Last year, Festool USA sponsored a contest to find the best Festool-themed Jack-O-Lantern.
I started with this:
And transformed it into this:
To carve this Fest-oo-Lantern, I used drew my design on the pumpkin with a washable marker, then used a carving knife to outline the areas to be removed. I used a shallow and wide carving gouge (#5 sweep, 20mm wide) to remove the outside skin of the pumpkin between the knife lines.
I used a steak knife to remove the lid and a spoon to remove the innards. I carefully reduced the front wall thickness little by little by scraping it with a large, metal spoon. As I neared the final thickness, I tested it more frequently by lighting a votive inside and observing the amount of light passing through the membrane.
Carving pumpkin is easier than wood, but there is the added problem of holding the pumpkin steady – vises and clamps are of little help! A non-skid mat is an easy aid help prevent it from sliding. When carving, try to keep both hands on the tool and behind the cutting edge so that a slip doesn’t result in an injury.
Also, wash and dry your carving tools immediately after you are done carving to prevent the blades from rusting. If you know you are in for a long carving session, a coating of metal surface protectant (like Boeshield) on the metal parts of your carving tools before you start can’t hurt either (if you do this, remember to not to use these tools on parts you want to eat later!).
I hope you have a safe and fun Hallowe’en!