I've recently began carving and have completed two bears and am currently working on a cougar. I have used nothing but my Stihl MS290 with standard setup to carve with which has worked good on the bears, but with a cougar they alway appear much more sleek and I do not know how to smooth it other than using sanders. In order to do a more fine hair on the cat do I get a smaller bar, do I use a dremel tool? I've tried the dremel and it doesn't get the cutting depth needed.
For smoothness use a 4 1/2" grinder with a 36 grit sanding disk. For a lot of chainsaw carvers that is the smoothest things get. Another trick for smoothness is to get a weed burning torch connected to a 5 gallon propane tank and torch the sucker! After brushing with a wire brush all the fuzzies and sharp edges are gone. Your first coat of varnish should be sprayed on lightly to seal the piece. Don't use a brush or it will smear soot everywhere. To spray use half mineral spirits in a pump sprayer. I save on mineral spirits by cleaning the sprayer and brushes with diesel.