Chuck

Simple carving techniques for first-timers using a chisel and knives

47 posts in this topic

Hey Chuck,

I am so glad that you've actually started this basic tutorial on carving. The concepts and ideas that you are implementing in your discussion is rather straight forward and easily understood. Starting the first cut to have a clean stopping point for the inevitable shave insures that you don't overshoot the mark. Now I know that what I want to say next may be a little off but I believe it shares the same concept. Traditional Celtic Viking tattoo designs show where one knot work goes beneath another via shadows. The line that goes above is clear and sharp while the line beneath has shadows to represent depth. Attached you will see a photo that serves a dual purpose. It will show neat lines and shadowed depth areas while at the same time give people ideas for Viking longboat carving.

 

Ray

post-8913-0-71287300-1476804798_thumb.jpg

dvm27, src, Amfibius and 11 others like this

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Hi Chuck.

Have been waiting for this tutorial for some time.

Brilliant .

Following this one very closely and going to get some knifes and sutable timber.

 

Thank you so much for creating this opportunity for me to learn wood carving.

Regards Antony.

Canute, Jack12477, mtaylor and 3 others like this

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Chuck,

I like the idea of working playdoh before the wood. Interesting approach and how-to. Besides if it goes wrong it's just to start over again without any Woodloss.

I think we have plenty of good carvers in here.

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A question: In making a stop cut where the direction of the cut is aligned with the grain, isn't there a danger that the downward pressure from the knife will split the wood? What type of stroke do you use to prevent this?

 

Roger Pellett

WackoWolf, donrobinson and mtaylor like this

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I generally make the stop cut at right angles to the grain direction whenever possible not along the direction of the grain. Also it's a slicing action not a downward thrust trying to push the knife thru the wood, you slice across the wood. The purpose of the stop cut is to stop the grain from tearing out and to give the blade something to "bump up against".  A light pressure with a very sharp blade is all that's needed. That's my experience.

 

I found this YouTube video online that demonstrates the stop cut - in the video he's carving a Snowman Xmas ornament but the carving technique is the same whether it's a miniature as Chuck is doing or a larger Snowman as in the video. It's the same technique. In the video he alternates between the knife and a gouge - just substitute a knife for the gouge when watching his technique.

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As Jack mention...make shallow slices to create your stop cut.  That is for with the grain or against it....it doesnt really matter.  The design will dictate wether you must do it or not.  Sometimes you just dont have a choice based on teh design.

 

In fact, on our tiny carving blanking they will be minuscule so you will need to complete many two-stroke stop cuts to get to the depth you need.  By removing only tiny slivers it minimizes the danger of splitting the wood.   This is also why the wood choice is important.  A softer wood is going to perform as well as a harder wood here.  You might have to perform as many as 5 or 6 or 7 stop cuts to achieve the shape and depth you want.  Trying to do that in one pass would not be recommended.

 

Chuck

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Another variation on the stop cut technique I use is to make the downward cut across first (not too deep or too much pressure!) then the slicing cut. Now, it's easy to apply too much pressure and 'overshoot' the stop cut, ruining the piece. To minimise this possibility, instead of pushing my blade, I very gently pulsate or vibrate it forward. Hard to describe, but it's putting a tiny bit of forward pressure on  intermittently. At some point the wood will 'give' along the grain, but the blade stops at the cross cut. (This works for hardwoods. I've not tried this in softwood.)

dvm27, src, WackoWolf and 7 others like this

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If you guys can do me a favor so folks can find the relevant content easier.... :) ...can you please post about carving books, wood choices and tools in the other forum topic I created for it.   It will just make finding the info easier....Right now this topic is becoming a mishmash of everything rather than just being about technique.  You will see the other topic in this carving group about books, tools and wood.

 

I just moved a bunch so if you are looking for yours it was moved....and not deleted.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Chuck :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  

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One thing we havent talked about and really should is how to make these blanks if you are not fortunate enough to own a laser cutter.  As most dont have one I can only imagine that blanks of any design and those similar to ours would be carefully cut out on a scroll saw.  I cant see any other way but I wonder if a certain blade is better and if there are any other techniques and tips.  How does one do this without having such tiny pieces break at some point....

 

Just wait til you get them for those who have already ordered them...imagine cutting those on a scroll saw....lets talk about how best to do that or if there are any people who have done it, please share how you did it .  Maybe mount it between two thin boards to make it thicker and give it strength...just a guess???

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I've fiddled with the scroll saw, blades, and woods before I got my laser.   I was able to do 1/32" boxwood with a jeweler's saw blade in the scroll saw and very slow speed.  Not well as my eyes wouldn't allow the minute cuts, but it did cut and I didn't go very small like carvings would require.  I would think that cutting oversize or even sandwiching the blank onto a piece of sacrificial wood would work.  I've seen something like that around here, wheel making perhaps?  Separate after cutting and put the cut blank on another slab for carving.

Canute, Modeler12, dgbot and 3 others like this

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Chuck and the rest of the team,

 

thanks for this really helpful topic and groupbuild. I've downloaded the order form today.

 

Do you like to offer the drawings of the small barque later? Or is another groupbuild planned? I think it will be really nice to show the finished carvings on the real model.

WackoWolf, dgbot, mtaylor and 1 other like this

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Thanks

 

The small barge is a project I am working on that will become a kit.  So yes,  you can build it once I complete it......but it will be a while.

Canute, Jack12477, mtaylor and 1 other like this

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Traditional Celtic Viking tattoo designs show where one knot work goes beneath another via shadows. The line that goes above is clear and sharp while the line beneath has shadows to represent depth. Attached you will see a photo that serves a dual purpose. It will show neat lines and shadowed depth areas while at the same time give people ideas for Viking longboat carving.

 

Ray

The picture you showed, Ray, is indeed impressive but I don't think it represents a carved piece of wood. It is a drawing and to 'shade' carved wood would be redundant. The following is probably more in line with what we are trying to accomplish here. The 'stop cuts' and deep relief carving are very nicely done, in my opinion. post-246-0-01117300-1478992995.jpg

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