Erik D's Works in Progress

I decided to create my own thread to update with some of my work as it progresses. Maybe it’ll inspire someone else or maybe I can get tips from members about how to do a new thing.

So first up is a small eagle head that I carved from scrap basswood leftover from another project. I did this today in about an hour.

I started with a small piece of scrap and sketched out the outline on the side before using my bandsaw to cut it out.

I didn’t use any references on this because I’m familiar with eagles.

Then I turned the it sideways and cut out the other silhouette. Now i have the basic shapes in both x and z axis done in about 5 minutes.

Then I started shaping it using a dremel rotary tool. At this point it’s only about capturing forms. No mind is paid to details. All attention is about pulling the basic shapes out of it. So I began rounding off edges and finding the natural anatomic lines.

Still using the dremel I switch to a ballnose bit and start pulling out details specifically around the face and eyes and refining some other shapes. As the dust collects I’m using a toothbrush every so often to clear the build-up so I can see what I’m doing. I’m also wearing a surgical mask and my glasses are covered in sawdust. I should’ve probably used goggles and respirator but I don’t have one.

An hour later I’m pretty much done. This wasn’t for any purpose other than building confidence toward my goal of carving a realistic, highly detailed, lifesize eagle. I set that goal about a year ago and I still don’t have the confidence to even start it.

I might try some sort of finish that will darken the recesses and bring out the detail a little more. But that will probably have to wait.

Thanks for looking!

(Not sure why discourse requires my title to be 15 characters but it does. Lol)


I started painting a wren that I sculpted from basswood. The black texturing was done with a wood burner. This is my first time painting a wood sculpture.

And here is the results from the first pass. I watered down the paint a lot so that I can layer color over color.

I’ll post more progress soon!

Thanks for looking!


Added a few more layers of paint. I think I’m going to let it sit like this for a while and come back to it in a few days. I usually find that sleeping a couple times while I’m trying to figure out a new thing helps unstick a good idea.

Here’s the progress.


Here was the original sculpt and wood burning of this bird.


This is really awesome. How long did it take to burn and paint it?

I spent an embarrassingly long while staring at the branch that it is standing on wondering how you made it look so realistic. Then I realized it is probably just an actual piece of a branch. :man_facepalming:

Or maybe you just have god-level branch making abilities, which doesn’t seem that far-fetched.

Thanks Christian! The carving took 3 or 4 hours, it was done almost entirely with a carving knife then cleaned up with a dremel. Burning probably 2 to 3 hours and the painting was about 2 hours so far. Hard to figure the actual time painting because I kept stopping and coming back to it over and over again.

The branch was not carved. :grin:lol! I just used it to prop the bird on so it wasn’t laying on its side. I have started carving a branch though and even carved a few wooden leaves for it. I intend to make a 2nd wren and have both on the branch since wrens pair up for life. That’s for another day.

Here is my dremel setup and the bits I currently use.

I use a flex shaft which is that corded attachment on the dremel. It really was a pain having to hold the entire dremel tool before i got that. And it makes swapping bits easy too. As for the bits… they are really good at what they do, but I’m looking at a higher powered setup that accepts 1/4" shanks. Dremel only accepts 1/8" so some of the bigger carbide bits don’t fit.


Erik, do you have a blog that you document this stuff on? It would be great if you did. I’d love to share on FB on the MakeICT page.

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I don’t but maybe I should. I’ll look into doing that. Thanks malissa!

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I need to practice what I preach. I have a blog with about 3 entries. I need to work on mine as well.


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Check out what i just got! Solid blocks of big beautiful basswood!


So I’ve been busy helping my son with his pinewood derby car for the races next Saturday. This year he is doing about 90% of it on his own. I’m very proud of what he’s done so far on it.

Here was his first car we did together. We both put a lot of time into this one. We had a problem with the rustoleum yellow paint when we tried to clear coat it with rustoleum clear coat. The clear caused the paint peel up. It was just a couple days until the race so we found that plastidip would cover the yellow. That’s when it took on the dark knight theme.

These aren’t are all in order. Sorry. It ended up being the black version. He won “best of show” also!


Here was what we started with on the dark knight car.

I promise you that you will never see the Pinewood Derby car I made in the sixties. It was more like this:


Yours is awesome.


Thanks David. I’ve got my old cars still from when I was a kid.

Here was his car last year. This one was all about speed (the dark knight car looked good but didn’t win many races).

This one got first place in the race. My boy did about half of the work on this one. I designed and printed the vinyl on an inkjet printer, very similar to the one in the classroom.


Eagle carving from basswood. Very Rough still.

Im really trying to make this as asymmetrical and dynamic as possible.



I think this w.i.p. is almost done. wipes tear

My daughter


Very nice. Congratulations!