Much of my wood is from naturally downed trees or standing dead trees and never cut down a live tree to make a chainsaw sculpture.
Things to know
The logs I use have already dried out and most of the normal cracking has occurred before I ever touch the log, however carvings will eventually crack at some time due to the nature of wood but here are some tips to slow this down. Carvings are best to be position in the shade but if that is not possible keep the back of the carving to the sun. To keep moisture from getting trapped under the sculpture, and to let the wood breathe out the bottom Place a couple bricks or a cement pad under them to prevent moisture damage. If they are kept inside do not place near a heat source such as hot air duct, register or direct sun form windows.
I prepare the wood with a couple coats of a penetrating oil-base finish with a top quality U.V. resistant wood finish. If a small crack shows they should be spray painted, or brush cetol to seal the fresh wood. Every year or two you can recoat the carving to bring back to new and can help your carving to last year’s longer. If chainsaw carving is painted I normally use Tremclad flat paint that can be found at a local hardware store and the base is done with Sikkens cetol 1 natural.