Shaping the carved tree.
Carving,  Chainsaw,  Christmas,  Crafts

DIY Carved Trees

While we have carved a couple of trees before, it has been a few years. Much like riding a bike I guess. After a few minutes it started to seem more familiar.

A while back I asked my sister if there was anything we could make her for Christmas. She said she always liked the carved trees on the shelf in the living room. Who knew?? I thought she would ask for a map.

I was glad I asked early cause the first thing we did was head out and cut a few pieces from a spruce tree that had blown down in the wind. Jim removed the bark and they sat above the wood stove in the workshop for more than a month to dry.

Spruce logs for tree carvings.
Spruce logs for tree carvings.

We started by screwing the log to a board from underneath. The board was clamped to the workbench.

Securing spruce log to carving base.
Shouldn’t go anywhere.

Once secure, Jim started by creating a groove with the small grinder and below that would be the base for the tree.

Setting the base of the carved tree.
Doesn’t have to be perfect.

Then there was a lot of material to be removed, especially from the top. This required a larger grinder.

Shaping the carved tree.
Long way to go.

He basically removed a lot of wood from one side, then the opposite side, and finally the last 2 sides. At this point it had a square shape, tapered towards the top.

Shaping the carved tree.
Chips were flying!

It made a real mess in the workshop, nothing a broom can’t take care off. And Lord knows Jim could use the practice with a broom. Kidding!!

Clean up in isle 3!
Clean up in isle 3!

Here is the first one with the sides squared up.

Rough shape of carved tree.

With a little, actually a lot, more carving we had a tree shape.

Smoothing the tree shape.
That’s more like it.

Back to the small grinder, we started carving the “branches”.

Contouring the carved tree.
Contouring the carved tree.

Then Jim had a brilliant idea. Lets set the thing on fire!!

Torching the Christmas tree!
Torching the Christmas tree!

Nothing says Christmas like a black tree. Here it was after being torched.

Its a crisp Christmas!
Merry Crisp-mas!

We then sanded the tree with a sanding disk on the end of the grinder leaving the black in the grooves. You can see where we sanded in this next picture.

diy carved trees.
Half sanded.

I’ll show you the final tree in a bit. For the other two trees we wanted to make them a little different in looks and size. I suggested we make one shorter and that is when the chainsaw came out. Overkill, maybe. Fun, definately.

Shortening the next tree.
There is usually a chainsaw involved.

The second one got the same treatment minus the torch.

Detailing the short tree carving.
So cute.

No pictures were taken during the carving of the third tree except this one, working to make it tall and skinny.

Shaping the 3rd wood carving.
Shaping the 3rd wood carving.

Here they are all together in the workshop.

T'ree Christmas trees!
T’ree Christmas trees!

We took them in the house and applied a coat of satin Varathane spray. We found that in handling them the black from the torched tree transferred to the surface. The spray has stopped that.

Clear coating the carved Christmas trees.
Clear coating the carved Christmas trees.

Not really feeling the tall ones shape so back in the workshop we reshaped the bottom portion.

diy carved trees
Take 2.

And they resprayed it. Thats better…

diy carved trees
Now they are ready.

For a short time (a few hours) I got to enjoy them on my “tree” shelf. Then they got wrapped for Christmas.

Carved Christmas tree scene.
Then there were 8!

Good bye little trees.


PS: Here’s a little video.

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