Wood carving is an ever-evolving craft. Over the years, a lot of tool-based techniques have gained popularity. For instance, carving with an ax, knife, or adze. What about chainsaws? Can you carve wood with a chainsaw?
Carving with a chainsaw is doable. Many carvers primarily carve with chainsaws and have been doing so for decades.
But before you pick up your good old husky, farm boss, or what you may have, there are a few things about carving with chainsaws you should know.
Carving wood with a chainsaw
Do you need a special chainsaw for carving?
You don’t need a special chainsaw for carving. What you need is a special bar chain and sprocket that matches. Chainsaw carving requires a narrower nose to work details and awkward cuts. That being said, there is a need to invest in a quality chainsaw enhanced with a low vibration noise mechanism.
Art tends to take longer than regular lumber felling. Investing in a good saw is a bonus to your health. I will not go into detail on the health risk and safety precautions for chainsaw carving because I have already covered it on Chainsaw carving for beginners
Chainsaw carving is ideal done with two saws.
One saw is the blocking saw
the blocking saw s usually used to block major shapes. This saw need not be another saw you could still use your detail saw with a different bar. However, this method is not as satisfying as using two or more saws.
First, the detail saw needs is not have a power saw to block therefore the restrained power makes blocking tiresome and interviews with the creative flow. Blocking is like sketching in art and a sketch should be quick to capture details quickly.
The second chainsaw is the detail saw
This saw does not need a whole lot of power. Actually, check the recommended bar length for your saw if you run the wrong bar you may burn the bar or chain out.
What makes a detail saw perfect is its lightweight, which enables working difficult angles. The small gauge and pitch chain also assist in detailing. Where the detail saw cant deliver, the artist can take it up with more tools such as angle and die grinders.
check out our guide on chainsaw sharpening
The chainsaw carving kit
The chainsaw carving kit has a carving bar, a pair of quarter-inch chains, and a sprocket of quarter-inch gear to drive the chain smoothly. Your saw probably has the three-quarter-inch chain, bar, and sprocket. Those need to be changed to make the saw a true carving saw.
The three-quarter-inch chain is too big for carving and wastes away wood with big cuts. Detailing is also a nightmare with such a big chain.
Carving bars vary in size concerning length. The shorter ones up to 8″ are great for details as they bring you closer to the action. The longer ones up to 20″ will work hard to reach corners as well as blocking in the first stages of carving.
The carving bar tips also vary in size. The sizes that I have mostly seen are dime tips with a 3/4″ nose diameter, quarter-tip with a 1″ nose diameter, and toonie-tip that’s a 1-3/8 nose diameter.
There may be more, but I am not sure these three are the basic ones you can find with most manufacturers like cannon bars
Are you looking to buy a good budget saw for carving? check out our recommendations here
Summary: Can you carve wood with a chainsaw?
If you have been wondering if you can carve wood with a chainsaw, then rest assured that it is indeed possible to carve beautiful sculptures with a chainsaw. Though there is some additional gear you may need to buy before starting. This is, of cause, factoring in that you have a chainsaw already. If not, then consider buying a chainsaw plus chainsaw carving kit.