Chuck

Simple carving techniques for first-timers using a rotary tool and burrs

I have started another pinned topic to make finding info on these two different approaches to relief carving easier.  I am way out of my element with both methods but I know we have many members who are very experienced with rotary carving and this is the place where those techniques and questions can be discussed.

 

I realize that many will have a preference to one or the other but this group aims to talk about both approaches with some in-depth discuss.

 

Feel free to begin the discussion.  I am also going to reach out to folks we all know that are experienced with miniature carving with a rotary tool and with chisels and blades with the hope they will take part in the group and have a try at carving the blanks available from the NRG.  Watching them progress will benefit the group a lot so please do also encourage them to participate.

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I would say that this topic is just in time for me, because I am nearing the phase of making carvings for my next project. I have today purchased a Marathon Micromotor unit with Contra Angle handpiece from ebay in order to use it for learning carving. I have no earlier experience at all of carving work, and thought to start practizing rather with a rotary tool than knives or chisels. So I am waiting very eagerly many tips and advice from those of you who have already practice of using this tool.

 

It is a pity that the guru among you, Janos, has stopped writing here, because as far as I have notized, he is the best carver I ever have seen, and would have had a lot to give and teach us beginners.

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I would be grateful to learn how to better carve, sand, shape the solid wooden hulls that come with model kits.  The before and after pictures are always there, but the work practices are not.  I do know that there are plenty of clear instructions, but I am a visual learner and seeing is learning.

 

Chuck A.

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Chuck (achuck49),

 

I think this is intended as more of a discussion for ornamental carving. To get help with carving solid hulls, use the search feature to look for finished solid-hull kits in the kit logs section, kits such as MS's Phantom, Kate Cory, or Newsboy. There should be some pretty informative logs in the lot somewhere.

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Great Idea Chuck. I have never felt I had the control with a rotary tool to do any carving. Hopefully I can learn something here too.

Sam

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Hi, Sam....

 

If you are using a Dremel rotary tool to carve with, no, you won't have much control using that tool.  I started a topic some time ago asking for help and comments as to what type of rotary tool to use for carving, and the best recommendations were for the Gesswein micro motor rotary tool.  As it turned out, I managed to find a very old and very used (not abused) Gesswein that had some slight vibration and overheating problems.  I sent the tool out for rebuild, and for the price of $100.00 the tool was totally reconditioned and is now like new.  Add the $50.00 I paid for the tool, the total cost was much less than a new model costing $350.00.

 

The Gesswein runs very quietly, even at high rpm, and zero vibration felt while holding the tool.  I am able to hold a small carving with one hand and carve using the other hand and the tool is very stable (kind of like using a pencil to draw with.  My Dremel has since been relegated to sanding work.

 

Jim

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Perhaps this is a bit naif, but to start carving with a rotary tool is also a bit 'lazy'.
I am sure that people like Bill Short did not buy expensive motors and bits to find out if he liked carving wood.
I looked at some of the prices for sets such as offered by Gesswein and others and I decided to hold off for a while: like, a long time.

Meanwhile I like to see what rotary tools can do and keep buying lottery tickets.

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This is my first attempt with carving. As I said earlier, my new project needs some simple carvings at the stern. After having read all tutorials available, I chose to use rotating tools for this work, because it feels easier for me than to use knives and chisels and the quality of carvings might be better, at least for me with no previous experience.

 

So the first thing was to obtain suitable wood for this work. Having read from different sources that boxwood would be the best choice, I started to look for that. Soon I found out that this kind of wood couldn`t be found anywhere in this country. So I ordered a lump of good looking boxwood fron the supplier in the UK.

 

Next I thought to start from the most difficult thing, the letters for ship`s name. These are very small, about 3,5 mm high, and preferable made with old type font. Laser cutting was first tried with fonts found in Corel Draw. They were scaled and sent to laser cutting company, but results were not at all acceptable. It was not possible to have these small letters not to be burnt by the laser, and removing the unevitable char from them would have been almost impossible. So next I turned into my dear old cnc router, and after some testing and changes the results were improving until acceptable. Letters are cut from 0,6 mm thick boxwood, letter height is 3,6 mm and they were cut with dia. 0,3 mm cutter. The font was found from the CADCAM program`s (Vector) font library.

 

A nice picture of red deer was found in Internet, scaled down with Corel Draw and printed on paper. This was glued on 2 mm boxwood and cut with a jeweler`s saw, and edges rounded with the rotary tool, using old dentist`s cutting bits.

The remaining parts were also cut of 2 mm boxwood and "machined" with rotary tool.

 

Finally all parts were glued into the stern of the model and stained with light walnut color.

 

post-17638-0-21415900-1482055466_thumb.jpg

 

post-17638-0-25176200-1482055588_thumb.jpg

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