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Carving tools, books and carving woods discussion


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#1
Chuck

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If you have questions, comments or recommendations for carving tools and wood choices please post them here.  The carving blanks for this project are only available in boxwood to start...but with enough interest...maybe we will try some others.   

 

Feel free to elaborate here.


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#2
Chuck

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Please feel free to post any books, publications or articles you may have read and recommend.  If you read something that you will think can help others learn about carving or miniature carving please place it here.


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#3
Dubz

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I like to recommend Bill Shorts EBook about Carving: http://carvingbook.weebly.com/

 

Dirk


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Member of the NRG
On build: HMC Sherbourne, USS Syren, Maria HF.31 Fishing Ewer, USS Confederacy
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#4
Jack12477

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This book Complete Guide to Woodcarving is the book I used to teach myself woodcarving about 8 years ago now. It is a  step by step guide to everything from knife selection, sharpening, layout, even step-by-step carving projects. It is available thru Barnes & Noble. Ellenwood's book is consider by many carvers to be an excellent beginners book.

 

Another excellent book are the many books by Harley Refsal, while not nautical in nature, he teaches the Scandinavian Flat Plane style of carving. This book Art & Technique of Scandinavian Style Woodcarving and Woodcarving in the Scandinavian Style both contain excellent step-by-step instructions for the beginning carver. Both are available thru Barnes and Noble and I have used both books to teach myself carving.


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#5
ASAT

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Ooohhh this is going to be great.... The last Great Hurdle to becoming a great shipwright..... I am anxiously awaiting your carving tutorial after you read all of these advanced articles and resources and come up with a technique that the average joe can master! I don't know if it is appropriate but I remember seeing some pretty cool numbering techniques by William Romero in his Fubbs practicums I think. Seemed like a logical approach to carving but that might be because I have never attempted carving anything (yet!)

Lou
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#6
Chuck

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I carved my pieces using only a #11 blade.

 

xacto.jpg

 

I also tried a few micro chisels from Flexcut.  They worked really well.  I only really used the "v" shaped one.  The important thing is to keep them very sharp.....as soon as the #11 blades got a little dull I threw it away and got a new one.

 

chisels.jpg

 

I havent done any rotary carving because I dont like the look of the pieces after using the bits. Too rounded for my tastes but only probably because I dont know how to do it correctly.   I also like the feel of the blade vs. the rotary tool.

 

But guys,  please discuss your tools and approaches here and hopefully we will have a few that will try rotary carving.

 

Chuck

 


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#7
aviaamator

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Woodcarving is a very interesting hobby, I begin to study it.


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#8
Uncle Si

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For those who have interest, there is a free book in PDF form written by a retired fighter jet pilot about Netsuke, which is miniature carving fairly close to our scales. Click on the link below:

 

http://sterlingsculp...ing_Netsuke.pdf

 

Jim


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#9
ASAT

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Chuck, how do you sharpen those various shaped chisels? Are you going to have a mini topic on that? Also would you recommend them over the #11 blade? Can they do "more or better" if you know what I mean - kinda pricy if they don't do a much better job.....


Lou

Edited by ASAT, 17 October 2016 - 07:47 PM.

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#10
Chuck

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I havent used them much yet.....but flexcut has a special shaped "whatcha-ma-bob" to sharpen them.  See below.

 

http://www.flexcut.c...xcut-slipstrop/

 

 

They also have a great how to video showing how to sharpen the chisels.  Cant say much else because I barely used mine.....havent tried it yet.  I mostly used a #11 blade.

 

Chuck


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#11
ASAT

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Were they easier or better ? I edited my post above with the same question, price vs performance?
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#12
Jack12477

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I have not tried Chuck's #11 knife blade for carving (yet); mainly because the type of carving I do - figures and caricatures - would probably snap the blade on the first cut. Haven't tried the new Flexcut micro gouges either; I recently got a set of the now discontinued DockSide micro chisels.  I am looking forward to trying my hand at Chuck's miniature carving project.

 

I am a self taught woodcarver. Picked up a book (see my post here)  and started reading and practicing. My first knife was the "bench" knife shown on the extreme left in photo below: I found this knife very frustrating to use and after joining a woodcarving club and consulting with some of their experienced carvers and trying out some of their knives, I switched to a style made by Dave Lyons called the Lyons knife (naturally) shown in the 2nd and 3rd photos. The design of the handle is more ergonomic and fits a lot nicer in the palm of your hand without fatiguing your hand after hours of carving. I might add that Dave's knives came razor sharp right out of the box and required no additional honing on my part - something I spent hours doing with the bench knife. Oh, the 2 knives to the right of the bench knife in photo #1 are chip carving knifes.

 

IMG_5104.JPG IMG_5101.JPG IMG_5103.JPG

 

For finger protection I recommend the finger guards shown in the photos below. They are leather on the bottom and an elastic material on the top and come in small, medium and large sizes to fit all finger sizes. The one on the right in the photo fits over the thumb while the one on the left  fits over the forefinger

 

IMG_4332.JPG IMG_4336.JPG

 

And finally I constructed a bench hook as shown in these photos, the design is shown in Ellenwood's book referenced above. The notch in the back allows the piece to be placed in a diagonal position against the side stop. The gap between the side stop and the back is to allow chips to be removed more easily.

 

IMG_4337.JPG IMG_4338.JPG IMG_4339.JPG

 

I can get into a discussion of chisels and gouges at a later time as interest dictates.


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#13
Chuck

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I actually still use the #11 blades even though I have a whole set of chesels.  They just get into the nooks better in my opinion.  I am no authority on the subject though.   I did use the "v" shaped groove chisel to make the veins in the leaves which was easier than making "chip cuts" with a #11 blade.  So I guess it depends on what you are carving at the moment.  And what you are more comfortable with.


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#14
Jack12477

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I havent used them much yet.....but flexcut has a special shaped "whatcha-ma-bob" to sharpen them.  See below.

 

http://www.flexcut.c...xcut-slipstrop/

 

 

They also have a great how to video showing how to sharpen the chisels.  Cant say much else because I barely used mine.....havent tried it yet.  I mostly used a #11 blade.

 

Chuck

 

I have that "whatcah-ma-bob" ;) Chuck and have used it a lot. Works better on the V and U shaped gouges. For my knives I prefer a long stick with a piece of old leather glued to it and some sharping rouge (like chalk dust) dusted into the leather - use the back side (rough) for stropping. The flat surface area on the Flexcut strop is too small for me.


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#15
Chuck

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The issue with chisels for me is the actual size and delicate nature of the parts we are carving.  I just cant use the chisels with the same control as a #11 blade.  A scalpel blade would be good also.   Remember...these are tiny thin pieces of wood.   Using a #11 blade you are just using the very tip.   The last 1/32" portion of the very tip.....no more.   Until you get a chance to try them all it would be hard for anyone to describe it.  

 

That was one of the benefits of getting everyone together at my shop so we could all try each others chisels and blades.   Its the only way to tell.  In fact, it wasnt until I tried a good quality chisel that I decided to buy them.  They are expensive.


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#16
Jack12477

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I actually still use the #11 blades even though I have a whole set of chesels.  They just get into the nooks better in my opinion.  I am no authority on the subject though.   I did use the "v" shaped groove chisel to make the veins in the leaves which was easier than making "chip cuts" with a #11 blade.  So I guess it depends on what you are carving at the moment.  And what you are more comfortable with.

 

I'm interested in seeing how the large Lyons knives work on your small carving. I plan on trying both the #11 and the Lyons. The two on the extreme right and left in the above photos are for fine detail. 


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#17
Jack12477

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I agree Chuck. My Pfeil chisels would be extreme overkill on this. The DockSide micros would be more appropriate. In fact I think I use my knives a lot more that I use the chisels/gouges. You're right about the control with the knife. With the knife you are using your fingers and wrist more for "power" while with the chisels it's more the forearm muscles.


Edited by Jack12477, 17 October 2016 - 08:04 PM.

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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#18
Chuck

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These two pieces were done with just #11 blades.  No finish applied on the top one yet.  They are about 1/4" wide and just a few inches long.....only 1/32" thick.   I think a large chisel would obliterate them.

 

carving examples.jpg


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#19
Jack12477

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These two pieces were done with just #11 blades.  No finish applied on the top one yet.  They are about 1/4" wide and just a few inches long.....only 1/32" thick.   I think a large chisel would obliterate them.

 

attachicon.gifcarving examples.jpg

 

Most definitely. 


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#20
Kurt Van Dahm

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I anybody wants to get some of the discontinued Dockyard Micro Chisels I saw a bunch at a wood show this past weekend from a shop in Bettendorph, IA.  I bought a bunch of rotary carving bits from them at very reasonable prices.   They had the Dockyard tools on display and they are still shown on their web site.  http://www.thewoodcraftshop.com

There is also a nice dedicated strop for sharpening these tools with all of the curves and angles.

Kurt


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Kurt Van Dahm

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