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Forum topic by PPK posted 10-29-2018 07:25 PM 884 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


10-29-2018 07:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip chip carving relief advise

I’ve done a smidgen of woodcarving (relief carving, not full-out sculpture type carving) but I’d like to learn more, since I’ve got a little project that needs some carving to make it worthy of being in a Cathedral!

Some of the existing wood carving on the existing pillars & “entabliture:”

I’m not attempting to copy the carving, but to simply do some relief carving similar so as to make my project fit in nicely.

Any tips right off the bat?
Any great Youtubes to watch? I’ve found Mary May Woodcarver, and she seems to really know her stuff…

Any knowledge of good gouges and chisels? I found these: are they any good?
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ForgedChisel/items

All I currently own for gouges is this basic set:
http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=47194&cat=1,130,43332,43334

-- Pete


14 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 582 days


#1 posted 10-29-2018 07:57 PM

Pete, what do you have for sharpening and maintaining your tools now ???

a chip carving knife set would be a great addition to your collection.
you will also need a “tool roll” to keep your tools organized and
preserve the cutting edges. (and since you will probably be collecting
more tools in the future, I would suggest that you make your own roll).

where will you be doing your work ??
on the kitchen table or do you have a work bench?
good lighting and a comfortable work surface is essential to producing good work.
Mary May is indeed a professional. she has many videos available on the Tube that can
provide you with the information you need as a novice as well as the advanced level.
start watching some of the Chip Carving videos as well.

you have made some awesome projects and once you get comfortable with the carving,
you can start embellishing your projects with simple carvings.

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

579 posts in 323 days


#2 posted 10-29-2018 08:28 PM

Your skills with relief carving should help a lot. The first step in matching the patterns in your photos is to lay them out precisely. Most of the cuts can be made with a sharp knife, but some of the small radius curves might be easier with a gouge of the same radius, perhaps a #8-3mm, held vertical to the wood. I suggest trying to match one of the patterns in a medium-soft wood like basswood or poplar. The examples you showed appear to be oak, which would be a big challenge for starting out.

Some carvers may suggest a V-tool for the straight lines (or perhaps all of the lines). This may be tricky for you where the grain is not straight and parallel to the cut.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View PPK's profile

PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


#3 posted 10-29-2018 09:23 PM


Pete, what do you have for sharpening and maintaining your tools now ???

a chip carving knife set would be a great addition to your collection.
you will also need a “tool roll” to keep your tools organized and
preserve the cutting edges. (and since you will probably be collecting
more tools in the future, I would suggest that you make your own roll).

where will you be doing your work ??
on the kitchen table or do you have a work bench?
good lighting and a comfortable work surface is essential to producing good work.
Mary May is indeed a professional. she has many videos available on the Tube that can
provide you with the information you need as a novice as well as the advanced level.
start watching some of the Chip Carving videos as well.

you have made some awesome projects and once you get comfortable with the carving,
you can start embellishing your projects with simple carvings.

.

.

- John Smith

Thanks John. I’ve got a tormek knock off (grizzly) slow grinder, and an assortment of diamond stones and a couple jigs for sharpening plane blades and chisels. No jigs for sharpening gouges though. How essential is it to have a jig for rounded sharpening?

I’ll do my work out in the shop most likely. I’ve got pretty good light, but can certainly supplement.

-- Pete

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PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


#4 posted 10-29-2018 09:27 PM


Your skills with relief carving should help a lot. The first step in matching the patterns in your photos is to lay them out precisely. Most of the cuts can be made with a sharp knife, but some of the small radius curves might be easier with a gouge of the same radius, perhaps a #8-3mm, held vertical to the wood. I suggest trying to match one of the patterns in a medium-soft wood like basswood or poplar. The examples you showed appear to be oak, which would be a big challenge for starting out.

Some carvers may suggest a V-tool for the straight lines (or perhaps all of the lines). This may be tricky for you where the grain is not straight and parallel to the cut.

- Phil32

It is indeed oak… sigh. I’d rather some cherry or something, but I think it’d stick out like a sore thumb with the rest of the wood.

One thing that really fascinates me is the the original woodcarver made a different pattern on each column. You don’t notice until you inspect them carefully, but then it hits you… I think I’ll make mine all the same :-)

-- Pete

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John Smith

1880 posts in 582 days


#5 posted 10-29-2018 10:21 PM

Pete – the suggestion of poplar or basswood was for practice pieces.
to get the hang of how each tool behaves in your hands (as skilled as they are).
then – graduate to the harder and more difficult woods.
I found that starting off in a hardwood with whacky grain became very frustrating very quickly.
I have the same Grizz sharpening station as yours and it works fine.

Mary May gives a short tutorial on sharpening carving knives and setting up a sharpening station
for different profiles in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5iEhUoSi8Q
this is on my “To Do” list somewhere in the near future.
there are many good (and bad) videos on the Tube for sharpening carving tools.

looking forward to following your journey !!

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

579 posts in 323 days


#6 posted 10-30-2018 12:13 AM

If you plan to make the long straight lines with a knife, clamp a straight edge (metal) to the wood the guide the initial cut. That’s what I did for the straight lines of this box lid:

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

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PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


#7 posted 10-30-2018 05:51 PM

Thanks John and Phil.
I’ll definitely post some progress once I get started. I’ve got a couple of square candlesticks that I want to practice carving on.

-- Pete

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

934 posts in 2127 days


#8 posted 10-31-2018 05:18 PM

Here’s a web site for you: https://woodcarvingblog.wordpress.com Mark Yundt makes his living as an architectural carver and has done many pieces for churches and cathedrals.

Claude

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3878 posts in 1002 days


#9 posted 11-02-2018 02:38 PM

Pete, Ron Aylor who used to here on LJs has been teaching himself carving and posting as he goes. He’s been happy to answer my questions in the comments on his blog and his most recent serving board looks like it has a lot of the elements you’re after.

As for carving tools, I find I don’t like palm-style gouges, but I can tap-tap-tap the long handled gouges along pretty quickly with the light birch mallet I made last month.

I bought some of the Ashley Iles carving tools and have been very happy with them. When I discover one I need, I order it. And try to work with what I have until it shows up.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

2947 posts in 2395 days


#10 posted 11-02-2018 03:10 PM

Pete – look up Esteban Jimenez on YouTube. He has dozens of videos and is world class carver in architectural carvings. Also Alex Grobaveski ( sorry if I mis spellled Alex) who is a member of this site. I don’t se him post much which I believe wS due to a thread he started asking if he could help anyone learn carving. He got the typical “Mary May” etc responses and that he was not needed. Shame that people made these comments without finding out that he is also world class.

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

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PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


#11 posted 11-02-2018 04:01 PM

Dave – Hey, yeah, I forgot that Ron had started carving. Good suggestion!
Hammer, thanks, I will indeed check both of those suggestions out. I’ll never be world class, but it’s best to take lesson from the world class!

-- Pete

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PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


#12 posted 11-09-2018 07:31 PM

I watched a video by Esteban Jimenez – fascinating. Only wish I could understand him… Spanish? The English subtitle translator thing doesn’t work real great ;)

I can’t believe how fast he carves.

-- Pete

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PPK

1433 posts in 1229 days


#13 posted 12-27-2018 04:38 PM

I can do it!!

-- Pete

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3878 posts in 1002 days


#14 posted 12-27-2018 05:28 PM

Looking good, Pete!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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