Size and amount of detail verses skill level

There is a range of acceptable sizes for carousel animals which can be ridden; small inside row jumpers (24 to 36 inch body length, 48 to 60 over all length) on up to large outside row standers (60 to 72+inches in length). Any size of animal or figure, including smaller ones can be excellent projects with interesting challenges. Depending on your skill level, time and materials budget, you must decide what size and design will be best for you. It's important to choose something which you can finish reasonably soon, moving on to bigger and more complex projects later on. If you worked 8 hours per day for one to two weeks, an intermediate carver could finish a small to medium sized animal with a moderate amount of detail. I recommend making smaller sized animals.  You will be able to deal with almost all of the basic carving circumstances and it will be finished sooner so you will have a better idea of what bigger project you want to undertake next time.

Carving projects become much larger when transferred from the two dimensional drawing and full scale template to the actual three dimensional carving. Don't be fooled by the seeming smallness of your animal when it is still only a cardboard template. For comparison, just imagine how easy it would be to roll up a cardboard side-view template of your family car and stick it under your arm.

All of the time spent adjusting and refining your template will pay off many fold when doing the actual glue-up and carving, so, be patient and plan well. Figure out the best places for leg joints and head and neck attachments, draw them in. It is often a good idea to cut along these attachment lines with a utility knife, then you begin to see the parts you'll be making. You can even hold a specimen of the wood you will be using up to the template to get an idea of how you will glue together the boxes and laminated parts. I often make two templates of the same animal so that I can feel free to get creative and not worry about messing it up.

This is a simple, old style horse,
the size is between small and medium.


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