Carving a small plywood rocking horse made from a design by Judy F. Fergusson.

The horse is made from one 4ft by 4ft sheet of 9mm First Grade Finnish/Russian Birch Ply.

Pieces were cut out using a powered fretsaw/scrollsaw and then glued together to form the two halves of the horse and then both halves glued together to form the whole.

The glue used was Cascamite, also sold as Extramite and Polymite.

Once the glue had cured, shaping and carving was done using a Proxon longnecked angle grinder, fitted with a miniature carbatec cutting wheel, then a Black and Decker power sander and finally hand sanded, sealed and varnished.

The rockers were simply cut out of the same 9mm ply, using the power fretsaw, glued, screwed and pinned together.

Mane, tail and tack were obtained from Anthony Dew, the Rocking Horse Shop, Fangfoss, Yorkshire.

Murray Taylor visited the club on Thursday 18th July and talked about Chip Carving

Murray Taylor covered 3 topics, Chip Carving, Sharpening Knives,  and Lettering with a Knife.   There are no British books on chip carving but Murray hopes to remedy this in the near future, building on his articles in the Woodcarving magazine

Murray was aware that many of our members consider chip carving to be boring, and set out to prove that it was not just a pattern of triangles; it can do lots of interesting designs, lettering, and pictorial work.

All the equipment needed is:-a Pfeil chip  carving knife, a stabbing knife (don’t be worried – the blade is only 1?inch long), an ordinary ruler preferably with black markings on a white background, a T square, a mechanical pencil with 2B leads, a bow compass, a sharpening stone, a  strop, and wood.   Murray mainly uses Lime wood from the original Hobbies  shop .   Murray showed us his way of chip carving.   Accurate marking out is most important and he has designed a tool that  marks 4mm dots from which a grid can easily be produced.   A pyramid of 4mm is easier on the wrist than 5mm!!  He showed us taking out the standard triangular pyramids.  He has very strong arms and wrists from a life time as a manufacturing jeweller, but he showed us a way to apply extra pressure should we need it.

This is Murray’s travelling work bench. The holes can be used to trap the work
















Some examples of various patterns that Murray uses.

Some examples of various patterns that Murray uses.
















For more adventurous work Murray uses a knife like a pen
















The chip carving knife lends itself to various alphabets











All this work needs a sharp knife, and Murray showed us his way of doing it.  Although some knives are sold as ready sharpened, that do not come to his standards.  He recommends ceramic stones that do not wear so are always flat!!
















Carvings by Nick Pantelides

Nick has been a stalwart of the club for as long as I can remember.   He is generous with his knowledge, giving talks on a wide range of subjects from bone carving to Scandinavian flat knife carvings.   He is also willing to give members help and advice.   To see more of Nick’s carvings go to Galleries, click on Members carvings, then click on Nick’s name.   There are lots of carving by other members to be seen on the same Members Carving Gallery



Holly carved in Lime, height 8 inches by Nick Pantelides

Horse by Nick Pantelides










Churchill by Nick Pantelides

Man of the wood, carved in Lime, Height 14 inches by Nick Pantelides
















Fruit bowl carved in cherry, 15 inches wide by Nick Pantelides









Dimitria carved in Lime, height 15 inches by Nick Pantelides
















Dante carved in lime, height 14 inches by Nick Pantelides



















Black Forest Animal Carving by Nick Pantelides













Bison carved in Lime, 8 inches long by Nick Pantelides













We continue to carve protective, and decorative post tops for marker posts on the footpath trails which are being developed round theBurnley area.     The subjects are chosen to be relevant to each particular site, and add interest for ramblers following the trails.     Traditional English hardwoods are used for improved durability in testing out-door weather conditions.        Now that lockdown is being eased, a walk along the Brun Valley and a visit to Towneley Hall might be just what the doctor ordered, the cafe may even be open!!!!


butterfly post















Kingfisher Post















Tawny Owl


























In March 2006, I was asked by the Friends of Openshaw Park, Manchester, UK, to design a sculpture for a poplar tree in the park.   The tree had lost one huge branch and another had been removed for safety reasons, but the tree was still some 30ft tall.   I submitted two designs; a cheaper bulb design and a more expensive one of two figures dancing.    I secretly hoped that the friends could find the extra money for the Dancing design as it fitted this unique tree much better.  It seems that the tree has been formed by two seeds within a single fruit which had given an unusual oval shape to the base of the tree and the decided slope to the left hand side of the trunk. ? The dancers would use the left hand slope of the trunk for the spread of the ball gown, and the lesser lean on the right for the bend in the male’s back

Bulb Design

Tree with some bark removed but before carving commenced












The Friends did find the extra money and work commenced four months later in July on the Dancers design.   By that time, the tree had had a spurt of growth brought on by the severe pruning of it’s main branches.  What had been a bare tree in March was covered in small new branches and a huge leaf cover.   Ideal working conditions for working in one of the hottest Julys but it would have to come down before the work could progress too far.  I am not qualified to do that sort of work and a professional team from Manchester council were booked for the work.   In the mean time I concentrated on the lowest part of the tree, removed the bark and started work on the legs and skirt areas.











The Manchester Council team of three turned up with a cherry picker, chipper and chainsaw with a bar twice as big as mine.    It took them two  hours to bring the tree down to the right size











Now all that height and weight had been removed, I could tackle the upper and middle of the design










I stacked up pallets needed so that I could reach higher.   Pallets are, in fact, easier to use than scaffolding.   The height can be adjusted within 6 inches and they can be moved round the sculpture easily.   They were stored over night in the shipping container that can be seen in the background of some pictures










The faces were carved with hand tools, 2 inch chisels and gouges.  Little finesse here.  The figures are 10 foot tall and the faces have to be bold enough to be seen from ground level.










On the final day, I used the chain saw to finished off the hair, put in the arms and detailed the clothes.