first carving

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I don't remember how but we got off on carving in class the first of last week. One of the kids said he would like to try it and I told him I had a three piece flexcut knife set that I'd bring and a piece of basswood. He has never touched any carving tools before. After going over the safety stuff and showing him what little I know he decided to try and carve a snowman. Here's a couple of progress shots. He snapped the brim of the hat off and you would have thought someone punched him! He was devastated! We had a discussion about grain direction after that. I showed him how to glue it back on and keep going.

I've had several show interest in carving now that they've watched him. I'm having to share knives and safety gloves! They've also learned how to strop and to know the difference between sharp and not so sharp. It warms my heart watching them get excited over making chips! Four or five have told me they are either asking for knives for birthdays or Christmas.

snowman.jpg
 

Ryan Mooney

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We all start somewhere. Good deal that they're doing a bit of carving, pretty decent place to start anyway. Mixed opinions about gloves, proper approach IMHO gets you closet to not cutting yourself, bore sharp is the first place to stop along the way either way.
 
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We all start somewhere. Good deal that they're doing a bit of carving, pretty decent place to start anyway. Mixed opinions about gloves, proper approach IMHO gets you closet to not cutting yourself, bore sharp is the first place to stop along the way either way.
I agree about the glove thing Ryan. But kids are kids and they do stupid stuff. It's all I need for one of them to need a hospital trip for stitches!:doh:
 

Ryan Mooney

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I agree about the glove thing Ryan. But kids are kids and they do stupid stuff. It's all I need for one of them to need a hospital trip for stitches!:doh:
Yeah, it's a tough call. For me I think the somewhat reduced dexterity is a net negative, but then I've also had a fair bit of experience figuring out what not to do as well so that's less likely the case with the young ones.
 
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Yeah, it's a tough call. For me I think the somewhat reduced dexterity is a net negative, but then I've also had a fair bit of experience figuring out what not to do as well so that's less likely the case with the young ones.
I'm sure like me growing up you had a pocket knife and cut stuff including yourself just like me.:D Heck I don't know how many knives my Grandmother took from me and my cousins. Me being reasonably intelligent though, it did't take too many times for me to figure out what not to do with a knife.:D I'm usually not shocked anymore by stuff kids don't know, but a lot of kids have never fooled with a knife, or a shovel, or anytype of power tools. It's not that they don't want to either. They usually eat this sort of stuff up. Had a Grandfather tell me that last summer his granddaughter helped him rebuild his deck and she could use the circular saw! I taught her in my class. It's different times I guess. I'm sure my dads generation said that about mine.
 

Ryan Mooney

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Yeah I was shocked that some of the folks I work with didn't know how to use a shovel or a sledge hammer (there are definitely proper techniques with both that make them a whole lot more efficient and easier to use). But they all grew up in cities so never had to learn. I'm not going to tempt fate by considering to closely how long it's been since I've cut myself with a knife though :D

We've actually thought that having a ditch digging and wood splitting class or roof shingle pulling class would be a great way to get people to pay for doing some work for you lol. The insurance would be pretty rough unless it was through some sort of school though I suspect.
 

David Johnson

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Went on mission trip with group of teens after tornado in Joplin. Taught several girls how to run power drill correctly and safely. Also other hand tools. When we returned, dad's thanked me profusely because they could not even run a hammer. Fun for all and educational to both sides.
David
 

Darren Wright

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Big kudos to you, nice work on his part.

I took a carving class many years ago, learning to sharpen and learning what sharp is, was the most important lesson that has helped over the years for me.
 
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Went on mission trip with group of teens after tornado in Joplin. Taught several girls how to run power drill correctly and safely. Also other hand tools. When we returned, dad's thanked me profusely because they could not even run a hammer. Fun for all and educational to both sides.
David
That's true David. I guess growing up when I did we didn't have a lot of "disposable income" and you either did it yourself, had family that knew how and you helped, or your figured it out. Out of boredom I don't know how many holes I dug just to see how deep you could go or nails I straightened just to drive back in a board.

I don't have many girls in class, but I make it a point that they do everything the guys do. I actually would rather have the girls. They don't "know it all" and will tell you they have no idea what they are doing. A lot of guys want to "save face" and act like they know when they don't.
 
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Big kudos to you, nice work on his part.

I took a carving class many years ago, learning to sharpen and learning what sharp is, was the most important lesson that has helped over the years for me.
They don't have a clue what sharp is. When I show the standard arm hair shave they kind of get the idea.

One of my Sr. girls told me today that she's ordering the three knife set from flexcut tonight. I'm going to hook her us with a strop I made and give her one of my gloves. I also have a few basswood pieces I'm going to let her have.

I haven't taken any pictures yet, but she's made a decent mushroom.
 

Ryan Mooney

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One of my Sr. girls told me today that she's ordering the three knife set from flexcut tonight. I'm going to hook her us with a strop I made and give her one of my gloves. I also have a few basswood pieces I'm going to let her have.

I haven't taken any pictures yet, but she's made a decent mushroom.
:thumb: :thumb:

If you can get any butternut, its really nice when they want to graduate to something that holds a bit more detail but is still pretty easy to carve. Birch is a bit harder but still not to bad and holds detail quite nicely (it's especially nice still green). Cherry is usually even harder but imho holds detail the best although it's heading from hook knife and into gouge & chisel territory for round/deep relief stuff, although it would still be absolutely fabulous for chip carving and not to hard for that. A bit far north here, but you might be close enough to sassafras territory to get some of that - it can get hard when fully cured and some of it is a bit coarse compared to cherry but still pretty decent (and smells like really good root beer while you're carving it).
 
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:thumb: :thumb:

If you can get any butternut, its really nice when they want to graduate to something that holds a bit more detail but is still pretty easy to carve. Birch is a bit harder but still not to bad and holds detail quite nicely (it's especially nice still green). Cherry is usually even harder but imho holds detail the best although it's heading from hook knife and into gouge & chisel territory for round/deep relief stuff, although it would still be absolutely fabulous for chip carving and not to hard for that. A bit far north here, but you might be close enough to sassafras territory to get some of that - it can get hard when fully cured and some of it is a bit coarse compared to cherry but still pretty decent (and smells like really good root beer while you're carving it).
Thanks Ryan

I can get my hands on most of that.
 
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Looking at this post I remembered the first carving I made when I was a boy scout. I was a man’s head that looked more like a potato than a head. The good thing is that I used a block of soap, maybe you could meke those kids give a it a try, it has no grain, easy to carve and you can use both the chips and the final piece if you don’t like it to clean something.
 
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