Dealing with large knots and bad areas

Don't worry too much about the knots, be aware of them and try to work around them while putting on the animal's lines from the templates.  Knots can be buried inside of the animal out of sight or put in a non-critical area.  If worse comes to worse, the knot can be chiseled out, usually in a rectangular fashion and then replaced by another piece of good wood, glued in to a fitted space. This process is called making a graben after the word for grave in German (see drawing below).  Variations of this technique can take care of almost any bad knot, rot or broken area on a wooden structure, it's good to know how to do this, it's a kind of freedom.

Here is how it goes: when removing the big ugly knot or one of these bad areas which shows signs of rot, be sure to remove all of the material you see plus an extra area of good wood around.  Grain around knots tends to be squirrelly, and wood around dry rot, a type of fungus which attacks wood and slowly, but surely, decomposes it, is very undesirable.  As in the drawing below, chisel out a nice clean square "graben" and glue in a tight fitting piece of clear good wood.  Done.

Painting or oiling your animal when completely finished is part of the protection process. Keeping it out of moisture and direct sunlight will also help preserve it.


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