To make the wax/oil coating, I heated walnut oil over a candle and dropped in some beeswax shavings. When it cooled, it was like lip-balm, so I dipped my finger in and rubbed the wood (beeswax is too hard on its own). I buffed it with a cotton cloth, although I’m not sure that did anything. The walnut oil is straight from the supermarket’s oil section. The reason I’m trying walnut oil as a finish is because it has the potential to dry over time (in a good way) and act as a better coating than something that remains oily (we’ll see).
The name of this blog is Whittlin’ Rich yet I haven’t done a lot of whittling. Yes I’ve whittled wood before, but not much. So for whatever reason, I recently took up whittling as a hobby. Here’s a picture displaying my many small projects and the primary tools I’ve been using.
I use basswood since it’s the recommended wood-of-choice for carving. For knives, I use a Morakniv 120 and 122, a BeaverCraft C1M and C2 as well as the tiny C15 — and of course there’s my strop with some polishing compound rubbed into the leather. To carve effectively, you need to strop your blades at the end of each whittlin’ day, in my opinion.
Just to provide some textual detail as to what’s in the picture: there’s a bunch of faces, some full-body figurines made from 1″x 1″ x 6″ blocks (not shown: one of the figurines has another figurine on its back), a small spoon, a carved-out box, my name carved into a block, a minature dumbbell, a wooden knife, an anvil and hammer, a sword, a sword’s handle, and a pine tree. Nothing’s officially “done” since I might go back to add details over time.
It’s been an enjoyable pastime over the last 10 weeks. Lately I’ve been using it as a meditation of sorts, as a way to keep an eye on my thoughts. While whittling, my mind tends to drift down random tangents about whatever so I’m trying to remove focus from those thoughts and remain focused on right-now i.e. whittling.
A couple months ago, I purchased a laptop computer so I could get back into computer programming. Prior to that, I had been using an iPad Pro to fulfill my computing needs. Because I was mostly dedicated to writing this blog, I didn’t require much in the way of computational power.
I have no other objective at the moment but to continue adding to my portfolio — and in the process, practicing and honing my craft. I’m having more fun this time around — just programming for programming’s sake, there’s no rush to get anywhere in particular. Why do I want to climb the mountain? “Because it’s there.” And so I continue my quest, following the path of the programmer….
Life is simple repetitions with small variances. It isn’t boring because we’re convinced that small variations are significant enough to cancel out the repetitiveness.
Walk in a new location, and it’s suddenly more interesting than that old location. Prepare chicken differently every night, and it’s exciting to eat. Gossip about a different person, and it’s always juicy. Watch similar plots but with different actors, and it’s new and entertaining.
The end of boredom comes from introducing minor changes into the things we already enjoy.