How to care for your chainsaw sculpture

Chainsaw carvings are traditionally made of green wood this means the timber used is a raw unseasoned piece of tree. The reason for this is that it takes around 1 year per inch to season a solid round log, whilst timber over 10 inches across may never fully dry out. The wood used to make furniture found in homes is cut into small sections and kiln dried then glued back together to make tables, chairs etc. to apply this process to chainsaw carvings would be extremely expensive.

Cracking is a feature not a fault

Due to the natural state of the timber small hairline cracks and splits may appear over time. This effect will be sped up and made much worse if the carvings are not kept correctly.

The best place to keep your chainsaw sculpture is in a shady spot in the garden away from direct sunlight. It’s not necessary to keep your sculpture dry as the oils it’s been treated with will protect it from rot, in fact natural atmospheric moisture will benefit the timber and help prevent it drying out too quickly. Ideally place your caving on a free draining surface such as gravel, paving slabs, or plant pot stands.

Most cracks will naturally close again during the damp winter months. Over time the wood will settle, and no more cracks will appear.

I strongly advise against keeping any chainsaw carvings indoors. A centrally heated house or fireplace is guaranteed to cause splitting which can be server. 

Ongoing Maintenace

To keep your carving looking as good as new you just need to rub it down with a stiff brush once a year to remove any dust and debris. For stubborn marks such as bird poo you can gently wash your carving with some warm soapy water. 

Once the carving is thoroughly dry apply a coat of wood preserver as directed on the tin. If left the carving will eventually weather to a silvery grey colour.

Most of my carvings are finished with Osmo UV protection Oil Extra, which not only protects for sun damage it also contains biocides to protect against mould, algae and fungal attack.

If cared for correctly your carved wooden chainsaw sculpture will last for many, many years.  

Scrubbing a sculpture with warm soapy water

Restoring a neglected Tawny Owl