How to Carve a Bear With a Chainsaw

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Processed wood or tree stump
  • Rubber mallet
  • Chisel
  • Carving knife
  • Power sander

Carving with a chainsaw is a process quite different from other types of woodcarving. Woodcarvers who create works of art with a chainsaw typically carve statues from tree stumps or larger blocks of processed wood. Some of the most popular carvings feature wild animals or American Indian figures. Bears are featured in many Native American tales and make the perfect subject matter for a chainsaw carving.

Decide what type of wood you want to use. You can purchase large blocks of maple, walnut or redwood already processed, or you might want to use a large tree stump. Any type of wood will do, but since a chainsaw is so powerful, it is best to stick with harder woods.

Use your chainsaw for all of the rough cutting. Work from a reference photo as you cut away pieces of your wood to get the general shape of your bear. Work in sections, forming the body, arms, legs and head of your bear. Cut small pieces to avoid taking too much of the wood away at a time.

Use a wide chisel and rubber mallet to add definition to your rough bear carving. Hammer away at the outline you cut with the chainsaw. The chisel is easier to control and will allow you to refine the shape of your bear.

Carve the details with a carving knife. This will include the eyes, ears, snout, teeth and claws.

Finish your bear carving with a power sander. The chainsaw will leave behind rough edges and splintered wood. A handheld power sander will smooth those edges down to give your bear carving a finished look, ready for stain and paint.