Got to spend about 3 hours today on the bird. Working the power carvers like crazy. A couple hours of that and you can no longer see straight, your fingers tingle, and you get a craving for fresh air. On the left I'm refining the underside of the tail area after thinning and shortening it a whole bunch. On the right I'm working on the top side of the tail. Using a coarse cloth-backed paper in the 'tootsie-roll' holder is more like carving than sanding. Lots of wood can be removed very quickly. Most of today's work was spent with the coarse carbide cutter followed with this 'sander'.
Since Mr. Bluebird is looking so much more like a bird I can hear the novices out there saying "heck, she must be nearly finished. I don't think so. The author of the book I'm using has 159 steps to carving and burning the details on the bird- I'm currently on #59. Only 100 left to go, and then there is the painting. Not to mention the cedar post and 3 babies- how I'm going to do that I have no idea.
I have projected 75 hours for this project, including an exotic wood turned base. So far I have about 15 hours into it- just 60 left to go.