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in this instructible i will tell you about how i spent 2 days (ok so only 1 evening

and the next morning) laboriously meticulously PAINSTAKING-ly!! carving a wooden Elephant before promptly seting it on fire yes i burned the elephant (no it did not receive any water)

this is just a the process i used keep in mind this is my first time doing this and was only a experiment to see if it would work

i would be honored if you gave me a vote if you like this project i plan to do some more of these carvings of certain endangered animals like elephants rhinos and sea turtles and many more i will post them when completed

Step 1: Put Off That Massive Bio Essay You Need to Write Its Not As Cool As This

ok for starters you need to decide what you want to carve i like elephants so that's what i'll be making here. but you can do anything

i used a pine 2x4 off cut and sketched a very crude design on to it make sure that parts you want to be symmetrical are the same width/ length i had to do some creative cutting as i forgot this part :P

when your happy with your drawing turn on your scroll saw/moto saw/trained beaver/band saw and start cutting out the Rough silhouette/drawing

a elephant is rather round and what i was left with was undeniably square so cut off the corners that are on the back and top as these are the easiest sorry terrible explanation just look at the pictures

now that the pesky corners are off we can start making it look like something worth more than the scrap it came from

Step 2: Carving for Dummies

its time to get out that trusty old exacto knife and start cuting away the rest of the unwanted corners until it starts to look more natural focusing on the body and head untill you get a nice rounded shape and the head and trunk start looking more elephantine

when your happy with the shape and rounding go over it with a file and some sand paper i chose to leave some rough edges because it makes the burn effect at the end look really cool

use the fire and knife to separate the legs a bit which adds aesthetics whale still keeping them strong

Step 3: Details and Further Procrastination

ok the details are the ears eyes tail and tusks all distinguishing characteristics

for the tusks i used 3cm long dowels that were sharpened to a blunt point and painted white and gold i did not glue the tusks in yet

for the ears i used a thin off cut from the moto saw i drilled a hole in the top and glued a dowel in be for drilling a corresponding hole in the head to put the dowel in i did not glue this one so i could take the ears out later and reposition them if i wanted

for the eyes i presses a hot soldering iron with a pointed tip in to the wood until it left a good sized hole repeat this on the other side unless you want a cyclops elephant

Step 4: the Best Part FIRE

now take that cute little wooden critter and shove a blowtorch in its face

ok so maybe not so aggressively but slowly sweep with a low flame until the wood starts to change color we don't want lots of ash and charcoal we want a thin layer of carbonised wood to give it some character and coloring i like the contrast between the burnt wood and the white pine which is why i left the trunk, tusks, and ears white

when the smoke has cleared and the embers stop glowing put the ears and tusks and tail back on and put a thin layer of clear varnish to stop everything from getting sooty

Step 5: Final Words

i hope you enjoyed this instructible i loved making it. i think this project has a good mix of fire and good looks.

i think it turned out great for a first try i am interested to know if you like the burnt finish as i haven’t seen it used much but quite enjoy it

I’m entering this into the epilog contest if i win the laser cutter i have quite a few projects planned out including building my own tools like a treadle scroll saw or trying a new method of assembly involving lots of laminated sheets of thin plywood

I have finally got a proper work bench I made this summer and have started assembling a work shop from old tool my grand father gave me and all the money I can spare its been hard to balence this and g11 course work a laser cutter would be a amazing boost for my shop.

if you think i would use the prize effectively than please vote for me I would greatly appreciate it and think I can put it to good use. thanks for reading :)

(sorry for the terrible grammer)

<p>Great Instructable. What you are doing is called carbonizing. I make walking canes out of Bois D'Arc (AKA osage orange, or horse apple). That wood is so hard and dense it will not take stain. It is like trying to rub wood stain onto glass. In desperation, I tried burning it with an acetylene / oxygen torch and then polishing it with a high speed cloth buffing pad. It worked great &amp; has a high sheen without using any coating like varnish or wax.</p>
<p>thats awsome i was just lightly sanding and using brush on varathane to seal in the ash. when i get my hands on some harder woods ill try your method it sounds great</p><p>do you have a picture of one of your canes?</p>

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