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Chainsaw Carving


Art forms are distributed worldwide with many people believing on some work that are true originals. Duplicating a craftsman’s work of art is something that can’t be accomplished. Chainsaw carvings for sale in premier locations are one of a kind. You will be amazed on how true craftsmen can create images out of a piece of wood. These craftsmen are so passionate and serious about what they do. Chainsaw carvers strongly believe in taking something pure and natural from nature earth and converting it into something even more magnificent through that art of chainsaw carving.

A wide variety of things can be created with chainsaw carvings. Chainsaw carvings for sale can be furniture, animal sculptures and many other decorative images looking spectacular in their own. Imagining a piece and then turning the wood into that envisioned image from that moment on using chainsaws is an inherent ability possessed by chainsaw carvers. A chainsaw piece of art usually takes up to three days or sometimes can take weeks before unveiling the beauty of this masterpiece creation. More and more chainsaw carvers are now sharing their talent by creating hand crafted sculpture made from wood with the use of chainsaw. As a result, many chainsaw carvings and sculptures are now for sale around the world.

Chainsaw carvings for sale at Thomas Carving call us for more details or for a bespoke commission.


The combination of the ancient art of woodworking and the modern technology of the chainsaw is known as the art of chainsaw carving. This is known to be one of the fastest growing forms of art today.

Ray Murphy and Ken Kaiser are the oldest chainsaw artists recorded way back in 1950’s. It was in 1952 when Ray Murphy carves his name into a piece of wood using his father’s chainsaw. Because of the noise and sawdust the general impression of the public is thatchainsaw carving is largely a performance art but nowadays, few chainsaw carvers has already produced stunning works of art. Although these chainsaw carvers use other tools alongside the chainsaw, the primary tool they used is the chainsaw. Through the years, the art of chainsaw carving have evolved with the development of special chainsaw blades and chains for carving. The equipment is called konepuukko in Finland.
When the Internet world came, chainsaw carving has become a worldwide phenomenon with chainsaw carvers widespread all over the world. In fact, the largest wooden statue of the Virgin Mary in the world which is carved at 9 meters high by an English chainsaw artist named Matthew Crabb can be found in Schochwitz, Germany which highlights the evolution and growth of the chainsaw art.


Individuals who create images or sculptures with the use of a chainsaw skillfully are called chainsaw carving artists. These individually hand-carved sculptures with timeless beauty can be experienced as they are crafted at many of the exhibits this year. Many carvings create a lasting impression and are available for sale to accentuate your home.

Each piece is carved from reclaimed wood with many sustainable sources throughout the United Kingdom. As a matter of fact, these woods are hand picked from tree surgery, sawmills, salvage, and garden clearance specialists because of its color, character, and suitability for carving.

In addition to the familiar carvers, a new type of chainsaw carving has been introduced now. This technique is imbibed and practiced in the “Sculpture & Chainsaw Art Studio” wherein chainsaw carving artists shape the wood skillfully by following the wood’s natural form & grain creating unique art forms like carved wooden animals.
Because of the goal in making an art easily accessible to purchase, “The Artist’s Studio” agreed to be the venue where a selected level of art is on display for inspiration. An event known as The Speed Carve Event is also held twice a day due to increasingly popular demand. A sculpture created by a chainsaw carver within 20 minutes is then auctioned off to the general public.


Chainsaw Carving is a skill and a form of art which has been popular in United States for a long time and growing fast in the United Kingdom now. There are few full timechainsaw carvers scattered all over the country now unlike before and many practice their skill with their free time. Forestry or tree surgery business is the usual background of majority of the chainsaw carvers. This is the field where they have become accustomed to handling a chainsaw and have the necessary chainsaw license, safety license including safety clothing and equipment. In this area, they also have the means of transport in order to move large logs of wood around.

Based on records, the oldest chainsaw carver goes way back in 1952 when Ray Murphy used his father’s chainsaw to carve his name into a piece of wood. While in the year 1961, 50 carvings for the Trees of Mystery were created by Ken Kaiser. In the 1980s, chainsaw carving as an art began to grow more with Art Moe getting much exposure during the Lumberjack world Championships held in Hayward Wisconsin. In 1987, the first chainsaw carvers World Championships was held and Barre Pinske who was 24 year old then won the event. As time goes by, more and more new artists began to experiment with chainsaw carving. Today, chainsaw carvers load up their carvings at the back of their trucks which functions as traveling galleries. And through internet technology, chainsaw carving has become a bit of a phenomenon worldwide with the craft taking off in USA then followed by UK and other European countries as well as in Japan, Australia and Africa.


Get out there and start carving is the best way to learn to carve wood. For a makingcarved wooden animals simply use a knife or chisel, and then start getting the feel of carving on different types of wood until skills are developed for the creation of carved wooden animals.
Carving in the round, simple animals figures is a good place to start with because the simple skill that you will learn and acquire here will be useful later on in more detailed carvings. The quality and design of carved wooden animals will increase the more skill you learned. The following are the types of wood carving:

  • Chip carving
  • Carving in the round
  • Relief carving
  • Letter carving

Carving tools that you can use includes knives, chisels, mallets and gouges. Files and rasps are also useful for creating round carved wooden animals. On the other hand, gouges are available either on short or long handles and may be gauged based on the amount of curve on the cutting edge which includes bent ,straight, fishtail, in cannel gouges, V-gouges and spoon-bit gouges. All your tools must be sharp to be able to carve efficiently. Your tools must leave a shiny cut through the wood devoid of white streaks signifying a nick in the blade. Through the long cell fibers and dark streaks of the annual rings, you can determine the direction of the grain. You must carve only towards a downward direction onto the parallel lines of the grain. Carving diagonally across the grain or parallel to it is also correct but do not carve upwards against the grain because it will only lead to wood tear and splinter.


Chainsaw Carvings are forms of art with an ever increasing popularity and number of collectors purchasing these splendid sculptures.

English Open Chainsaw Carving Competition has been going on for six years and similar faces are consistently seen at these events. Because of these events, the Queen’s Estate at Sandringham was able to collect chainsaw sculptures including carved wooden animals by Thomas Carving and now has started to build a Sculpture Trail next to the visitors’ center. One wood carving event and a great place to see Chainsaw Carvings in Wales is held annually and called “Woodfest Wales”. The very first event occurred in June 2002 in St Asaph, and in 2004, more than 18,000 visitors participated. Due to its increasing popularity, the 2005 event has been held in May at South Wales in Margam Country Park near Port Talbot. You can find activities and exhibits related to wood, such as logging competitions, chain saw carving, and pole climbing in these events. It also includes displays of birds of prey, cookery, arts and crafts, mountain biking and a fairground.

Through these organized events, you can have the opportunity of purchasing a magnificent sculpture that has been created in front of you. Chainsaw Carving is considered to be one of the most visually stunning, instant and exciting art forms to date.

For Chainsaw Carvings in Wales call Thomas Carving today.


Although the medium of choice of every artist varies, the results are universal. A finished piece of art is admired and accentuates our surroundings. Although the art of wooden animal sculptures are associated basically with rustic decor, its popularity is rapidly crossing boundaries. Wooden animal sculptures can now be found in homes, offices and museums all over the country.

Part of what makes an art – art is recognizing the talent of the chainsaw carvers and their ability to reach deep inside us and generating feelings of appreciation and awe. No one else does this best than a wood sculptor wielding a motorized chainsaw. It is truly remarkable observing a sculptor guiding a chisel through wood with a steady hand. What is more inspiring is to experience to see how an image is transformed slowly from a log or tree trunk. The chainsaw is the primary tool used in the process of carving. Eventually the artist will use traditional hand tools such as gouges, chisels, knives and other motorized tools to create the desired result from crude images to highly refined and detailed wooden animal sculptures like wizards, dragons, bears, eagles, dogs, trolls and a myriad of other subjects. These chainsaw animal carvings from an ordinary piece of wood is surprisingly has something that will evoke an emotion within you. The appreciation of any art including the art of chainsaw carving is after all as the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.


How long will a timber sculpture last outdoors before it rots away? A very common question. The rate at which a timber sculpture rots away is broadly dependent on the species of timber, the environment in which it is kept, and the preservative treatment it has received. Timber that is generally available in the UK is the subject of this particular guide.

Species of timber

There is a common misconception that “hardwoods” are always more durable than “softwoods” in every application. This is certainly not the case. However, what is meant by “hardwood” and what is meant by “softwood” should be explained.
In the timber industry “hardwoods” are normally the range of trees that shed their leaves in winter. But, some “softwoods” also shed their needles in winter, e.g. Larch and Dawn Redwood. Also, some “hardwoods” keep their leaves all year round, e.g. Holm Oak. To add to the confusion, some “hardwoods” are considerably softer than a lot of “softwoods”. Balsa wood and Poplar are a lot softer than Yew or Pitch Pine.

So we are best to refer to the two types of timber trees as “Broadleaves” and “Conifers”. As this implies, there are trees that have “broad” leaves and the conifers that have “needles”.

In the UK there are only really three (generally available) broadleaved species that stand out as being particularly durable. Robinia Pseudoacacia (an import from the USA that has become naturalised in the UK as well as a lot of Europe, known in the USA as Black Locust), European Oak (quercus robur and petrea), and Sweet Chestnut. Most of the other broadleaves tend to rot out quite quickly, in fact, faster than even the poorer conifers.

The species of conifers that are generally available in the UK that can be considered “durable”, or relatively so, outnumber the UK broadleaves. E.g. Yew, Western Red Cedar, Giant Redwood (Wellingtonia and Coast), Cedars mostly, Leyland Cyprus (as well as a few other cypresses), Larch, and Douglas Fir. In both broadleaf and conifer, the heartwood (middle half to three quarters of the trunk) is the durable portion. In almost all of the species, the sapwood on the outside of this core, and just under the bark, will rot quite quickly.
A table of comparative rates of rot for a lot of the UK available timbers is posted at the bottom of this article.
A client considering having a carving created from a “stump” should first of all know what the species of tree was before it was cut down. They should be aware that the timber may not be of a “durable” nature. It makes little sense for a sculptor to spend several days at a cost of two thousand pounds, or more, on a Horse Chestnut stump that will rot out in 3-5 years, unless the client expressly wishes so.


All species will rot out faster if they are in contact with the ground. This should be taken into account when a client is considering carving a tree stump left after removal of the crown. The stump, even if completely dead, will always wick up moisture from the ground it is set in. Unless the timber is naturally durable, this will result in a serious case of rot particularly around the stump, at just about or above, ground level (this could lead to issues regarding taller sculptures becoming unstable in public places).
A tree that has a little heart rot will rot out much faster when air is allowed in to the rotten cavity. Tree stumps in damp areas or in a lot of shade may rot faster. Any free standing sculpture if it is in contact with the ground will also wick up moisture and potentially rot from the inside. It is always best if a sculpture is held off the ground, perhaps on large round pebbles that let the air circulate underneath.
With non-durable timber, durable timber legs or bearers can be used to keep the vulnerable timber off the ground. A wet summer can also accelerate the rotting of a sculpture.


It is not enough to just splash on wood preservative on the outside of a large stump carving once or twice a year. It will never penetrate to the middle of the timber, so the middle of the timber is likely to rot out leaving an outside skin.
There are preservatives that are very potent, but they are not generally available to the public. Borate preservative, for instance, is available in solid rod form for placing in holes drilled into timber susceptible to damp and rot. Other metal salts can be used, even common salt can work to some extent, however their use is probably “off label” and should be approached with caution as a lot of them are very toxic in the environment and especially with regards to water. The old fashioned creosote worked very well as a wood preserver, it could also be directed to the middle of the base of a stump via holes drilled to the centre. Unfortunately no longer available to the consumer.
Applying a “finish” to the sculpture will not usually stop it from rotting. Linseed oil finish will often be infested with black mildew in damp weather. Danish oil will need re-applying at least once a year if not more. Varnish is likely to degrade and separate from the timber under the influence of the sun and rain in 6months to a year. These types of finish can stop the rain from wetting a sculpture from the outside, so can reduce the possibility of rot that way. They will not prevent rot from attacking up through the base. They may also prevent the absorption of further coats of more effective wood preservative applied at a later date.
Mushroom sculpture treated with creosote. Rotting out down the middle of the sculpture due to puddling

So Which or What Treatment Works Best?

If possible, have the sculpture carved from one of the naturally durable timbers. Failing that, stand the sculpture on bearers that are naturally durable and allow good air circulation under the sculpture. Big pebbles are a good choice. If it is a bench, the legs in ground contact should be of a durable timber or heavily treated with preservative. Apply lots of a wood preservative to the sculpture as it dries out (spirit based preservatives are the best as they penetrate further into the wood).
Make sure that all areas of the sculpture shed rainwater. It is a poor sculptor who does not design his carving to do just this. Puddles of water will rot out non-durable timber very quickly. If possible, keep the carving out of the sun and away from strong drying winds for a few months till it dries out slowly. A sealing coat of finishing oil after a few coats of preservative can slow down the drying process and reduce cracks. With naturally durable timber, a sealing coat, even without preservative, helps to slow down cracking of the timber.
If a non-durable timber stump has been carved, then its life may be extended by treating the part likely to rot first. This is normally the base of the trunk around 300-600mm above the ground. Holes can be bored around the trunk and inclining downwards towards the middle of the trunk (pattern similar to spokes on a wheel). These can be packed with a water soluble preservative (e.g. borate rods) or have preservative poured into them. They can then be plugged. This treatment can delay rot at this critical point for a few years, but will be unlikely to work on a hollow stump.
If a sculpture is to be sited indoors, whether it be from a durable or non-durable timber, it will be liable to crack badly if it is recently carved. These carvings really need to acclimatise slowly by keeping them in unheated rooms or garages for a while till they dry out. If brought in straight away, they may crack badly (and quite loudly) in the course of a week or two. The treatment required with indoor carvings is that of treating the less durable timbers with a bit of woodworm preservative. The durable timbers are usually resistant to insect attack.

The Natural Durability of Commonly Available UK Timber

The average life in years of 50mm by 50mm posts in ground contact prior to failure. Larger cross sections can be expected to last longer. However it may not be directly proportional to the 50mm by 50mm posts on test. All samples are heartwood. The range of timbers listed are commonly available species grown in the UK. The range of lifespans can be used as a guide to the relative natural durability between the species. Most durable being “1”

1 Robinia pseudoacacia 36.0
2 European oak (robur and petraea) 26.8
3 Sweet chestnut 15.0
4 Walnut 12.2
5 Turkey oak 10.1
6 Willow 5.5
7 Elm 5.2
8 Black Poplar 5.0
9 Ash 4.4
10 Beech 4.3
11 Holly 4.2
12 Sycamore 4.0
13 Alder 3.9
14 Birch 3.5
15 Lime 3.3
16 Plane 3.2
17 Hornbeam 3.1
18 Horse chestnut 2.2

1 Yew 17.2
2 Western red cedar 15.1
3 Sequoia 15.0
4 Leyland cypress 14.9
5 Larch 12.0
6 Lawson cypress 11.7
7 Douglas fir 9.4
8 Silver fir 7.6
9 Scots pine 7.4
10 Western hemlock 6.0
11 Grand fir 5.3
12 Spruce ( Norway and Sitka) 5.2
13 Corsican pine 5.0

Ref. BRE Laboratory Report. The Biological Natural Durability of Timber in Ground Contact by G.A. Smith and R.J. Orsler