: http://www.woodworkforwomen.com/make-a-bench-hook (the first decent tutorial i could find, there isn't an instructable for one, i guess i should write one!)
Cyclone17643 years ago
Finally, a real chisel carving tutorial.
You have no idea how glad I am to see this.
My dad found a set of chisels a few weeks ago (so I will start on the week-end)
This would be cool to remake into Styrofoam for Halloween and for those who don't have access to wood.