Introduction: Carving a Swan From Epoxy and Buckeye Burl

About: My name is Blake, I make things for a living. I love experimenting with new materials to create sculptures, furniture and everything in between.

I carved a swan out of a massive piece of Buckeye Burl and 13 gallons of epoxy. I first cut the buckeye to the appropriate size. I then spent 2 weeks doing 6 separate pours of epoxy to get the volume I needed for the carving. Once the epoxy was cured, I used a chainsaw as well as other power tools to carve the swan out of the block. I then spent an absurd amount of time hand sanding everything before applying finish. I am really happy with how this sculpture turned out and eager to hear what you guys think!


1. Epoxy- Get 10% off by using code "Blake" on Checkout!

2. 20V Chainsaw (highly recommend) -

3. Wood Finish-

4. resin dye-

6. die grinder-

7. Orbital Sander-

8. Arbortech Turbo Plane-

9. Arbortech Contour Sander-

10. Arbortech Powercarving package-

11.Kutzall die grinder bit-

12. Face shield-

My Camera-

Camera Mic-

Step 1: Check Out the Full Video

Check out the in depth carving from start to finish.

Step 2: Buckeye Burl

I found an amazing piece of buckeye burl locally. The supplier cut the burl down to my specific needs. I then took it home and cut it down to a more appropriate size. I cleaned off all the bark by using a chisel, and then sandblasted the entire burl getting all the dirt/debris out from all the crevices.

Step 3: 13 Gallon Epoxy Pour

I first coated the entire burl with Mas penetrating epoxy. This will help prevent bubbles from coming out of the burl. I then made a melamine mold and placed the burl inside. I did 6 separate pours totaling 13 Gallons of MAS 'deep pour X' Epoxy. (get 10% off and free shipping by using code 'Blake' at checkout). You must do separate pours because if you pour over 2" you will get fracturing within the resin. I waited a full week before un-molding the epoxy.

Step 4: Trace Design and Cut

I then traced the Swan's outline on the epoxy and burl. I used a chainsaw to do most of the bulk cutting. I spent a couple days just forming the outline of the swan.

Step 5: More Detailing

Once the bulk was cut away, I primarily used an angle grinder with different attachments to further refine the shape. To get into tighter areas I switched over to a die grinder.

Step 6: Chop Off the Beak!

From the start, I knew I wanted to add a piece of buckeye for the beak. I very slowly and precisely cut out the epoxy beak, then used an off-cut of burl to create a new beak. I used epoxy to attach it back seamlessly.

Step 7: Sanding Sanding Sanding & Finish

I hand sanded every square inch of the swan from 60 grit up to 2000. This took a VERY long time. I then used an oil based finish to seal everything and give it that nice shine.

Step 8: The Finished Swan

Step 9: Checkout the Full Video!