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About Janel

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    Minnesota, USA
  1. Magnifying glasses

    Oh the things we do to be able to see the details! Those look pretty serious, and must be amazing to use. What degree of magnification to they provide? Is that adjustable? You might find some sort of padding to spread out the weight on your nose. My own solution is to wrap some cloth and then some paper tape around that part that sits on my nose. It need replacing now and then, but does the job well enough. The wire frame sits below my carving glasses, which are prescription lenses. The main part of the carving glasses is made to work for lower magnification that focuses on the carving area and the bench top, and the seamless bifocal area for focusing on the carving peg before me, that 10-12" that you mentioned. It may be a bit more flexible that those specific distances. These are Bebe Binocular loupes from 60 or more years ago, inherited from my uncle who was a dentist. They are occasionally offered on Ebay I think. With the carving prescription they offer about 10x magnification. The lenses can be positioned by the little wheel and threaded rod just underneath, to fit one's own focusing needs. Janel
  2. Clover Key Sun sashi netsuke (in progress)

    Hi Bonnie, Good idea to make the hood barrier for the torch. It does offer a degree of control for the tempering, which can go very quickly. I know if a tool maker (different sort of tools, for softer wood carving) who uses a toaster oven that can be set at the tempering degree that he wishes to achieve. I don't know the details though. I am thinking about the smaller background spaces, confined by positive relief in your design ... The second from the right has the kind of idea for a tool series the might work for such spaces, for flattening/smoothing those smaller spaces: This rough tools were acquired in Japan, for ivory carving. The idea of the edge being on the end rather than the side allows it to be used differently than an edge on the long side. To be able to make your own tools opens the way for solving problems when no tool seems to work just the way you want it to. You might find something with the dental tools that might be adaptable. Janel
  3. Costs going up for the forum

    One of the members has made a generous donation towards the operating expenses for The Carving Path forum. I am filled with gratitude for this gift. Thank you.
  4. Clover Key Sun sashi netsuke (in progress)

    I found images of the two Stephen Myhre tools that were gifted to me a long time ago. The note on the image folder "Stephen Myhre tools 2008 before much wear". They are now significantly shorter/changed from years of use and sharpening, but still important choices for what they have to offer with their shapes. The elegant thinner one presents a long, shallow curve, which is what I would recommend for smoothing surfaces. Either of the curved edges on the top of the tool, or a tool made with the single leading knife edge that could be slightly curved, could sweep gently across bumpy surfaces, delicately shaving fine whisps of material off the surface until the degree of smoothness is achieved. This video was created long ago, but does show how I hold and use tools for various kinds of material removal. Just after 5 minutes a tool is being used that gently planes/shaves a surface to smooth it: Tool Use Demonstration - Stephen Myhre Style Tools & Janel Jacobson's Tools Well, that actually is a cutting stroke that later becomes a smoothing stroke, but not the fine touch of a finishing stroke that is done with a very light touch. The stroke on the convex leaf surface is being done with a straight edge. You may want to use a slightly curved edge on the flat background of the piano key ivory to flatten and smooth the surface. In the same vein, a concave surface would be smoothed with an appropriately curved sharp edge. I have a few tools from 1/16th to 3/16th inch diameters that have three equal sides with three relatively equal shallow curves. The variety of Craftsman pin punch diameters can be a handy place to start. The four to the right are such tools from 1/16" to 3/32" diameters. If you use a grinder to do the initial shaping, do not let the tip get to red hot. For the smaller diameters a honing stone can do the job, and move upwards with the grits to gain a very sharp edge and a near polished surface. These triangular small tools are superior for undercutting and creating a separation shadow that gives life to the subjects, much like when your finger is placed on a surface and you can see that it is separate from the surface it is touching. My very first tools that I made were from HSS drill bits. Awkward to hold, but better than nothing. They were very hard to shape well as I recall. Somewhere here on the forum some folks cringed when I admitted using HSS for making tools. They will do in a pinch, but there are better materials for making tools from. The non pin punch tools were fashioned from O-1 drill rod with oil quench. Somewhere here on the forum there are descriptions for making tools I believe. The 0-1 rod can be ground, filed, shaped then hardened with a bit of refining of the faces and edges before tempering to straw color. You can see an assortment of my tools on my web site: http://janeljacobson.com/toolsstudio/tools2012.html Other shorter tools might fit better the piece you are working on. This is where making multiple, slightly differently proportioned tools can be useful. I managed to do that while trying to understand the dynamics of the sides and the top in relation to one another. Eventually each extra tool became a useful one. These were some of the oddballs that actually became useful over time: I hope that some of this will be helpful as you consider smoothing the surfaces of the ivory. Sanding papers leave scratches that have to be laboriously sanded ever finer away until nonexistent. Keep the scraping tools exceedingly sharp and un-nicked and your surface will be beautifully smoothed with out sanding papers. A higher polish can be then attempted with micro mesh cloths up to 8,000 to 12,000. Very glossy surfaces on some woods and animal origin materials. Best wishes, Janel
  5. Clover Key Sun sashi netsuke (in progress)

    It is a pleasure to see your current work Bonnie, Tight spaces and a very shallow piece of material to be working with. Nicely done so far. How do you plan on smoothing? Would it be the background? I may have some tool suggestions if you might not have what you want, but you would likely have to make them. Janel
  6. Magnifying glasses

    Nice! Better than I thought it could be. It is good to see the workspace through the lens. Janel
  7. inro/sagemono for phones?

    I believe that netsuke or ojime have been/are being used by some in Japan for carrying phones. One netsuke-shi had a few ojime pinned to the outside of her purse. Janel
  8. Magnifying glasses

    A link to a brief video of Komada Ryushi in Washington, DC earlier this year: http://www.npr.org/2017/04/01/522120453/in-the-art-of-netsuke-tiny-toggles-tell-delightful-stories-of-japan?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=202706 An example of how he uses a portable carving peg for demonstrations, and how he holds his tools while working on a piece.
  9. Hurricane Nate

  10. Small Shorebird

    Oh what a bother that must be. I've assisted a parent and sister when it grew to be too much and replacements occurred. I am truly sorry for your discomfort. I am glad that you can keep carving, to keep your mind otherwise occupied! Janel
  11. Small Shorebird

    I would suggest moderate detail and more about form than exquisite detail. The fine details would get lost in the grain of the wood, which is evident in the photo. My mother grew up in a place called Heron Lake. Sorry to read about your pain. Could you modify a carving spot for standing occasionally? It crosses my mind from time to time, especially in this day and age of office workers having elevating desk surfaces for standing at the computer. Janel
  12. Magnifying glasses

    Economical solution! Good idea! Janel
  13. Magnifying glasses

    Hi Bonnie, Your set up sounds enviable. My workbench peg is set so that I can rest my forearms on it while working, or as I need to. I have mentioned recently the stuff that I use to reduce the strain on my hands. It is called Scotch Removable Mounting Putty. It is white. There are others that are yellow or blue. I like the neutral non-color. This allows the small piece to be stuck in place while removable and easily repositionable. My holding hand is more relaxed and more free to work with the carving hand as fulcrum and guide. The peg does not have to be a 4 x 4, that is just what I had on hand at the time. The jewelers bench peg should work just as well. Here are a couple of images from a netsuke carving class taught by Komada Ryushi in Tokyo that I visited some years ago. They show a portable setup using a small vise that seems to be reposition able. Looks interesting.
  14. Magnifying glasses

    Figure out how to use a "carving peg", and use an office chair that has the ability to adjust the height. I have found that different positions are beneficial depending on what I do as the carvings progress. I use a piece of cedar 4" x 4" that is screwed to the bench top from underneath the bench. An ~ 45° angle is cut back so that the wood comes to a thick point. The soft wood has been shaped by years of carving, and is used to be the brace when holding and doing the carving. The adjustable chair keeps my back and neck from too much bad posture. Janel
  15. Phil White the Dominion Sculptor

    Hi Nelson, Thank you for posting this video. It is good to see Phil and to hear him speak about what his focus is as the Dominion Sculptor. Phil has been a contributor here on The Carving Path, and members might find his posts interesting to read. Janel