A new member to the family has finally arrived and yes, it's a BEAR! Actually I finished him a couple of days ago but just now barely found time for posting.
He was a lot of fun to carve and like I mentioned in the first posting of August 27th and found here this was my first attempt to chainsaw a bear holding a sign. The process turned out easier than I had expected but I credit that mostly to being prepared since I had already accomplished this task on smaller hand carved bears cut out with the bandsaw. If there was one piece of dominant advice that I could offer to new chainsaw carvers it would have to be this: If you want to carve a BIG "something" then first master carving a small "something".That step alone will increase your chances of success more than any other factor... in my opinion.
Also, this was my first attempt at finishing a chainsaw bear as a "black" bear. I used a can of Rustoleum brand oil paint which is mainly made for metal but it worked absolutely perfect on the wood. It penetrated the wood just great and I was also surprised at how fast it dried. The look of the paint was final and it didn't need any further gloss or sealer. In the case of black bears I can't imagine acrylic paints working better after seeing the results of the oil paint.
This bear turned out just fine in my opinion and I imagine that most of my bears in the future will be black. Thanks for looking!