Okay, so it’s not carving, but I did have fun using the chain saw to create the detail work for these beams.
And I have started using an eco-friendly type of small engine gas that cuts down on exhaust emissions by an incredible amount. Running the chain saw now doesn’t stink and create a cloud of fumes. Apparently this gas is standard for small engines in Europe — and I can see why! Time for North America to catch up on this one. Check out: www.aspen.se (Select your country for English language.) I also use Greenplus Chain Saw-Bar Oil ES, which is not derived from petroleum. It is rapidly biodegradable, operator friendly and made from renewable resources. www.greenpluslubes.com
After marking the curve from the template I made, I cut out the majority of material with the chain saw, leaving a bit of room near the line in order to not cut too deep. Then I turned the chain saw perpendicular to the line and carefully shaved down small amounts of wood to get very close to the line. Finally, I cleaned up the curved face with an angle grinder and used a palm sander for a final smooth finish. The beam is upside down right now; when installed, the curved face will be on the bottom of the beam.