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kenneth neaves

Tools For Carving Ivory

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hello to all of you,i have been carving some flowers from ivory,i have never worked much with ivory and don't think i am using the right tools.i am using diamond tools like i use on stone.would some of you advise me on what tools i need to use.best regards,kenneth neaves

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lopacki   

Kenneth,

Good to see you back. Hope you and the family had a wonderful Christmas.

 

Its been years since I carved any ivory, when I did I used standard rotary burrs rather than diamond, most wood carving sites have this style rotary burr you can also look at web sites that sell to tool and die makers, they sell solid carbide burrs which will last almost forever on wood or ivory.

 

Below is an image of a carving made from fossil walrus ivory I did nearly thirty years ago using the type burrs I mentioned above.

cat3s.jpg

 

Again its great to see you back .... All my best ....... Danny

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Janel   

Hi Kenneth,

 

I begin with using rotary tool burrs, gauging the speed by how the material and burr react together. But I shift to using small files and then to the scraping style hand tools of all sorts to work on the details and for smoothing the surfaces. If a glossy surface is desired, I use fine, finer and finest grades of sanding papers, to eliminate the scratches. At the end, I may use a cotton buffing wheel on my hand held microgrinder, with a scratch polish liquid (used for removing slight scratches from plexiglas panels). It all depends on how shiny or smooth I want the piece to be.

 

Happy working and Happy New Year to you!

 

Janel

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Janel,

 

I was curious about the 'scraping style hand tools' you reference below. I've seen them pictured in your shop but can't equate them with anything available via retail. ?

 

Also, I was wondering (from anyone) if the dockyard mini tools hold up working with ivory?

 

Thanks so much!

brad

 

 

Hi Kenneth,

 

I begin with using rotary tool burrs, gauging the speed by how the material and burr react together. But I shift to using small files and then to the scraping style hand tools of all sorts to work on the details and for smoothing the surfaces. If a glossy surface is desired, I use fine, finer and finest grades of sanding papers, to eliminate the scratches. At the end, I may use a cotton buffing wheel on my hand held microgrinder, with a scratch polish liquid (used for removing slight scratches from plexiglas panels). It all depends on how shiny or smooth I want the piece to be.

 

Happy working and Happy New Year to you!

 

Janel

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Janel   

Hello Brad,

 

There are several posts and some topics that discuss tools for scraping style carving. This topic is one that also contains some links to other discussions about the making of such tools: http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum/index.php?/topic/2299-making-of-tools/page__hl__myhre__fromsearch__1

 

http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum/index.php?/topic/939-small-carving-instructional-videos/ This is a video of me using some scraping action tools, before I acquired the Japanese tools pictured in the first link. The Japanese tools are held in a similar manner, using the thumb on the hand holding the item being carved as a fulcrum, with a finger from the tool-holding hand pressing on the tool against the thumb. Tools made for left cutting or right cutting can be made. Tools that work in both directions can be made.

 

You may already have found that there are almost no tools commercially available for carving in this small scale. We learn to make tools that suit our carving needs.

 

I began my first tool making with the butt end of a high speed drill bit, shaped by whet stone to be a diagonal scraper. Then I purchased a set of Dockyard tools, and then began to make my own tools from pin punches and broken dental tools. I have made a few tools the way that was shown to me by KOMADA Ryushi, but time for this has been fleeting in the past few years so I have not explored this potential fully, though I am eager to proceed with making new tools in this manner.

 

Continue to search the forum using Myhre, tools, as keyword SEARCH terms and see if some posts float to the surface that will further inform you about making tools.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Janel

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Janel   

I must add a qualifier, the Jim Kelso addition found in the first link is a tool for metal engraving. There are similarities between the tools for wood and metal, in some ways, but they are used differently.

 

I have found that the following links below no longer reach a public page for viewing.
The second link has a good tutorial. Here is a sequential list for the three related tutorials, by Clive Hallam:
1: http://www.followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=1361
2: http://www.followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=1494
3: http://www.followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=1859


Janel

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Janel   

HI Brad,

 

Brad, tool questions are frequent. Often I think that there should be a way to pinpoint discussion about tools to make information easier to find. No need for apologies from you about asking important questions about tools.

 

Yes, daunting, I agree. But . . . at least it now exists. When I began, there was no information on the internet about carving and tools for us, and as soon as my web site went on line, I began receiving email inquiries about tools and materials, about what, where, how, etc. Eventually the concept of this forum took shape and it became a resource. Prior to that, every question and answer got added to a long document, which I forwarded to each inquirer, which was quite a jumble of information. But, again, the knowledge was being shared.

 

It is a huge task to sort through the forum's data base. Again, at least it now exists in one or two internet forums! I have read each and every one of TCP's posts over the past 7.5 years, and I need to do the same searches as the members need to do for anything I am looking for, when I know the answer is somewhere. It is daunting, but possible to find information. If anyone has good ideas about how to distill the knowledge and make it easier to access I welcome your ideas and help in making it happen. If there is an interest in creating a project from this concept, we should begin a separate topic, perhaps in Doing Business, an underused forum area.

 

If I were not self employed and dependent on my income from time spent working in the studio, I would streamline the forum to be more responsive to the needs of the members. I have realized that I cannot do it by myself, so it remains undone so far. I daydream about how to be more helpful, but that is as far as I can go with it these days.

 

Janel

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Hi Brad
Check out this site, it has some tutorials on making netsuki carving tools for Ivory. I dont see why they cant be used for other mediums as well.
http://followingtheironbrush.org/viewforum.php?f=57&sid=f8b1ab214896da00d5e616dd841d0016

Edited by Janel
Link no longer reaches the intended page.

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