Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Lessons from the carving bench..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,698

    Lessons from the carving bench..

    Here are a few things I've started internalizing for carving that have made life easier for me.

    Take thinner shavings! Even for roughing cuts you can actually remove material faster with less effort by taking more thinner shavings. This also has a nice side effect of not beating up your edge as badly. You can get away with thicker shavings in some places (deep gouge, cutting downhill, co-operative wood) but generally if in doubt take two (or six) where one would do.

    Light mallet taps can get you a clean cut when pushing won't. Even with a super sharp chisel on the same wood. I don't fully understand this but I think it has something to do with how quickly the edge moves (the mallet tap advances the cut rapidly). Sort of like turning up the speed on your router to get a cleaner cut (and take thinner shavings).

    Use cutting tools. Saws and drills in particular. If you can saw a piece of material away or remove it with a drill you'll save a bunch of time compared to doing chisel work.

    Rough most of the work and work the fine details so you can keep as much support around them as long as possible.

    Don't cut all the way to the background and be careful of overcutting on the roughing pass. Its easy to drive the chisel in a bit to far and leave a mark that will require a re-design to get out. This is especially true around shape transitions. I've taken to leaving some of those a bit round until the finish cut and then crisping up the detail at the very end.

    Conversely don't be afraid to aggressively remove material. Part of this is being able to "see" what the piece will look like before you start cutting on it, I don't know of any easy shortcuts there. Models help some as do drawings and sketches on the piece itself but the best answer seems to be experience. Over cutting a few pieces is actually a valuable way to figure out how much you should have left. I know I still tend to be a bit timid (you can always remove more material..) but that also can easily leave you in a bit of a trap where you keep doing more "finish" cuts because you didn't just rough the piece out far enough to start with.

    Anyone else have more thoughts on any of these or others similar thoughts? Feel free to disagree, this is largely self taught and I'm not saying its right just that they seem to be a general drift towards what seems to be working better.
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,828
    Models help some as do drawings and sketches on the piece itself but the best answer seems to be experience
    We have a very large and active carving club in my area. The best carvers (and some are true masters) make clay models of their concepts before picking up a tool. I have also noticed they have visual skills that leave us ordinary folks amazed.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,698
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    We have a very large and active carving club in my area. The best carvers (and some are true masters) make clay models of their concepts before picking up a tool. I have also noticed they have visual skills that leave us ordinary folks amazed.
    You can also get modeling wax fairly cheap. I've been playing with a few pieces of it and I think it's a bit easier for an amatuer than clay since I don't also have to learn how to treat the clay. It's easy to reuse as well which is nice when your model making isn't so good . Clay has some advantages as far as being somewhat more robust and doesn't droop when it gets to hot and can go a bit thinner.
    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251
    Ryan i would love to be able to converse on this topic but sadly i am way below your grade in carving so i can only digest what you have said.
    If Toni logs in perhaps he could provide some rebuttal.
    cheers

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-28-2015, 05:41 PM
  2. Carving Bench
    By Roy Millsaps in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-03-2014, 04:18 PM
  3. Lessons from BW 2013
    By Rob Keeble in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 07-08-2013, 05:15 PM
  4. Lessons From Your Dad?
    By Vaughn McMillan in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 06-16-2012, 11:36 PM
  5. Lessons and tutoring for a beginer
    By Royall Clark in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 02-22-2009, 07:42 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •