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Forum topic by GrumpyGolfGuy posted 07-14-2021 11:21 PM 857 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GrumpyGolfGuy

128 posts in 637 days


07-14-2021 11:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question carving

My wife and I are planning, as we get closer to retirement, doing a great deal more traveling in the RV. As I can’t really take my power tools (table saw, scroll saw, band saw, ect) with me I am going to explore woodcarving. I’ve really been wanting to get serious about woodcarving for years and am taking this opportunity to do so.
My question is I need some kind of portable way to hold the stock solid for carving?
I have a couple of ideas I’m working on, but would like to know if anyone out there may have something better.

Chris

-- Give a someone a piece of wood, they'll make fire. Teach them to work with wood and they'll buy saws, hammers,planners, chisels, and more.


19 replies so far

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

1073 posts in 1543 days


#1 posted 07-14-2021 11:34 PM

friend of mine has a shooting bench, chair table thingy, and attaches a clamp vise to it for stuff, he practically lives in his moto home traveling all over. he carves and makes knives ect .
mentioned to me its his best idea yet for his motor home, for keeping his hands busy.
good luck
Rj in az

-- Living the dream

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

4234 posts in 3139 days


#2 posted 07-14-2021 11:42 PM

I think it would help. There’s lots of carving that can be held in your hands.
But there’s also time where a small bench is helpful to hold work or chisels that your switch back and forth between.
Really focus on sharpening it’s really the key to making carving pleasurable.
I hope Phil comments his work is really outstanding.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View GrumpyGolfGuy's profile

GrumpyGolfGuy

128 posts in 637 days


#3 posted 07-14-2021 11:46 PM



friend of mine has a shooting bench, chair table thingy, and attaches a clamp vise to it for stuff, he practically lives in his moto home traveling all over. he carves and makes knives ect .
mentioned to me its his best idea yet for his motor home, for keeping his hands busy.
good luck
Rj in az

- Knockonit

The shooting bench is an excellent idea, I would have never thought about it. Exactly what I have in mind. Thanks !

-- Give a someone a piece of wood, they'll make fire. Teach them to work with wood and they'll buy saws, hammers,planners, chisels, and more.

View SMP's profile

SMP

5084 posts in 1247 days


#4 posted 07-15-2021 12:06 AM

Tools for Working Wood when they had classes , not sure if those have restarted had a class to build a small portable shave horse, perfect for NYC apartments. i would love to make one of those someday or Chris Schwarz’s “Milkman bench” which is also very portable. something to bring in my travel trailer.

View Barkley's profile

Barkley

100 posts in 943 days


#5 posted 07-15-2021 12:07 AM

Sjoberg makes a small bench with vice that might come in handy. David Hamilton (Stumpy nubs on You Tube) has one that he takes camping for carving.

-- Thin the herd

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

906 posts in 1120 days


#6 posted 07-15-2021 12:08 AM

There is such thing as a “carver’s vise”. However, the professional wood carvers I have known did not use it. What you need will depend on if you are doing chip work or sculpture.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8863 posts in 2728 days


#7 posted 07-15-2021 01:44 AM

You didn’t say what kind of carving you want to do. Do you mean relief carving or carving figures? Are you thinking about carving with a rotary tool, knives or chisels and gouges? Each technique has different work holding requirements. The size or scale of what you want to carve makes a difference too.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Bob Gnann's profile

Bob Gnann

143 posts in 1013 days


#8 posted 07-15-2021 01:58 AM

Relief carving or chip carving might require a small bench (a workmate maybe) and bench hook. Those two styles are unique unto themselves. Figures or characters are usually just hand held require very little but some tools and don’t forget your protective glove. Ditto on learning to sharpen. It’s a must learned skill.
And in your travels you will find many shows and carving clubs out there. It’s a friendly community that includes many talented people willing to share their knowledge with others. Enjoy your retirement and your new endeavors!

-- Bob Gnann. "Don't cloud the issue with facts.". Groucho Marx

View GrumpyGolfGuy's profile

GrumpyGolfGuy

128 posts in 637 days


#9 posted 07-15-2021 02:07 AM

I seem to be zeroing in on relief carving. I’ve been working on the sharping thing for a couple of years now, got a crash course 2 years ago when I got the itch for hand planes, mostly old Bailey. Some of the irons were horrible and took a lot of work to get a working edge on them. I’ve been able to transfer that to sharpening knives and chisels so I feel like I got a good start on that part of it. I’ve got some good books by Lora Irish among others.

Chris

-- Give a someone a piece of wood, they'll make fire. Teach them to work with wood and they'll buy saws, hammers,planners, chisels, and more.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8863 posts in 2728 days


#10 posted 07-15-2021 03:33 AM

Most people do relief carving standing up so you might want to look at small portable benches, though perhaps an adaptation of a shave horse or roman bench where you sit on the bench would work for you. A couple of options that you can clamp to a picnic table or a small bench are the Sjobergs SJO-33309 and the Milkmans portable work bench mentioned above plus the Black & Decker Bench Top Workmate Tilting Work Center & Vise 79-020. The tilting ability might make it usable sitting at a table of some kind as long as you can clamp it down to the table. One other option might be a Z-Vise formerly known as Zyliss portable bench vise. It can clamp pieces in multiple configurations, including tilted position. It can be attached to almost any bench or table top. Of course, you can always just use a couple of clamps to hold the workpiece down to any horizontal surface.

BTW, I highly recommend Mary Mays free introduction to relief carving videos. You have to register on her website but I found them an excellent introduction and was able to start finding my own images to carve just after watching and carving along with her free class videos. It includes some basics on sharpening gouges.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

9400 posts in 1915 days


#11 posted 07-15-2021 06:10 AM

I have a friend who travels, and he made this foldable work center. He changed a few things on his, but said it was an enjoyable build, and it works well, and easily fits in his trunk with all of his, and his Wifes suitcases, etc etc etc.

https://www.instructables.com/Folding-Portable-Workbench-With-Quick-Release-Vise/

I second checking out Mary May’s free stuff, you could become a customer. She is a great carver, and a better teacher.

https://www.marymaycarving.com/carvingschool/

-- Think safe, be safe

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

3225 posts in 942 days


#12 posted 07-15-2021 10:20 AM

My first thought was something that can mount in a hitch receiver. With three of my starter set backordered all I lack is starting.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

3033 posts in 1504 days


#13 posted 07-15-2021 12:58 PM

Chris – I would suggest you take the time to experiment with what you are good at.
(or, find a method that you want to get good at that could possibly make you some extra money)
have you done any kind of carving in the past ??
make a small carving desk in your den so you can get used to being in a confined space.
then – when you do hit the road, you won’t still be exploring and muddling through things that aren’t working for you.
do you intend to try to sell some of your things on the road ? or just something to keep busy during the idle times.
whittling = projects that can be held in the hand while working it.
carving = works best if the project is secured to a desk, vise or other firm surface.
and requires a different set of tools for each.

Edit: do you still have the Welcome Sign that you did with the scroll saw ?
you could use that (or one like it) to “embellish” the scroll work to make it look more “carved” and dimensional.
a scroll saw takes up very little space if you put some thought into it for traveling.
so basically, you would be carving your scroll saw projects to give them a different presentation.

-- I am a painter: that's what I do, I like to paint things. --

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1809 posts in 3071 days


#14 posted 07-15-2021 01:52 PM

In ‘94 I made a knockdown portable shooting bench that has a 30” wide top with the arm rest. I actually got a US Patent on the design only because of how it’s stored after use. The seat could be made to store tools under it if wanted, so while at a destination, they would be easily accessed. You can also put in a shelf under the table for more storage while relaxing where ever you are vacationing.

It’s made of Baltic Birch and after cutting all the blanks, then set up with all the necessary slots and hook templates to be routed. If you know what you are doing and have all the equipment, it would take about 2-3 hours to complete, then on to finishing.

if you are interested, I can post pictures later today if I can find my patent on the USP&T office. If not, I have to figure out how to use my scanner, or better yet, take a picture of it and post it. Reply if you want to see a picture.

Pinterest has a bunch of other knockdown pieces for sale, but in my opinion they are not very good looking. My opinion. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

20732 posts in 2480 days


#15 posted 07-15-2021 04:09 PM

I inherited a benchtop Workmate some years ago and it makes an excellent travelling vise for relief carving. I clamp it down to whatever table is available and it holds whatever size board I need. It worked so well when I took it on vacation that it became a regular user in the shop after I got home :-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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