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JoshG

How To Properly Use Gravers/scrapers For Bone Carving.

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Hey all, well I have been reading in the tools section and everyone keepts talking about gravers and scrapers. I really want to take my carving skills to the next leval, but I am having a vary hard time finding any information on how to actually use gravers and scrapers, and when to use the diffrent kinds of both. Could anyone point me in the right direction? a video would be really nice!

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Hi Josh,

 

I must admit, I probably use some tools that might be called gravers, but I never learned that that was what they are called. Also, I might use them differently than intended. (Just a disclaimer.)

 

Several years ago I made a video using some tools. http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum/index.php?/topic/939-small-carving-instructional-videos/ I am sorry that I don't know of other videos presently.

 

Since then I have made many different tools, both larger and smaller, related to the three-sided with three different cutting/scraping edges that Stephen Myhre introduced to us via his book "Bone Carving a Skillbase of techniques and Concepts".

 

Elsewhere on the forum are images of tools various people have posted. You can see my tools on my web site on the page about tools.

 

What materials are you interested in carving?

 

Janel

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Janel, just bone for now, and I guess I should get said book. I tried to watch your videos, but for some reason they wouldn't play, I'll try again tomarrow. And I've seen some of the pictures, I just don't get how to use them and what tool to use for what job. Thanks for the reply!

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Hi Josh,

 

I am sorry that the videos won't play for your. Did you try both the WMV and the MOV formats? Did you try the halfsize version for quicker download?

 

You said: "I've seen some of the pictures, I just don't get how to use them and what tool to use for what job."

 

Seeing is better than word descriptions, I must say. And, I wish that I had a little video camera to record more "how-to" segments, and am not there with my wish list.

 

I have tools of varying sizes and character, roughly, some at 3/16" stock, 1/8", 3/32, 1/16, dental tool remakes. See here: http://janeljacobson.../tools2012.html

 

 

The three sided tools, whether 2-1 version (two opposite but identical faces-one narrow to wide face) or three equal sides, I use mostly as scrapers and very shallow gouges at times. The 2-1 versions with narrower tip angle could be used as a graver to inscribe lines/grooves, and could possibly be tipped one way or the other to make an unequal sided groove; it also is used as a shallow scraper. As scraper/gouge the three equal sided tool with rounded edges is a quick to pick up and use when shallow material needs removal where regular woodworking gouges will not fit for feel useful.

 

For use of the 2-1 version as a graver (I am not an engraver, but do use the tools to make a line/cut sometimes) the third face, the one that is opposite the longer knife edge, is positioned up, with the knife down, towards the material. Practice with putting that tool into the material at different angles and depths, pushing it with, across and against the grain, if it has grain to it, in straight or arcing lines. Try tools that are broader angle and a narrower angle at the tip to see what results. I am away from the tools just now so cannot properly describe how I hold the tool, but that might be a personal choice anyway; whatever works for the job on the bench.

 

For use as a scraper or cutter, the three cutting edges of the 2-1 tool are each useful once you learn what each can do for you, whether cutting or scraping.

 

scraperposition_w2.jpg

 

The tool is held in a position that puts the thumb of the holding hand opposite the middle finger of the hand holding the tool. All other fingers fall into place according to the piece being worked on. The the thumb and finger work together as a fulcrum, the tool is moved and is controlled by the hand holding the tool, as is needed to remove material.

 

In this spot I wanted to post a short video of my hands and tool in action, but I cannot figure out the software to make a low file size version. Sorry. The action is a kind of wrist-twisting action.

 

One kind of stroke was not shown, which is the scraping motion. It is similar to the first approach, but with less material removal. The photo above shows a three sided tool in position for a light scraping action, which results in a very smooth surface. If the tool is very cleanly sharp, with no nicks in it, the surface will be better than sanding. (With this piece I did use 600 or 1000 grit wet/dry paper, to give the surface a very smooth feel.)

 

I hope that this information is helpful, at least to get started with a couple of styles of tools. I encourage you to look at the different tools that I use, try to make some, or just use tools that you already have, and start using them on scrap material with no particular outcome in mind. Just begin to remove material, feel how the tools work with and against the grain, listening to the good cuts with the resulting clear sound and curl of shavings vs. a chattery with dusty debris from hacking into the grain, and start to become familiar with what each tool can do.

 

I have worked only one piece of bone, and have found that my tools work just as well as with the woods that I use.

 

There are other style tools that will work as well, on the line of flat chisels and gouges. I have woodblock cutting tools from old cheapo sets my mother had, sharpened extremely well, and others that I have made, which are shown on my web site. I also have smaller versions using dental tools.

 

There is one fairly simple to make tool, the one with the oval face. It is used as a gouge, and as a rounded scraper. Oh, I forgot to mention, as with this rounded tool, the 2-1 scraper and three sided scrapers, all tools can work with the grain in both directions without reversing the piece if need be. If one side is going into the grain, then use the opposite side for that stroke and go with the grain.

 

Janel

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The Japanese traditional way , Youtube ,

, there are six parts , This is part 2 ,

Watch the carver used his thumb as a lever,

 

 

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i don't use them i find i get just as much work done with a dremel or formdom with a fine bur bits check out regal casting web site for burs its your own choice i just learnt this way hope that helps

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