ERIC'S BLOG

Watch Eric make a Bear

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Hi, I’m Eric and we’re here in my workshop where I handcraft each item. And today, we’re going to build a bear. So all right, we’re going to– first we pick a piece of plywood that’s the right size for our bear. Here’s our piece of wood. Here’s our bear. Let me put him down here. As you can see, he fits well inside. And, now we are going to trace our line. I’m using spray paint, just ordinary, off the shelf spray paint. Sometimes it’s blue, sometimes it’s black. It’s whatever I have leftover. And there we’ve got our shape. And now, we go to the jigsaw.
So here’s our bear after the jigsaw. I’ve preselected a couple pieces of pallet wood here. They’re obviously too big for the bear so first thing to do is to start cutting them down on the chop saw.
All right. So here’s our bear. And I want to take a couple of these pieces that I’ve precut and I’m going to position them on the bear in a way I like them. And I think that’s good. And now I’m going to mark them so I know where to put them back. I’m going to lay them down just outside, go for the glue, and generously apply glue inside the penciled area. And now squeeze it down into place. Squeeze it down into place. Go for the trusty nail gun. Nail’s just to hold it in place. And then I go for the next one and– I like to stagger my scenes, gives it more of a natural look. And I go for the next one. And you keep doing that until it’s covered. So you keep going like that and you’ll eventually cover your bear entirely, like that.
All right. Now that it’s dried overnight, we’re going to take it and flip it over. And we’re going to grind off all the little nail heads that are sticking out through the back and make it all nice and safe.
Now that we’re done with that, it’s off to the jigsaw.

All right, a bear is born. Now we get to torch it. And all I’m using is a straight butane torch. I do this because it takes off all the splinters and the ragged edges in the tight areas without me having to take the grinder to it. It does all kinds of neat things to the wood. Brings out the grain. It evens out the tone, ages it, and distresses it.

And that’s it. She’s torched. So next we go to the sander and knock off all the char and the ragged edges.
And there you have it. So now that we’re done with that, I want to carve a couple trees into our bear and put them down here. And I’m going to clamp him into place so he doesn’t move. Yeah, good clamp on him. And I’m going to take my grinder here. And I’m going to hit my blade.
Okay. So now I’m done carving my trees. All right, now I got my stain, I got my brush, I got my torch, now we’re ready to bring out our trees. So now I’m going to take this little brush, and I’m going to apply some black oil-based stain to the places that I carved. Starting with the tree trunk. And it’s going to take a lot, so I kind of just slap it on in there. And get it in there as quickly as I can. I don’t really worry about getting too much on because we’re going to burn it off and sand it afterwards.

From here, I’m going to play with the sander and the torch until I’m happy with the overall look. It’s still bubbling down there in the bottom. Now we’re going to sand it. Get rid of all the extra char and all the spill spots.

And there is our bear with our trees. Now that our bear has been carved, he’s ready for a clear cut. I use an exterior grade water-based clear cut to help seal and protect it. Thank you for joining me in my workshop. Please visit my website at edpracticalart.com.

 

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