Care instructions for your chainsaw carving
Chainsaw carvings are, for the most part, carved from whole diameter
logs rather than a slice of a log. It's the nature of a log to check or crack
as it dries from the center core.
What does that mean to you as the owner of a chainsaw carving? Well,,, it means your carving is going to possibly crack. It's part of the natural process so you might as well enjoy it.
Displaying your carving.
Your carving is wood. Wood can split, crack, rot, fade,
burn and/or be attacked by insects. Putting a little thought into where and how
it's displayed can help your carving to last for years, or forever.
Do not set your carving directly onto soil, grass or mulch. A pad of concrete, gravel or paving stones is better and will help protect the base from water and insect damage. You can buy tack in furniture feet at your local hardware store to lift the carving up a little. This will create a gap for airflow under the carving.
Heat from either harsh desert sunshine or even the household heat [indoors] will dry the wood quickly which causes additional cracking from the center core drying too quickly. Avoid these situations when possible or be prepared to renew the finish more frequently.
Rain is not much of a problem for a properly sealed carving. Frequent drenching with water [irrigation, etc] increases the likelihood of water damage so try to display your carving beyond the reach of your lawn sprinklers. Keeping it properly sealed [described below] is very important if displayed in a wet location or climate.
Maintaining the finish.
Most of my carvings are sealed with Marine Spar Varnish or
Helmsman Spar Urethane which can be purchased at any hardware or paint store.
Oil-based Only!!! This can be brushed or sprayed on. When cracks develop,
I use a brush and let the varnish run into the crack and seal the wood. Do not
try to fill the crack with varnish! You just want to seal the surface of the
newly exposed wood inside the crack.
I recommend that any carving displayed outdoors be re-sealed with spar urethane each spring and autumn.
Spar Urethane is available in Gloss [shiny] or Satin [no shine]. If your carving isn't shiny and you'd like it to be, paint on the gloss spar urethane right over the satin.
If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact me at 440-897-3748.