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Carving tools, books and carving woods discussion


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#21
Mike40

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I have a set of Flexcut chisels. They are very nice for small work, but not too useful for figure carving, which I normally hold in my hand while carving. I always use a protective glove on my holding hand and a thumb guard on my knife hand. I normally use basswood because It's very nice to work with. It cuts easily and holds even the smallest details quite sharply.

 

The first thing to learn for anyone wanting to get into wood carving is how to properly sharpen and hone their carving tools, as a razor sharp edge is essential for success. As for the kind of scroll work relief type carvings seen on the stern of larger ships,  these can just be cut from a pattern on the scroll saw and detail added with carving chisels afterward.  The Flexcut chisels would work really well for that kind of work. This method might not appeal to someone who wants to carve the scroll work directly into ships planking, but personally I could live with just gluing it on.


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Mike,

an American living in Norway

 

 

Current build:  Galley Washington - 1:48 - Scratch POF - NRG plans

 


#22
allanyed

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I agree with Dirk, Bill Shorts book is a great resource if one is going to be using various burrs as part of the sculpting process.   

 

Allan


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Current Builds Litchfield (50) 1730, Effie M. Morrissey  

I can explain it to you but I can't comprehend it for you - Ed Koch, former NYC mayor

 


#23
mtaylor

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The Netsuke PDF is excellent, as is Bill Short's CD. I've also referenced the Lumberyard's carving guide also as it has a lot of the basics.


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Mark

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me


Current Build:

Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0

Past Builds:
Triton Cross-Section
USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War (Gallery) Build Log
Wasa (Gallery)


Member of the Nautical Research Guild


#24
FatFingers

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Linden, Lime and Basswood are members of the same tree species, Tilia. They were the favorite wood for carving used by Grinling Gibbons who's work, though on a larger scale, was breathtaking. See http://collections.v...bbons-grinling/ 

for example.


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#25
Chuck

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They are fine woods for carving in large scale but I wouldnt think it a good choice for the smaller carving we do.  For many reasons.   Its hard to get basswood to hold a hard edge when carving that tiny...it has a tendency to split and break as well.  Just too fuzzy. In some cases on the design we will be carving pieces that have areas that are just 1/32" x 1/32" and this could fall in area where the grain runs in a less than optimal direction.   So it would be tough to keep the integrity of the small pieces using any soft wood.  I have carved some areas down to 1/64" x 1/64".  Very fragile.

 

If you have spent three hours carving a piece the last thing you want to happen is to get a break on a very thin area because the wood is too soft.   Best to stick with woods that are much harder and stronger.  I carved the crown cipher in cherry just to test it out...it was much more difficult to do and you had to be so much more careful and gentle with it. Even slightly dull blades will pull and split small areas of the design.  And Cherry is much harder than Linden or Bass.  It is possible but why not just use a harder wood to start with to make the process less problematic.  Its fine for carving larger...but when you get these blanks you will understand how basswood or even Linden would just not work that well.

 

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

 


#26
Jack12477

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I agree with what Chuck is saying. I've carved basswood in larger scales (starting with a block 2" x 2" x 6" or 3" x 3" x 6") and carved it down into a large figure.  For the type of carving I've been doing basswood is the wood of choice, an example is here . But I have not tried carving anything in basswood (/limewood/linden wood) as small as what Chuck's describing. I'm waiting for the kits to become available so I can experiment with his design.


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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


#27
maaaslo

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Perhaps, i can only speak from my own experience. When i was finishing my carpentry studies, the old master gave us a piece of linden plank a d told us to carve something. I failed so miserably...
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Pavol stands for Paul, Pablo, Paolo etc. Please do not try to pronounce it, just call me Pav...


#28
Jack12477

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This DVD by Everett Ellenwood on Sharpening is highly regarded by many experienced woodcarvers as a Beginners guide to sharpening. He also has a DVD for Beginner Carvers which compliments his book which I referenced in Post #3 above.


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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


#29
aviaamator

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Here's a useful book I bought today. I'm sure it will be useful to me !

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#30
grsjax

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Gravers used by jewelers are also a good tool for doing fine carving.  They come in different shapes and can be found fairly inexpensively on ebay and Amazon.

gravers.jpg   This is a cheap set from Amazon. 


Edited by grsjax, 21 October 2016 - 06:55 PM.

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My advice and comments are always worth what you paid for them.


#31
Louie da fly

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Linden was used for shields in Anglo-Saxon times, and it's possible that this was because it was soft enough to receive a blow with an edged weapon without splitting, and perhaps (if you were lucky) trap it in your shield so you could have an uninterrupted 'go' at your opponent.

 

I swear by pear wood for carving, ever since I was given some when I was a teenager. I haven't tried other fruit woods, but I find the fine grain of pear suits my purposes very well, (though carving the faces of 1:50 scale figures is pushing the outside of the envelope a bit, even for pear wood).

 

By the way, is it just me, or do other people have trouble with the screw thread continually coming loose on craft knives like the one at the bottom of Chuck's post of 19 October? I've found it so annoying I got a proper surgical scalpel. The No. 11 blade is the same shape as on the craft knives, and a scalpel works much better for me. Only problem is the occasional broken blade (I'm pretty hard on them).

 

Steven


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Current build - 11th century Byzantine dromon http://modelshipworl...fly-150/page-1 

 

On hold - rebuild of 1:200 model of Henry Grace a Dieu I started in 1967 http://modelshipworl...+grace +dieu . 


#32
dgbot

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One of the most important things when woodworking is how to sharpen your knives and chisels so they can do the job.  The old saying a dull blade is dangerous is very true.  I found this book very helpful in achieiving that edge

Untitled.png

David B


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Work in progress USS Maine in cardstock.http://modelshipworl...rd/#entry220003

Completed Blockade runner Teazer http://modelshipworl...ck/#entry175967

Completed  The Monitor Lehigh http://modelshipworl...el/#entry203680

Completed Kingston Class MCVD http://modelshipworl...gs-in-progress/

 


#33
williamDB

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all i use is stanley blades, i sometimes grind them into a more pointed shape if needed and i do sharpen them. i use a diamond stone.


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#34
pompey2

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Chuck, like you I use a No 11 blade for nearly all tasks.

However you might find some of the other blades available may be worth exploring.

Very occasionally I use a 12D blade.

 

The nice thing about these is that they have a cutting edge both sides.

You can then alternate the side to better suit the shape you are dealing with.

They also seem to have a tighter / sharper angle at the very end allowing better angles of approach.

 

Nick

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  • 12D swann Morton.jpg

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Current build USF Confederacy - http://modelshipworl...ways-scale-164/

Previous log - HMS Victory - http://modelshipworl...raft-172/page-1

 

 


#35
Chuck

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I have a couple of those...just havent tried them yet.

 

I am still hoping we will get some folks that will try shaping these pieces with a rotaary tool....it would be nice to have a comparison.  Also 

 

You guys are free to carve any design and start a log here as long as it is for ship model related items.   Carving with any tool is very different when you are working at these scales and it is a very different experience than carving full size or even double the size of these blanks.  I know we have a lot of traditional wood carvers out there and once you try carving something as small as these you will see how differently you must approach it.

 

So feel free to carve anything you like....just no folk art old men with a cane....that stuff is not relevant to carving items meant for a ship model at 3/16" or even a 1/4" scale.    But if you have a trailboard or another design you want to carve for your ship model...feel free to start a log and get some input from the others. 

 

I am very happy to see more logs being started...thanks for the interest.   I am also thinking about starting another area on sculpting using polymer clay for those who wish to try that medium to make more complex designs or even the same ones we are doing here.  Just have to find the time to start that one up.  And I will do so if you guys think there is sufficient interest in it.   I am trying to develop this area more so it covers many aspects for creating the decorative elements for a ship model.....whether they are carved or sculpted.   

 

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

 


#36
Jack12477

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Word of caution with blades that have two cutting edges : One carving technique is to use the thumb of the opposing hand to help "power" the blade along; most carvers who use this technique place their thumb on the back edge (spline) of the blade. Double edged blades can result in some very severe cuts - doesn't take a lot of force to cut yourself with these carving blades. I know - had a few accidents myself.  So be careful.


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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


#37
tlevine

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Chuck, I would love to see something on polymer clay.  I was considering making my figurehead with it (when that time ever comes).  

 

There is also a regular #12 blade (aka tonsil knife) with the cutting surface only on the inside.  Personally, I would rather load two scalpel handles to get the same effect as the #12D (#12 and #15 or #10).  Much safer.


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Toni


Director Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

 

Current Build:  HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale

Completed Build: Longboat by tlevine - 1:48 scale
Gallery:  Hannah http://modelshipworl...bum/186-hannah/


#38
Jaager

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Before the Dockyard tools - the suggestions involved making your own from steel rod

or knitting needles.  Amazon sells packs of steel rods - some quite small.

The heating and blacksmithing and grinding edges onto rods as well as Rockwell scale tempering

and quenching is getting into a whole new set of skills.  Dockyard did most of that for us, but if

they are gone, the tools can be home made.

 

As far as wood -  I have my eye on genuine Boxwood and Dogwood.  One that I not been able

to source is Hawthorn.   There is a material that flashed in our world a while ago, but did not take

for some reason:  an ivory substitute - Targa Nut. 


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#39
Uncle Si

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Hi, Jaager.......

 

Indian Hawthorne is very plentiful here in the States; it is commonly seen as "hedges".  The problem is finding a hedge that needs to be cut down and that it has large enough diameter branches to be useful.  It would be easier to locate some dogwood trees that either need pruning, or that had died for one reason or another. Again, finding usable sizes becomes a problem. Another very good carving wood to consider is crab apple; very similar to boxwood (have not tried any, but have been told this).

 

Jim


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#40
Jack12477

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Before the Dockyard tools - the suggestions involved making your own from steel rod

or knitting needles.  Amazon sells packs of steel rods - some quite small.

The heating and blacksmithing and grinding edges onto rods as well as Rockwell scale tempering

and quenching is getting into a whole new set of skills.  Dockyard did most of that for us, but if

they are gone, the tools can be home made.

 

As far as wood -  I have my eye on genuine Boxwood and Dogwood.  One that I not been able

to source is Hawthorn.   There is a material that flashed in our world a while ago, but did not take

for some reason:  an ivory substitute - Targa Nut. 

 

Dockyard is gone but I understand that Ramelson picked up their micro chisels line - See Woodcraft catalog - the Ramelson chisels look an awful lot like the Dockyard ones.  Also The Woodcraft Shop in Iowa still has Dockyard chisels in stock (till they run out)


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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





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