Here is a podocarpus I had carved as a demonstration for the Brevard Bonsai Society in Melbourne Florida. Some of you may recognize it.
This was one of the first trees I ever collected. I got it when the CFBC went to a members house (Sigrid) to remove plants that were going to be bulldozed.
When I first carved it I thought it would look ok with just jins but I’ve since changed my mind.
What is surprising is this bark is all living. On a podocarpus the living bark will grow anywhere, it doesn’t need a bud to feed it. Unfortunately it is also twice as hard to carve living, wet wood than seasoned wood. Yippee…..
We go to the big boy toys for this baby!
That’s an angle grinder fitted with a chainsaw wheel made by King Arthur Tools. When people see it they are a bit intimidated. They should be a little. An angle grinder is a heavy tool. It can wear you out quickly. I don’t recommend it for everyone. And the chainsaw wheel looks really dangerous but it’s actually safer than some of those fixed blade attachments for either an angle or die grinder.
The “chain” on this floats between 2 discs giving it the ability to “slip” when it hits a snag. This minimizes kickback and therefore unintentional face carving. Plus the teeth on the chain are the same as on a regular chainsaw. Which means that in one pass the tool can only cut a predetermined depth (due to the shape of the tooth; it has a limiter built in as a safety feature).
It is dangerous still. It just takes practice and stamina.
And some detail shots: