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Wood thickness

I'm going to carve a sunburst for one of my fireplaces.  When you do this type of appliqué, what thickness of wood is

normally used?



David, it would usually depend on the application you are carving for. Say, if it’s going on a dresser you might use 1/2-1” stock...or if it’s going on a wall as a panel or plaque, maybe 1-2”. If you are just carving for practice, or don’t have a place you want to put it yet when you are done, go with 1”...it’s a pretty versatile thickness.

Thanks Matthew.  I'm doing it for a fireplace mantel.  Thought I saw somewhere that Mary called for 1/8" in the starburst but that seemed mighty thin for

that type of work.



Ah...plain as day missed that part of your question. 1/8 does seem pretty thin...that might be for the relief depth and not the stock thickness. I’ll let her handle this, as I’m not familiar with the pattern she used for it.

Quite often the center panel sunburst is a separate panel that sits a bit higher than the rest of the fireplace. This can be 1" or 1-1/2", depending on the size of your fireplace. That is really left to your own preference. The carving itself is carved 1/8 to 1/4" deep, depending on how large the fan is. Quite often the smaller ones (the vertical ones one the right and left sides of the mantel) are carved 1/8" deep, while the larger center panel is deeper. Ideally, carve these flutes as deep as you can to show as much shadow, but you can get to a point where it gets too deep and the sharp high corners can become to fragile.

Usually if a lesson is carved into a piece of wood, I refer to the depth of the carving, rather than the thickness of the blank. If it is an applique (cut out and carved) then I refer to the entire thickness.

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Charles Hubbard