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Course Catalog
Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving

The purpose for Wisonsin School of Chainsaw Carving is to teach students professional techniques and methods so that they wil know how to do high quality chainsaw sculptures. Our goal is to raise the standard of chainsaw scupltures from one of a crude art form to one of a refined piece of art. The student will learn professional systematic procedures that will help to enable him to have the potential to make a living at wood sculpturing.

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School Ownership, Governance and Management 

Chief Administrator:
Brian Johnson

Brian graduated from Janesville Parker High School in 1974. He then completed a taxidermy apprenticeship with Dick Barr Taxidermy in Savage, MN in 1975. He then successfully completed an additional taxidermy training at the American Institute of Taxidermy in Janesville, WI. He and his wife Doris made their living in the taxidermy trade in Madison, WI from 1976 until 1986. During that time, the Johnsons opened an additional taxidermy business in Spring Green, WI, making them the owners of one of Wisconsin's largest taxidermy businesses. During this time, Mr. Johnson learned to sculpture animals out of clay. He then sold his taxidermy business and entered into a contract sculpturing animals out of clay for a private company. During that period of time Mr. Johnson began to sculpture animals out of wood using a chainsaw. He and his wife then opened a business in Hayward, WI, which he still operates today carving and selling his refined chainsaw sculptures.

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Officers and Facilities 

President: Brian L. Johnson
Secretary/Treasurer: Doris A. Johnson 

Instructors: Brian L. Johnson and Doris A. Johnson 

Governing Body: Owned and managed by Brian L. Johnson 
and Doris A. Johnson 

Facilities: Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving is located on 11 acres in Northwestern Wisconsin. The classroom/gallery is 400 sq. ft. The outdoor carving facilities consist of six 10'x 10' carving booths. 

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Academic Calendar 
Course Dates 
Next Class Openings To Be Determined

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Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving enrolls only 6 students per class. Enrollment is continuous and on a first-come first-serve basis until 6 students have been accepted. Chainsaw carving requires both physical strength and manual dexterity. Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving requires the prospective student before acceptance of application to purchase and view 2 videos. The student after viewing the 2 videos must submit in writing with their application that they have understood the information contained in the videos and that they have practiced and feel comfortable and capable of executing the six basic chainsaw cuts which are demonstrated in the videos. 
*To enroll, students must submit the completed application form enclosed along with $500.00 deposit, which is put toward the tuition fee. The $500.00 deposit is fully refundable should the application be denied. The school does not accept installment payments. Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving does not grant advanced standing for prior education and training.

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Standard and Notification of School Acceptance 
A student will be notified of acceptance in writing after he / she has completed the following:
1. Viewed and understood the contents of the 2 required pre entrance videos.
  • WI School of Chainsaw Carving video.
  • Professional Chainsaw Safety video (purchased through chainsaw dealers)
2. Be able to safely start a gas operated chainsaw.
3. Have stated in writing that they can execute safely the 6 basic chainsaw cuts on page 10 of entrance requirements, (also in the WI School of Chainsaw Carving video) and have spent a minimum of 5 hours using the chainsaw.

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Payment of Fees 

All tuition paid in full on first day of course. The cost of tuition for the one week school is $1,850.00. Additional charges for tool and equipment rental will be charged on a per item basis. Costs are listed under tools and equipment page 8.

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Evaluation of Student work 

Each carving is evaluated by the instructor and critiqued with the students. Understanding that carving is a subjective art form and not a science, the instructor will evaluate and judge the students carvings; excellent, good, or poor based upon the instructor's professional judgment. Extra time is given to help students having problems completing the required carvings.

A copy of the students evaluation, quality of carving, and attendance records will be kept on file at the school for a period of 6 years. We maintain students financial records and work evaluation. Student records will remain confidential, viewed only by school staff and state authorities. Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving does not award a degree to students who complete the program. 

The student will receive a certificate of completion by either completing 40 hours of class time or complete from start to finish one chainsaw sculpture while at school.

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Instruction Hours 

Monday - Friday - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Lunch 12:00 to 1:00

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Academic Regulations 

A students demeanor must be civil and respectful to other students and instructors. Abusive conduct will result in immediate dismissal and student will not be allowed to be readmitted. No drugs or alcohol are allowed on school property. The school does not use a probationary period. 

Student attendance and participation is indispensable to their training. Students must strive to have 100 percent attendance. Missed days cannot be made up during that class session. Only students who face unexpected illness or family emergencies are excused and will be invited to return to complete the course during a future class session. 

Class starts on time and no make up time is granted. 

Student Placement
The school performs no student placement services. 

Student Tool and equipment Requirements
Wisconsin School Of Chainsaw Carving encourages students to obtain their own carving tools. All tools must be approved by the school. Often students do not have carving tools, so there will always be a school tool inventory for rent by students, with the exception of chainsaws. 

All chainsaw chains are required to have semi chisel cutters with safety links between cutters. All students will be required to wear safety equipment while operating power equipment. 

Safety equipment includes:

  • Safety helmet w/ear protection w/face shield down while carving. 
  • Face tight Safety eye goggles 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Chainsaw protective leg chaps that wrap around lower leg or complete 
  • Chainsaw safety pants 
  • Ear plugs 
  • Chainsaw protective shirt 
  • Brand name chainsaw protective gloves 
  • Total leather welding gloves or steel mesh safety gloves (no canvas or

  • goat skin) 
  • Steel toed leather boots
Required supplies that students must provide for themselves:
  • Small chainsaw with dime tip bar with brand new never used ¼” pitch semi chisel with safety links between cutters. Note: We recommend also bringing a medium size saw with brand new never used semi-chisel chain with safety links between cutters with 16” bar.
  • Steel toed leather boots
  • Chainsaw protective shirt
  • Brand name chainsaw protective safety gloves
  • Total leather welding gloves (no canvas or goat slim) or steel mesh safety gloves
  • Chain saw protective leg chaps that wrap around lower leg or complete chainsaw safety pants
  • Face tight safety eye goggles
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety helmet with ear protection and with face shield down while carving.
  • Professional Chainsaw Safety video (to be watched and understood before attending school). Various chainsaw safety videos: "Chainsaw Safety with Dan Tilton" available at Jonsrud chainsaw dealer, "Sensible Woodcutting" available at Husqvarna dealers or 1-800-438-7297. "Stihl Chainsaw Safety" available at Stihl dealers or 1-800-345-9556 (Common Wealth Film Lab). 
  • Appropriate clothing for various weather. We are in Northern Wisconsin and weather can fluctuate. (Rain gear, jackets, sweatshirts, summer clothing when it is warm etc...)
  • Have to carve 20 mushrooms and send a picture of them carved before attending the class. 
  • Have to supply their own gas/oil mixture for their chainsaws while at the class.

You will have to carve 20 mushrooms and send picture of them and also to bring their own gas/oil mixture 

Required supplies that student may provide for themselves or rent from school
Item Weekly Rental Rate.
Weekly Rental Rate 
High speed grinder
High speed angle grinder 

Items provided by the school at no additional charge 
Sandpaper Ear plugs  Carving tool bits 
Yardstick Calipers Contour gauge 
Molding putty  Plaster Drill bits 
Scissors Notebook Plasticene
Pencil Pattern paper  Spark plug wrench
Wood crayon  Gasoline Wood filler
Bar oil  Files Urethane
Stump vice  Orbital sander  Compressor
Stains Preservatives Patterns
Wood oil  Air brushes Paint brushes
Finish sprayers  2 wood logs   


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Course Curriculum 
Entrance Requirements - Independent early study 
Prior to starting date student is required to:
  • Sign Student Waiver of Liability 
  • Watch a professional safety video and have understood it.
  • Watch Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving pre-entrance video.
  • With moderate proficiency execute 6 basic chainsaw cuts.
  • Be able to start a gas operated chainsaw.
  • Be able to stand for 2 hours and comfortably operate a 12 lb. chainsaw for 2 hours.
  • Possess a reasonable degree of manual dexterity.
  • Read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Have normal vision with corrective lenses so that power equipment can be used safely.
  • Understand smoking will be allowed only outside and away from gasoline.
Most important: Achievers attitude to succeed by applying learned information with hard work!
Wisconsin School Of Chainsaw Carving has safety as priority one!

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Course Schedule
Day 1 - Monday
8:00 a.m.- 9:00 a.m. Registration and orientation 
9:00 a.m.- 10:00 a.m. Safety instruction 
10:00 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. Eagle bust design and layout 
10:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. Carving an eagle bust out of soft material 
11:30 a.m.- 12:00 noon Modeling eagle bust with Plasticene clay 
12:00 noon- 1:00 p.m. Lunch 
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Students carve eagle bust out of soft material 
2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Student - Model eagle bust with Plasticene 
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Demonstration - chainsaw carve eagle 
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Student chainsaw carve eagle 
Day 2 - Tuesday
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Demonstration - Power tool techniques to detail carvings 
9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m. Demonstration - Eye, lip, beak and feather detailing of eagle bust 
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Student - Detail their own eagle bust 
12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. Lunch 

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Demonstration - chainsaw carving a standing bear 

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Student - chainsaw carve standing bear 

Day 3 - Wednesday

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Demonstration - Detail techniques applied to chainsawed carved bear using power tools. 

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Student - finish chainsaw carving and detailing of their own standing bear 

12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. Lunch 

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Wood characteristics and anatomy: Qualities and characteristics of various wood species 

Why wood cracks 

Drying of wood 

Why wood decays 

Storing of wood logs 

Preserving of wood 

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Demonstration - Making a death cast and an artficial reproduction of actual frozen bear head. 

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Student - will make their own death mask of either carved bear or frozen bear and reproduction eagle 

Day 4 - Thursday

8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m Demonstration and lecture - Doris - techniques of dealing with wood cracks 

9 :30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Students fill their cracks in their carvings 

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. Demonstration: 3 - dimensional design layout with student interaction 

12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. Lunch 

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Demonstration - proper application of various finishes upon carvings 

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Students apply finish to their own carvings 

Day 5 - Friday

Open day - students may work on any previous work not completed or begin new carving. Class has option of observing instructor carve a subject of their choosing.

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Refund Policy 

The student will receive a full refund of all money paid if the student cancels within a three business day cancellation period. 

A student who withdraws or is dismissed after attending at least one class, but before completing 60% of the instruction in the current enrollment period, is entitled to a pro rata refund as follows: 
after completion of at least but prior to completion of the refund will be
the first day of class 100%
1 unit/class 10% of the program 90%
10% 20% of the program 80%
20% 30% of the program 70%
30% 40% of the program 60%
40% 50% of the program 50%
50% 60% of the program 40%
60% no refund

As part of this policy, the school may retain a one time application fee of $100. The school will make every effort to refund prepaid amounts for books, supplies, and other charges. A student will receive the refund within 40 days of termination date. If a student withdraws after completing 60% of the instruction, and the withdrawl is due to mitigating circumstances beyond the studen's control, the school will refund a pro rata amount.  A written notice of withdrawl is not required.

The school will make a "good faith" effort to make a refund, if necessary, by sending certified mail to student's and parent's permanent address.

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Student Complaints 

Student complaints will be handled by giving the student full opportunity to voice their objections. The situation will be personally addressed by the school staff after 5:00 p.m. on the day of the complaint. If a student does not receive satisfactory results from the school staff, he/she may contact the State of Wisconsin Education approval Board at (608)-266-3705. 

Students will be given a written School Evaluation Questionnaire, that they may answer. The school by its judgment will then incorporate curriculum changes based upon student's critique of the school.

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Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving 
13250 W State Rd. 77 
Hayward WI 54843 
or call (715) 634-8877

Wisconsin School of Chainsaw Carving 
13250 W State Rd. 77 
Hayward WI 54843 
or call (715) 634-8877