Chainsaw Carving: Is it worth the cost?

Are you good with chainsaws? And by good, I mean really really good? Would you be able to turn a log into a bear or dragon or car?

If the answer is yes, then chainsaw carving might be something that you’ll want to get involved with. However, as with most hobbies, it’s not free. In this article, we’ll be talking about the costs of chainsaw carving, as well as some of the ways you might be able to make the money back. After reading this, you will be able to make a better decision as to whether or not you want to take it up for yourself.

If you do decide to make this financial commitment, then I can completely understand why. Not only will you be able to travel, and see some towns, and villages that you wouldn’t otherwise have seen, you’ll also meet loads of amazing people, many of whom, you’ll be able to make their jaws drop, when they see what you’re capable of. It’s hard to put into words the feeling you get when other people are blown away by something you have created. And if you’re an artistic person, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

But what are the costs?

Chainsaw Carving  Price

Chainsaw

The first thing you’ll have to account for is the cost of the chainsaw itself. A chainsaw which is powerful enough, and easy enough to use to be able to do carving will probably cost you at least $200. And that’s not including the cost of maintenance.

Of course, many of you reading this will already have a chainsaw that’s perfect for carving. But for those that don’t, this is something you’ll need to think about. Chainsaws are actually a very advanced piece of machinery, and therefore, the good ones have a high price tag.

Logs

Something else you’ll need to think about is the price of the logs themselves. The cheapest way to get these logs is to cut them yourself, but most carvers simply don’t have the time to be doing this. The average log will cost you around $20. But some of them might be slightly more or less depending on what type of wood you’re using.

$20 might not seem like a lot, but when you’re going through so many logs, it is as cost which will definitely add up. If you can cut 5 logs in a day, that’s $100, just on the logs!

Travel

You’ll also need to think about how much this is going to cost you in terms of traveling. Many of these artists, travel all over the country, and therefore won’t be able to go home after every show. You’ll need to find somewhere to stay over night. One way to save money on this is to do couch surfing, where you can stay with friends and family.

You’ll also need to think about transport! Good luck getting on public transport with a chainsaw.

You will need a car that’s big enough for all of your equipment and your logs.

So how can you make it back?

Tickets

One way to get some of this money back is from selling tickets. Because most people don’t buy the products they see being made, they have to pay a small fee to be able to watch you create the art. Although at fetes, this fee is going to be an entrance fee, and you will receive a very small percentage of all ticket revenue.

Of course, how much money you get from tickets will depend on how popular the event is. This is is going to be a bit of a gamble, as you might make loads, or you might make hardly anything.

Selling

A slightly more profitable way to make money will be from selling your creations. Many people like these wooden sculptures as they will give their garden an extra bit of specialness. And if they can see the skills that you have in creating them, they’ll be more likely to part with more of their hard earned cash. There are even some chainsaw sculptors who don’t even do live shows at all, and make all of their money purely based on selling their products. However, these people rarely make as much.

Job or side hustle?

If you do decide to take up chainsaw carving and make money out of it, you’ll need to ask yourself whether you want to quit your job and do it full time, or just do it as a side hustle. The choice is yours but both of them have their pros and cons.

If you take it up full time, you need to be 100% sure that you’ll be able to make enough money out it, because if you can’t you’ll be in a tough situation.

If you want to do it as a side hustle, you’ll need to be sure that you’re able, physically, mentally, and time wise, to do the carving as well as your other job.

Risks and Rewards

Should you quit your job to pursue this full time, then the worst that will happen is that you make no money out of this. When you consider who much it’s going to cost you to get things going, then not making any money will take a big strain on you, and you might even end up in debt.

On the other end of that, the best thing that can happen is that you end up being successful and making lots of money.

If you love creating things, and you love using your chainsaw, then chainsaw carving could be something that you’ll want to consider going into. There are costs along the way. The first one being the cost of the chainsaw, which is likely to be around $200. Then you have the costs of the logs, which are going to be about $20 a log. Then you’ve got the cost of the travel, which can vary.

To make the money back, the two most popular methods are ticket sales and selling the products.

If you want to do it, but not quit your job, then a side hustle is something to consider.

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What kind of wood is best for chainsaw carving?

Chainsaw Carving Near Me: What you should know about

Best Chainsaw for Carving

What kind of wood is best for chainsaw carving?

There are many different forms of art out there. When most of us think about art, we tend to think about pictures, and even when we do think of sculptures, it’s often images such as Michaelangelo’s David that pop into mind. But in this article, we’ll be looking at a form sculpting that requires an immense amount of skill, but is far too often over looked. Chainsaw Carving. And if you want to participate in it yourself, what would be the best type of wood for you to be using? And does it even matter?

About chainsaw Carving

chainsaw Carving

Chainsaw carving is one of the most impressive art forms out there. Not only are people creating these beautiful structures that might look like animals, people, furniture, or anything else, but they’re not used all of this fancy carving equipment, they’re using chainsaws, the same things that they would have used to cut down the trees.

At many fetes and funfairs, you can watch live as somebody turns a plain and boring log of wood into something incredible. It really is a marvel to behold. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’ easy, being able to do it as well as the professionals do will take time and effort.

But why does it matter what sort of wood you’re using? Isn’t wood just wood?

No. Wood is not just wood.

I’m sure you wouldn’t want a dining room table made of cork, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want a bottle of wine sealed with oak. There are, to put it very bluntly, some wood which is simply not possible to carve with, and many woods that are technically possible but very difficult. And if you want to make sure that your carving is as beautiful as you can possibly make it, then you need to select the best kind of wood.

There are a few things to look out for when selecting the best kind of wood to be carving with. The most important one is hardness. Generally speaking, harder woods tend to make the better sculptures, as softer wood will be more likely to split where they shouldn’t, for this reason, cork would not be a very good wood for chainsaw carving. You will also want something that is fairly resistant to changes such as shrinking or mould, after all, you’ll want your artwork to last. And finally, you’ll want something that looks nice. That is the whole point of art after all.

Mahogany

mahogany wood carving

The first type of wood on this list is Mahogany. The first thing to not about this kind of wood is that it’s very strong and durable, so you will be able to use a high power saw to it, and still end up with great result. In terms of appearance it has a beautifully rustic look to it, and it’s for this reason that it’s often used in furniture or musical instruments. It’s also less liable to swelling, meaning that even if you keep it outside in the rain, there is little chance of it being ruined.

Oak

Oak wood chainsaw carving

The next kind that you might want to consider using if you ever get tempted to going into chainsaw carving is Oak. The first benefit of Oak, is that is has a strongly defined grain, this gives it a lovely appearance, which has caused it to become a very popular wood for making furniture as well as sculptures. It’s also one of the stronger woods that are out there, meaning that the lines and curves can be sharp and well defined, particularly good for when you want to carve complex works such as dragons or people. It’s also easy to polish.

Cottonwood

Cottonwood wood chainsaw carving

Next on this list is cottonwood. Whilst cottonwood might not be fantastic for the professionals, if you’re new to the world of chainsaw carving, it’s a great place to start. Compared to some of the other woods on this list, it’s much softer. Whilst this might sound like a disadvantage, it’s softness makes it easier to cut, and despite it’s softness, it’s definitely strong enough. Because it’s so soft, it’s also light weight making it easy to take around the place, and carry around with you. And because it’s so common, it’s super simple to find.

Walnut

Walnut wood

Walnut’s a delicious winter treat, but walnut wood is a brilliant wood for chainsaw carving. The main reason for this is that it’s incredibly durable and strong. It’s strength will enable you to carve some of the most amazing artworks. It also has a very long life, so there is no worry about the finished product becoming ruined by time. You could probably pass your work down to your grandchildren. It’s also really nice to look at, it has the dark and mysterious appearance to it, a bit like the love interest from a Gothic romance novel. It also polishes well and doesn’t shrink in the rain.

Basswood

Basswood log

And the final type of wood that we’ll be talking about is Basswood. As with all the other woods on this list, Basswood is strong and sturdy. Which will give the carver the ability to create patterns on it, without having to worry about the wood cracking. It’s also bendy (malleable) which will further decrease the probability cracks. As well as being strong, it’s also very light, so you can take it on the road with you, and it’s not too hard, so you don’t need to press too hard to make a cut. And finally, it looks spectacular, with it’s simple yet peaceful colour.

Of course, these are not the only woods that people use for chainsaw carving, but they are, in my personal view, the best ones. But even if you have the best wood for the job, being able to create such beautiful and amazing sculptures using a chainsaw is going to take a lot of practice, and a lot of getting it wrong, in order to make things better. But you when do get to that point the effort and hours that you put in will certainly be worth it.

Chainsaw Carving Near Me: What you should know about

Chainsaw carving is probably one of the most underrated art forms that exist, and this is actually a real shame when you consider how beautiful some of the sculptures that come about as a result of it can be. The skill it takes to be able to turn a log of wood into a dragon, or an owl, or a bear is simply remarkable. And the artists who create this, don’t have an entire arsenal of tools at their disposal, but all they use is a chainsaw, sometimes, the same chainsaw that they used to cut down the tree, and turn the tree into logs.

Chainsaw Carving Near Me

Even if you have no interest in actually participating in it yourself, I would definitely recommend going to look at other people doing it. This way you’ll be able to appreciate the chainsaw skills that are required to be able to produce such structures. As well as that, it’s also a great excuse to get out of the house. And it will even be a great chance to meet fellow chainsaw enthusiasts, and to talk to one another about tips and tricks for how to use and maintain your chainsaw.

It will also be a great chance for you to find out if chainsaw carving is something for you to consider.

Where to find them

One kind of place where you’ll be likely to find chainsaw carving events is places near woodland. As you can probably guess, the reason for this is because the distance that the logs are going to have to travel isn’t very far. Logs are very big and heavy, and so transporting them isn’t easy, it requires a lot of manual labour, and they take up a lot of room. For this reason, it makes sense to have these carving events take place near the source.

Another place where you’ll be likely to find chainsaw carving is at fetes and funfairs. A lot of carvers choose to got there to show off their skill, as they are often packed with people. All of these people have the potential to one day turn into customers. People will be more likely to buy something if they can see first hand how it’s made. It’s also a great place for people who have never thought about it, to spark an interest. It’s one of those things that very few people actually think about, but when they do, it really does amaze them.

Why you should go

As mentioned earlier, the main benefit of seeing a live chainsaw carving is that you get to see first hand the skill it requires. There are very few other forms of artwork where you are actually invited to take a look at the artist creating their masterpiece. You would rarely get to see a painter turn a canvass and a selection of paints into something worthy of being in a gallery. If you do choose to buy any of the things you have seen be created, you get to take it home with you, with the knowledge that this has been crafted by a person and not a machine.

Another reason (which was mentioned before) as to why you ought to see chainsaw carving live is so that you can decide it it’s something you’d be interested in pursuing. You might look at it, and decide that the time it’s going to take you to learn those skills is not going to be worth it, and that you’d be better off just selling timber. Or you might decide that actually, you could make more money and get more enjoyment from creating sculptures. The only way to really know where you stand is to understand the process.

Best Chainsaw Carivng Near Me

How to find them

Sorry to sound cliché but a great place to look for chainsaw carving events near you is to look on Google. There are many artists who like to travel around in order to show off their skills, and they will have tour dates on their website. Or you could look at the websites from some of your local areas to see if they have anything of that sort coming up. If you know of a local funfair or fete that’s due soon, then you can find out if there is going to be any chainsaw carving there.

What to keep in mind

If you do find something, you’ll need to ask yourself if it’s going to be the travel. Anything within a 15 minute walk or drive should be a definite yes. You will be able to just pop down, and take a look. However, you may need to travel a bit further in order to see the best people. Whether you should make this commitment depends on how dedicated you are to this. For some, this travel is simply not going to be worth it, and you might need to take some time off of work.

If you want to help

If you have a strong appreciation for the skills that this requires but don’t think it’s for you, then one potential option could be volunteering. These kinds of events are always looking for people who are willing to give a helping hand. You could be a fee collector, or a refreshment seller, or even somebody helping to carry the logs which will soon be turned into something else. Any help that these artists can get will be highly appreciated. But again, if you choose to volunteer, you will need to think about the distance you’ll need to travel.

Chainsaw carving is simply an amazing art form. And if you want to see it happening live, there are plenty of places where you can go. This includes places near woodland, as well as fetes and funfairs. Seeing the artists at work will enable you to truly appreciate the skill that it takes, and allow you to decide if you want to do it yourself. If you like it but don’t want to do it, then you can always volunteer to help those who do. But one thing you’ll need to be wary of is the distances that you might be required to travel.

Also Read: Best Chainsaw for Carving