Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thing 126 Whittle Something

There are many things in this life at which I do not excel. I'll never be an accountant, considering my mathematical skills are far from noteworthy. I'll never play for Manchester United, this is because I'm entirely mediocre at the game of football. I'll never make millions in the stock market, because it's a complete mystery to me. Being fair to myself though, it's a complete fucking mystery to everyone. Including stock-brokers.

I will also never make money or a reputation whittling wood. It's not like a had some kind of grand plan or anything. I didn't spend a portion of today day-dreaming that I'd turn into some whittling prodigy. I'd whittle a perfect carving of Natalie Portman, so impressive that the lady herself wouldn't tell the difference. I'd have orders from all over the world, Oprah and that friendly lesbian lady whose name I can't remember would be fighting over who's TV show I'd be appearing on. Within a year - millionaire. I definitely didn't entertain that notion... ahem.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that I'm craptastic at whittling. Thank God I'm pretty. Or at least mediocre.
A friend of mine told me that there's tons of money to be made whittling in North America. If you can whittle, you can make "duck decoys". Basically, whittle a duck, paint it up real lifelike, and tie a weight to it. Let it sit on the water of a pond. Ducks flying past will look at it, have a brief flying-v conference and decide that they'd also like to check out the pond, apparently ducks are very easily influenced. As they make their approach for a nice spot of pond splashing, that's when they're shot. Nice eh? And you thought that story had a happy ending.

Tons of money to be made if you'll whittle hundreds of ducks to their deaths. Would you? Thought so. Heartless creature.
So that's what I managed. I was trying to whittle a pipe stand for Pony Boy's pipe. That turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. The Frenchman thinks I should lie and pretend that piece of wood started as a tree. Which would make me awesome at whittling. But it really wasn't much different. I tried three different types of knives. I even tried a screwdriver.... with help from a hammer. I think this might have been too large an undertaking.

So I carved the word pipe into the block.


It'll make a decent paper-weight.

P.S. All I could think about all day was Cletus from the Simpsons. Remember the episode where Bart and some girl break out of a prison. Wiggum is hunting them down. He passes Cletus whittling things he sees. Sometimes he whittles the future. If you've seen it your laughing. If you've not, you're thinking that I'm weirder than you previously realised.


  1. I recently made chopsticks from scratch with a knife and wood, i think its birch is the easist to use, Toni made a "wooden spoon" or something that vaguely resembles one :) sorry Ton...I could'v given u a few tips....but I like ur pipe/paper weight..well done !! clara

  2. I think our cormac has actually entertained the oprah V whats-her-face scenario as his backup plan of he doesnt get into uni. Seriously. The mans a whittler.

  3. As a part time whittler, I can tell you that its not the skills you lack, but the vision, try a smaller bit of wood, and try a small pipe, I've made a few quite good ones

  4. Ellen de generes :-)

  5. thats how ya can tell a true woodsman!
    ya never see bear grilles whittling but then again ray mears never stops, which is more likely to survive, im gona go for ray, so keep practicing, ur gona need that skill for when the zombie apocalypse comes xo

  6. This may not be something you hear too often, but i bet you had the wrong kind of wood.
    Soft wood is better for whittling than hard wood.
    Or so I have been told.